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The Art of Social Networking

How to meet people, make friends and improve your dating life without going to bars and clubs DR. A. GEORGES SABONGUI, PHD DOC
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LifeSkills Network 510 Boulevard Saint Laurent Suite 301 Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2Y9 Canada 1-866-740-9393 www.TrueLifeSkills.com Copyright 2007 by Dr. A. Georges Sabongui All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the author.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... 6 HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE SOCIAL NETWORKING ........................................... 6 THE SCIENCE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING ....................................................... 7 WHERE DO I MEET PEOPLE? .................................................................... 11 WE DONT WANT WHAT WE THINK WE CANT GET ........................................ 12 IMPROVING YOUR DATING LIFE ................................................................. 13 LETS JUST BE FRIENDS ........................................................................... 13 10 ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL NETWORKING ................................ 14 PRINCIPLE 1: BE A RENAISSANCE PERSON..................................... 15 THE LOST ART OF CONVERSATION ............................................................ 15 I WOULDNT TURN OFF, I WOULD TURN ON ................................................. 15 STEP OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE ........................................................... 16 BE A GENERALIST, NOT A SPECIALIST........................................................ 16 THE ESSENCE OF THE RENAISSANCE PERSON ........................................... 17 Embrace beauty: elevate everything to an art form .......................... 17 Know a little bit about everything...................................................... 18 GET COMFORTABLE WITH DISCOMFORT .................................................... 19 PRINCIPLE 2: BE YOUR BEST SO YOU CAN ATTRACT THE BEST . 20 BEING SUCCESSFUL IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS ..................................... 20 YOU WILL END UP WITH YOUR EQUAL ........................................................ 20 YOU ATTRACT WHAT YOU PROJECT .......................................................... 21 CULTIVATE SELF-IMPROVEMENT: ELIMINATE ALL NEEDINESS ...................... 22 EMBRACE A PARADIGM OF ABUNDANCE NOT SCARCITY ............................... 23 BE A GIVER NOT A TAKER ......................................................................... 24 THE KEY TO YOUR PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING .... 24 THE CRABS IN THE BUCKET ...................................................................... 26 PRINCIPLE 3: START WITH POSITIVE INTENT.................................. 28 YOUR MISSION: MAKE NEW FRIENDS PERIOD ......................................... 28 MAKE FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE ........................................................... 29 PRE-APPROVAL: GET YOUR NETWORK TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU .............. 29 MATCHING 3 COUPLES ENSURES YOUR ENTRANCE INTO HEAVEN ................ 30 PRINCIPLE 4: BE A SOCIAL NEXUS .................................................... 31 INITIATE SOCIAL OUTINGS ........................................................................ 31 THE MYTH: $ = FUN ............................................................................... 32 GET INTO A SOCIAL HABIT ........................................................................ 33

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BE A SOCIAL LEADER............................................................................... 34 PRINCIPLE 5: BE A YES-MAN ........................................................... 36 GET INTO A HABIT OF YES..................................................................... 36 THE HIDDEN BENEFITS OF BEING A YES-MAN ........................................... 37 BE BUSY AND POPULAR ........................................................................... 38 HIRE A SOCIAL SECRETARY ...................................................................... 38 PRINCIPLE 6: BE A GREAT CONVERSATIONALIST ......................... 41 BE INTERESTED AND YOU'LL BE INTERESTING .......................................... 41 EVERY NEW MEETING IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DELIGHT OR DISAPPOINT ........ 42 DRAW PEOPLE OUT ................................................................................. 42 AVOID MENTAL-MASTURBATION................................................................ 43 BE A GOOD STORYTELLER ....................................................................... 43 PEAK LIFE EXPERIENCES ......................................................................... 44 KEEP IT REAL ......................................................................................... 45 PRINCIPLE 7: CONNECT....................................................................... 47 CREATE CONNECTION USE YOUR BODY LANGUAGE & EYE CONTACT ......... 47 DIALOGUE, DONT MONOLOGUE ................................................................ 48 ME TOO! ................................................................................................ 49 FEELINGS FIRST, FACTS SECOND ............................................................. 49 ALWAYS GET THE DIGITS ......................................................................... 50 KEEP NOTES WITHOUT BEING CREEPY ................................................... 51 PRINCIPLE 8: FOLLOW-UP.................................................................. 52 DONT STALK & DONT GET STALE ............................................................ 52 PEOPLE ARE FICKLE ................................................................................ 54 CHANGE THEIR MOOD, NOT THEIR MIND .................................................... 54 KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN .................................................................... 54 PRINCIPLE 9: CONSOLIDATE ............................................................. 56 CONSOLIDATE WITHIN 2 WEEKS ............................................................... 56 RESPECT SOCIAL BOUNDARIES ................................................................ 57 EXPAND YOUR FRIENDSHIP CONTEXTS ...................................................... 58 EVOLVE YOUR ACQUAINTANCES INTO REAL FRIENDS .................................. 59 PRINCIPLE 10: RECIPROCATE ........................................................... 61 THE SOCIAL PARASITES ........................................................................... 61 SOME SIMPLE WAYS TO RECIPROCATE ...................................................... 62 INVITE PEOPLE TO PARTIES THAT ARE NOT YOURS ..................................... 62 HAVE A PARTY BEFORE THE PARTY ........................................................... 63

