How to socialize with people
Tips on How to meet people, make friends and end toxic relationships
This article can be useful to anyone but I am particularly more interested in the youth; teenagers or young adults who are having issues on how to start and maintain a productive relationship or association with people. If you are having a hard time meeting or making friends with people or you find that you actually need to get rid of negative associations you are faced with then that is what this article is about.
I assume that those that find this article useful will be in a situation to assess their present state of things with regard to how they are faring and how they ought to be with the people they call their friends and how to find new people who could later become their friends or even lovers.
What do we mean by socializing with people?
Before getting into the details of how to socialize with people, let’s get to understand what it means to socialize. To socialize with people - even though this is obvious – means to be able to meet and relate with people in a way that is mutually rewarding. It means to identify potential friends or mates and to start out a process that will eventually lead to a relationship or association that will benefit both of you. Examples of such relationships or associations could include; acquaintanceship, friendship, alliance, romance, work based associations like colleagues, study mates and what have you.
Why do we socialize with people?
In as much as socializing with people ought to be a mutually rewarding experience, it is not always that way. Some people socialize for the wrong reasons such as; pursuing their own fantasies, their hidden agenda or promoting their own ego centered biases. Some people want to be seen as better than most other people so they socialize in order to show off what they think makes them superior to others. Some people want to double date or two time or more commonly called play games and score points in relationships, this means they look for a potential victim and pretend to care about them only to use them and finally dump them when they think they have had enough. They do so in order to satisfy their desire to feel superior to other people. Of course this is a bad reason to socialize. Some others are looking for fools who they can take advantage of, like people who can do them favors while they go about attending to more important personal goals. All these are wrong reasons to socialize and must not be encouraged.
On the other hand there are good reasons to socialize, for instance the need to be loved unconditionally by a true friend is a good reason to socialize with other people. The intention is to seek a rewarding relationship with another person who will return your good gestures and not someone who will mess you up and have fun while doing so. In other words it means finding intimacy and mutual trust from people.
Another good reason why people socialize is to improve themselves so as to become better people. In this case they network with people they feel have desirable qualities or knowledge in order to learn from them. Here the emphasis is on personal development. The intention is to acquire desirable traits that will make us better, happier, more successful and vibrant people with a lot of good things to look forward to.
How to socialize with people
Once you know why you want to socialize, you are then prepared in your search for a fruitful, rewarding, mutually beneficial relationship. So let’s see what we need to do in order to socialize more productively.
1. If intimacy or romance is your goal
If you want to socialize so as to find an intimate friend, then the emphasis is on mutual trust and understanding. You want to have a friend you can totally depend on or believe is worthy of your trust. In this case your search is not going to be easy because true friends are hard to find. People generally know how to act nice and friendly but that doesn’t make them true friends, what makes a true friend is commitment, loyalty and a genuine interest in the well being of the other person. The only way to determine who a potential true friend is: is to test them. You set up a situation in which the true character of the person is revealed without him or her knowing that they are being tested. The major cause of failed friendships include; betrayal of one’s secrets, theft, envy, selfishness, back stabbing and greed. A good test should prove whether or not your so called friend or lover is loyal and worthy of your trust, if any of the above traits reveals themselves in your test then you have a bad friend. Another thing to note is that genuine friends are consistent so one test may not be enough to prove their loyalty you may need to do several others to be sure of your result. Of course your so called friend should never know he or she is being tested. There are many ways to test a friend. Some people use money as a way of knowing whether or not they have a potential traitor as a friend while some use envy or sincerity as their basis of testing who they are dealing with.
2. If Self improvement or personal development is your goal
This method is rather easy because role models or mentors are easier to find than true friends. What’s more we can learn from almost anyone and all the time so socializing for personal development is not so difficult provided you know what you want and can identify it from a mile. However you should note that here you are more likely to have the following kinds of friendships;
An acquaintance is someone who you are cordial with. There is usually no emotional connection between you but you get along just fine. You may exchange pleasantries from time to time but you don’t confide in them or share your secrets with them. They often times include colleagues, church members, fellow professionals in your field, classmates or neighbors. They are usually people who you share a few things in common with such as; belonging to the same social group or profession or have similar goals with but beyond that you may be total strangers to each other. Most acquaintances can be useful sources of information on what affects your shared interests.
Here the emphasis is to acquire skills and knowledge that will make you self reliant and successful. People who are our mentors are those who have achieved those things in life we desire to accomplish, like they may be successful athletes, professionals or accomplished celebrities. Let’s say you wish to become a successful lawyer then your mentor is someone who is already successful in legal practice. You may connect with this person and be prepared to do them favors not because you want them to reward you but so you can have more access to them and learn what they know. There is no harm in asking them to share some of their secrets with you or asking for advice or even revealing your intention to them.
An ally is someone who you have shared goals or interests with. But they are not necessarily people you like, they may even be your enemies but for the sake of what you stand to benefit from dealing with them you may still associate with them but never beyond your personal or shared goals. The main benefit of alliances is to share information, exchange ideas and work together to get what you both want.
d. Mild Friendships/ Friendship with benefits
Some people are what I call mild friends or friends with benefits. You may hang out occasionally with them and even feel free with them to the point of sharing some of your experiences but they are not your intimate friends because you can’t trust them enough to share your secrets with them. Most friends like this can disappoint you at anytime so you should be prepared for it but still hope to make something meaningful out of the friendship. A friend with benefit could also be an ally and there are still some things we can gain from them. Friends with benefits usually enrich our lives socially. They can be useful in providing us with ideas and insights into how to relate with other people and even become better communicators, friends or improve our understanding of people and the world around us.
How to End Toxic Friendships and Relationships
Having mentioned that there are good reasons and bad reasons for socializing, it is now time to assess our so called friendships in order to know where we really are in the scheme of things. Any friend who lives off your sweat, doesn’t mind inconveniencing you and offers much less than he is willing to take from you or is often offering you bad advice, pretending to be someone else or is not trust worthy is a parasite, a potential traitor and waiting for him to one day betray you is not a really smart thing to do. Best you end that relationship without delay than to allow it grow into something you may end up regretting one day. Any relationship in which you are losing or getting much less than you are putting into in it in terms of your time, efforts, commitment and other resources is a toxic relationship and it will wear you out if you don’t end it in time.
When it comes to ending a toxic relationship, there is no need to be pretentious or diplomatic although doing so may sometimes be a good way to go about it. You can politely tell your toxic mate that you don’t want to be friends any more or give them a cold shoulder by being distant and unreachable till they become fed up with you and break off.