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THROW A PARTY: MERGE SOCIAL NETWORKS ............................................ 64 HAVE A SINGLES PARTY ........................................................................... 65 KEEP THE RATIO UP ................................................................................ 66 CLOSING ................................................................................................ 68

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Dr. A. Georges Sabongui

INTRODUCTION

Introduction
How I learned to love social networking A few years ago, I experienced the devastating effects of the break-up of my marriage. It was difficult on many levels, but one of the hardest things that I had to confront was being alone and having to rebuild a network of friends. Being in a relationship with the same person for 12 years means you share a lot of common friends and you start to take your social life for granted. As you focus more energy towards your partner in a relationship, you slowly start to close yourself off to the outside world and you start limiting your opportunities to meet new people. Anyone who has ever experienced the break-up of a relationship knows that it usually also means losing a lot of friends that you either shared with your partner, or knew through your partner. This was exactly what happened to me. This is especially difficult when those friends you do manage to keep are in serious relationships or have children because they hardly go out anymore. It's even worse if you are working full time and are no longer in a life situation where it is easy to meet people, like being in college. Eventually, you start losing the important life skill of making new friends and your social network starts to shrink. I was faced with the daunting task of either rebuilding my social life and start dating again, or else be faced with a life of solitude. Neither option was particularly appetizing at first. I had forgotten how to date and how to make new friends.

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INTRODUCTION

But once I learned the principles of social networking that I will share with you, my social life exploded! Not only did I start enjoying meeting new people, I got so good at it, that within a few months, I was able to host a party for over 150 of my new friends.

The science of social networking There is an art and science to social networking. Being married, being in a long-term relationship, or always hanging out with the same group of friends creates closed social networks. These are networks of people who usually only hang out together and have limited opportunities to meet new people. In contrast, more "open" networks with many social connections to new people outside your group and with contacts in other networks offer you connections to people who can expand your social group, infuse the group with fresh ideas and provide opportunities for more variety. As well, these more open networks offer you access to a more varied array of potential friends. In other words, a group of friends who only do things with each other already share the same friends, knowledge and experiences and have limited opportunities to grow as people. A group of friends with connections to other social networks is likely to have access to a wider range of information, opportunities and potential new friends. As it turns out, it is better for our health and individual success to have connections to a variety of networks rather than only stay within a single network. There is a growing body of evidence in psychology that suggests that the more friends a person has, the more fulfilled and successful they are likely to be.

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INTRODUCTION

Years ago, I was a senior Naval Officer - a Lt-Commander - in the Canadian Navy. At that time, I noticed that when we were in crisis situations, some of my sailors would crack under the pressure and fall apart, whereas others would shine and become natural leaders. I was intrigued because they had all received the same training but reacted wildly differently under pressure. Those that couldnt handle the pressure stayed in mediocre jobs while those who shone under pressure quickly got promoted to higher ranks and more important responsibilities. I was one of those who got promoted quickly. While I was conducting my doctoral research to obtain my PhD, I went back to this question to find out why people crack under pressure. I started a massive research project with the Canadian Army to look at why some soldiers fall apart while others shine under pressure. I surveyed close to 1,000 soldiers and gathered enormous amounts of information about them, including: what kind of parents they had, what kind of friends they had back home and in the Army, what their personalities were like, how much other people liked them, how they performed under pressure, how they cope with different stresses in their lives, even how many hours they slept etc., etc., etc.. I had gathered so much information in fact, that you could say that I knew these soldiers better than they knew themselves. What I found was that a soldiers ability to make new friends in the Army and the number of friends in their social network could predict whether they would pass or fail boot-camp and whether or not they would be susceptible to developing psychological problems. In fact, the number and quality of friends a soldier had in their network would predict who would crack under pressure better than their skills or personality style by a factor of 10! This means that the social network a soldier had built was 10 times more important in predicting whether they would pass boot-camp or crack under pressure than their own skills and efforts. Soldiers with more friends would end up performing better in their training, report less symptoms of illness, and were generally happier and less depressed.

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Dr. A. Georges Sabongui

INTRODUCTION

One interesting discovery was that I could predict which soldiers would pass or fail their training by looking at what kind of friends they had BEFORE they even joined the Army. Even though they didnt see their friends back home anymore, it appeared that certain soldiers had developed an ability to make high quality friends anywhere they went. And they would transpose that skill to create new, high quality social networks when they joined the Army. Soldiers who had low quality friendships back home (low levels of support and high levels of conflict within their friendships) were also likely to have low quality friendships in the Army and were more likely to fail boot-camp. Soldiers who had good quality friends back home (high levels of support and low levels of conflict) also made high quality friends in the Army and were more likely to pass bootcamp. So it wasnt just a question of having friends that was important (although soldiers in bigger social groups performed better), it was also the ability to make new, high quality friends that was most important. It turns out that this ability to make high quality friends is something that a person carries around with them no matter where they are. And most importantly for my research, it is precisely this ability to make new, high quality friends in any situation that would predict whether someone would crack under pressure or not. My own research is just one example of a growing body of evidence in psychology of the importance of friendships and social networks for peoples happiness and overall success. It is part of a growing field of study called Resilience which is the science of bouncing back from adversity. Friendships and social networks have been shown to be directly related to resilience and promote social competence, selfesteem, and overall wellbeing as well as protecting people from the effects of stress at all stages of life. Here is just a brief overview of the research on social networks.

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INTRODUCTION

Social networks are essential to our health and wellbeing as we are growing up during childhood and adolescence. Researchers have shown that having close friends and being embedded in a large social network protects children and adolescents from being victimized by bullies. Later on, these same skills are just as important as it has been shown that college freshmen who were able to create positive social networks with their new classmates were happier and psychologically healthier during their first year. Parenthood is a major life transition and a major stressor, especially for teen mothers. In a study of pregnant teenagers, researchers showed that social support from high quality social networks during pregnancy contributed to lower rates of depression in the mothers, and healthier babies (noted by higher birth weights), beyond the social support offered by parents and family. During the transition to adulthood, adolescents emerging from the child welfare system (foster and group care homes) had more chances of succeeding in life if they had an identifiable social support network and had developed the skills to make new, high quality friends. In a review of over 2,500 studies of trauma, positive social networks were shown to prevent the development of Post-traumatic stress disorder and improve the recovery for those patients who did develop symptoms following traumatic life events. Finally, in other studies, positive social networks have been shown to improve quality of life for patients with illnesses such as: depression; tuberculosis; breast cancer; and preventing depression and loneliness in seniors who were grieving the loss of a spouse. Positive social networks have also been shown to attenuate the emotional impact of: parenting stress, natural disasters and divorce. It is important to point out that there are 3 important aspects of social networks that have to be considered: 1) Having a social network that

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you feel you are an active part of; 2) The size of the social network and; 3) The quality of the network (how supportive and conflict free your relationships are with the people in your network). Taken together, when these 3 aspects are considered, your social network can potentially contribute to your success and wellbeing more than your personal skills and efforts. The research is clear that social networks can help us be happier and more successful in life, provided they are with the right people and large enough to help us grow.

Where do I meet people? So where do you start? Often times, when people want to make new friends in order to improve their dating lives (either because they are re-entering the dating scene after a long hiatus or because they just want to have more choice in who they date) the first question they ask is Where do I meet people?.

As you will discover, the answer is: EVERYWHERE! And the best thing about social networking is that you dont even have to go out to bars and clubs to do it. Bars and clubs are fine, but they are not natural environments in which to meet people. Most people meet their mates through mutual friends. Even people who do go to bars or

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clubs are usually there with people they already know and are out to have fun with existing friends rather than to meet new friends. The idea of having to go out to bars and clubs is off-putting and overwhelming to many people. So much so, in fact, that you will start to find excuses NOT to go out just to avoid entering that terrifying world: walking up to a complete stranger, having to come up with some witty opening line, and risk the heart wrenching possibility of rejection.

We dont want what we think we cant get We will go so far to avoid being rejected, that sometimes we will even make up excuses like: I dont have time to go out, I cant be bothered to meet new people now, I dont want to be in another relationship right now or I enjoy my freedom and my ME time. While these statements may sometimes be true, they are more often than not, just excuses. We often lie to ourselves in order to avoid something we are either afraid of or think we cannot do. We try to convince ourselves that we dont want what we think we cant get. The scariest part of meeting a complete stranger in a club or bar is the first few seconds you meet them: the icebreaker. When you are meeting people through social networking, you dont need an icebreaker because you are not really strangers, you are friends of mutual friends and there is already a level of comfort you cant get from perfect strangers. Meeting new people doesnt have to be a scary ordeal, and it certainly doesnt just happen in bars or clubs. It happens everywhere, all the time. It is a basic life skill that will enhance EVERY part of your life: personal, social, romantic and professional.

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Improving your dating life I strongly believe that for most people, the quickest and easiest way to start improving your dating life is to start making new friends and increasing your social network.

Lets just be friends Everyone who has ever heard the dreaded words Lets just be friends knows the horrible feeling of rejection and defectiveness we all feel when someone we like doesnt like us back in that way. But in this book, I will teach you why these 4 words could be the happiest words you will ever hear. If you date someone, you can never again stay friends with their social circle if things dont work out. But when someone tells you that they just want to be friends, take them up on the offer and hold them to it! Friends introduce each other to single friends. Friends help friends get dates. And friends are great for social networking. Being friends with someone opens up a world of social possibilities that dating them closes off.

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10 Essential Principles Of Social Networking In this book, I will share with you the 10 principles of social networking that Ive developed over the years and that have allowed me to rebuild my social life and experience the joys of being the center of a very large and ever expanding network of great people. I never have to ask where do I meet people?
10 Essential Principles of Social Networking 1. Be a renaissance person 2. Be your best so you can attract the best 3. Start with a purpose in mind 4. Be a social NEXUS 5. Be a YES-Man 6. Be a great conversationalist 7. Connect 8. Follow-up 9. Consolidate 10. Reciprocate

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PRINCIPLE 1: BE A RENAISSANCE PERSON

Principle 1: Be a Renaissance Person


The lost art of conversation If you want to be a good social networker and meet lots of people, you have to start by being a great conversationalist. In our society today, we have lost the art of the conversation. Too many of our activities are solitary and involve little or no interaction with other people: television, surfing the web, working behind our computer screens, working out at the gym with our headphones on We are more and more isolated from each other. In order to break out of these confines, we need to rediscover the art of the conversation. Being a Renaissance person will help you do that. I have to say that ever since I was a teenager, I've always been a popular person. I wasnt popular in the high-school quarterback sense. I was popular in the sense that I got along with everybody. I could and would hang out with: the preppies, the jocks, the smokers (even though I didnt smoke), the cool kids, the nerds, the artsy types, the headbangers, the punk rockers, and even the shy kids who didnt have a lot of friends . Pretty much everybody. I didnt have any preconceived notions about who was worth my time getting to know, because I thought (and still think) that everybody is worth knowing. You never know if that nerdy kid that you thought you were too cool to talk to in school will end up being the bank manager you have to see for a loan, or your next boss!

I wouldnt turn off, I would turn on The real secret to being able to interact with so many different groups of people was my ability to connect with them on their level. I was athletic and loved sports, so I could easily talk to the jocks about what
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they were interested in. I was always interested in art, poetry and literature so it was easy to have a conversation with the artsy kids. I loved science and have always had a hunger for learning, so it was easy to talk to the nerds or the geeks about that. And I loved all kinds of music. In fact, I could probably talk to anyone about anything. And if I had no idea about a particular topic, I wouldnt turn off, I would turn on. I would get excited about the idea that this person I was talking to could teach me something I didnt know about and broaden my horizons.

Step out of our comfort zone In this way, I can truly say that everyone I meet introduces me to a part of myself. If a friend shares a great book with me about a topic I know nothing about, or invites me to share an activity that I have never done before, they are giving me an opportunity to learn and grow. And if by reading that book or partaking in that activity, I discover that I actually like this, I have learned something about myself. I have discovered (or re-discovered) a part of me that likes this new thing. In that way, interacting with other people is one of the best ways to discover yourself. Every invitation to step out of our comfort zone is an opportunity to grow. Every opportunity to meet somebody new is an opportunity to grow.

Be a generalist, not a specialist In todays world, we are encouraged to focus and deepen our knowledge about one area and become hyper-specialized. To be a good conversationalist and a good social networker, you need to become a generalist: A Renaissance Person. Being a renaissance person means that you are willing to broaden your knowledge about

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many different fields. The renaissance person is counter current. To be a renaissance person means going broader, not deeper.

The essence of the renaissance person The idea of the Renaissance Person was introduced by Baldessari Castiglioni in his book, The Courtier, written for the aristocracy of 16th century Florence, Italy. Florence was experiencing its heyday as the cultural Mecca of Europe at the time and Florentine Renaissance art is still regarded as the pinnacle of artwork. It was the era of masters such as Michalangelo, DaVinci, Boticelli, Raphael, Donatello, and other luminaries. To walk through Florence today, which still boasts the vestiges of this era, is to plunge yourself into beauty and cultural sophistication that makes the 21st century look like it is inhabited by a bunch of Neanderthals. The Courtier was basically a how to of social graces for people who wanted to know about the art of rubbing shoulders with royalty, and the basic tenets were simple: 1) Embrace beauty and aesthetics as a core value in life. In this way, you elevate everything to an Art form. 2) Know a little bit about everything; that way, you can carry on an interesting conversation with people from every walk of life and make them comfortable around you.

Embrace beauty: elevate everything to an art form

To embrace beauty means to embrace aesthetic ideals as a core value in life. Beauty and aesthetics are all about the ability to take mundane things in life, and to elevate them into an art form.

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Whenever you do something, do it with elegance and beauty. Add some pride into it. Dont just paint your home, decorate it. Dont just furnish your home, design a lifestyle. Dont just light your home, create a mood and ambiance. Dont just put clothes on in the morning, adorn yourself. Dont just cook a meal, embrace gastronomy. Beauty and aesthetics are about details. Anything that is worth doing, is worth celebrating with panache.

Know a little bit about everything

To know a little bit about everything does not mean to become a Cliff Claven of Cheers fame! Cliff Claven was annoying because he pretended to know everything about everything. Being a renaissance person means, above all, to be gracious. Knowing a little about everything means that you have an ability to talk to people on their level in order to make them more comfortable around you. Cliff Claven used his knowledge to demean or belittle people, usually making them feel uncomfortable. The renaissance person makes people feel as if what they have to say is important by being able to discuss a topic that is interesting to that person and have something fascinating to add to that conversation.

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Start by readingeverything. Read the classics, the Greek philosophers, about ancient cultures, about current events, about things happening at the cutting edge of science, art, spirituality and culture. Take lots of classes: cooking, art history, photography, painting, yoga, martial arts. Travel and immerse yourself in different cultures. So your first step in being a good social networker is to develop a lifelong commitment to aesthetics and learning new things in order to broaden your horizons. This is the secret of being a great conversationalist: to be interested in many things and to be able to communicate with everyone on their level.

Get comfortable with discomfort Break your social isolation and practice your conversational skills. Talk to people everywhere. Get rid of your television set - it only makes solitude more comfortable and atrophies your social skills muscles. In fact, get rid of anything that keeps you from achieving your social goals. Constantly challenge yourself to try new things rather than staying within your tried and true habits. Get out of your comfort zone and get comfortable outside it. By investing in yourself, you are beginning to cultivate yourself into being a better person and you will be able to connect to many more people. You are now ready for principle 2.

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PRINCIPLE 2: BE YOUR BEST SO YOU CAN ATTRACT THE BEST

Principle 2: Be Your Best So You Can Attract The Best


What does bettering yourself have to do with learning to meet people and building social networks? EVERYTHING! You dont just want to attract people into your life. You want to attract high quality people to engage in high quality friendships and relationships. And in order to attract high quality people into your life, you yourself have to be a high quality person. Developing yourself into a high quality person will dramatically improve the quality of people in your life.

Being successful in romantic relationships Sometimes men will ask me how to be more successful with women. I tell them that you cant be good with women if you are not good with people. Success in relationships is the result of being successful in life. You cannot be successful in romantic relationships, unless you are successful in your friendships and you are happy and fulfilled in your life.

You will end up with your equal There is a general rule in psychology that people end up in relationships with their equals: people of their general attractiveness, maturity, social status and success level. This is true of our friends, and also true of the partners we choose in romantic relationships. In our romantic relationships, what attracts people to each other is complementarity the feeling that we have found someone that balances out our own qualities and completes us. For a woman, it

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means that she is looking for her equal in a man. For men, it means seeking out their equal in a woman. That is what equal but opposite means: Equal status but of the opposite sex. It doesnt really mean that opposites attract. The complementarity that a woman seeks in a partner is his masculine essence and the men that are universally attractive ooze masculinity. The complementarity that a man seeks in a woman is her feminine essence and the women that are universally considered the most attractive are those that emanate the most femininity. A woman is naturally attracted to what is masculine about a man the same way men are attracted to what is feminine about a woman. The more feminine a woman is, the more she seeks out a masculine man to balance her out, and vice versa. This concept of balancing the masculine and feminine is not new. The philosophers of 3rd century China during the Han dynasty symbolized these complementary principles as the Yin & Yang. The Yin is the feminine energy whereas the Yang is the masculine energy and they attract and seek each other out as well as balance each other.

You attract what you project In general, we attract what we project. If you want to have an idea of what you project right now, take a look around at the people in your life, at the kind of people that you usually end up dating, and at your social circle. It is more than likely that these people are your equals. As the old saying goes, Show me your friends, and Ill tell you who you are. Although keeping touch with old friends is important, if these old friends are not the kind of people who help you evolve into a better person, you need to upgrade your social circle.

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The belief that "opposites attract" is not always true beyond the complementarity discussed above. Although there is the romantic ideal that an uptown girl will be attracted to a downtown guy, it doesnt hold true in the real world. More often, it has been shown that people are drawn to individuals who are similar to them. Similarities such as beliefs, interests, attitudes, and personality can help us to be attracted to others who match us on those traits. People love to have other individuals to participate in activities they like. People also tend to pick partners who are similar to themselves in characteristics such as age, race, religion, social class, personality, education, intelligence, and attitude. This similarity is seen not only between romantic partners but also between friends. Some researchers have suggested that similarity causes attraction. Others acknowledge that people may be more likely to have friends and partners who are similar to themselves simply because of accessibility: people are more likely to associate with people who are similar to themselves because of social networks. If you want to improve the calibre of people that are in your life or improve the quality of people you date, you also need to improve yourself and the people in your social networks. Like attracts like, so it is important to get into a habit of continual self-improvement so that you can attract higher quality people into your life who will pull you up in your life, rather than keep you down. Choose activities and hobbies where you are also likely to meet people who are likeminded.

Cultivate self-improvement: Eliminate all neediness This is a critical step in the process of social networking and you cannot take a short cut around it. The least attractive quality for anyone to display is neediness. It makes you appear clingy and

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desperate and usually repels people. Taking the time to really work on this step to better yourself will help you eliminate any neediness and therefore help you attract better quality people.

Embrace a paradigm of abundance not scarcity In your interactions with others, you have to come from a paradigm of abundance, not scarcity. A paradigm is your worldview. It affects your state of mind and it taints all of your actions, beliefs & perceptions. As you become more fulfilled as an individual, you fill any voids you have in your life and this changes your worldview. If you do not fill these voids, your interactions will be coming from a paradigm of scarcity and make you come across as needy, leaving people with a creepy feeling that you want something from them. As you become more fulfilled, people will be drawn to the feeling that you dont want anything from them, but rather, you have something to give them. This is the paradigm of abundance. Scarcity thinking goes something like this: this is the only (person, job, career, friend etc) that I think I can get, so I need to make sure I dont screw it up, I really NEED this (person, job, friend) otherwise, I will be (alone, broke, unloved, unhappy etc). Basically, the paradigm of scarcity starts from a fundamental belief that there is not enough to go around. Not enough: money, love, people who will like you, attractive men or women etc. As well, scarcity thinking implies that you are not good enough and creates conditions for your happiness: I cant be happy until I (make more money, have the perfect partner, buy that new thing. You are putting so much pressure on yourself and the people around you that you cannot be natural and relaxed in your interactions and there is a neediness, desperation and clinginess that will come through. If you do not take the time to carry

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this step out, you will be entering your interactions from a place of need and dependency and your insecurities will reveal themselves in subtle ways. It will repel people rather than attract them to you.

Be a giver not a taker It is how you enter interactions with people that makes all the difference. It is your state of mind and your foremost thoughts that shape the dynamic between you two. Enter interactions with the thought that you do not need anything from this person in order to be fulfilled. Ask yourself how you can improve this persons day rather than what you can get from this person (love, sex, companionship). Ask yourself how you can enrich this persons experience through your interaction rather than how this person can enrich your life. Be a giver, not a taker.

The key to your physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing Earlier, I talked to you about the importance of being a renaissance person in order to put your highest self forward (principle 1). By being a renaissance person, you have embarked on a lifelong journey to continually better yourself. This not only means bettering yourself intellectually, it also means bettering yourself physically, socially and spiritually as well. As human beings, we are 3 dimensional, made of Body, Mind, and Soul. Enriching yourself means that you will accord equal importance into bettering all three dimensions of your person and will therefore invest time and energy into being physically healthier, intellectually healthier, and emotionally healthier. In this way, you will also attract and connect with people who are physically,

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intellectually, and emotionally healthy and engage in more mature friendships and relationships with them.

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The crabs in the bucket As you better yourself, you will notice that there are people in your circle of friends that do not want you to evolve, and they subtly try to keep you down. These are the kind of people who try to discourage you from going on that diet, taking that extra class, meeting new people. Your improvement of yourself only makes them feel worse about themselves, so they try to keep you down at their level or lower, so they can feel better about themselves. However, as you improve yourself and come from a paradigm of abundance, you will also notice that you start to connect with and attract higher quality people into your life who are also coming from a paradigm of abundance and who only want to help elevate you.

Crabs in the bucket There is a piece of folk wisdom that says: If you catch a crab and put him in a bucket, he will jump out and escape. However, if you place two crabs in the bucket, as soon as one tries to climb up to escape, the other will grab him by the legs and pull him down. Now if the crabs were smart, one would help the other reach the top by pushing him up, and when he reached the top, the other crab would reach down and say, Now give me your hand, Ill pull you up too. That way, they would both reach the top.

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Although everyone you meet has the potential to enrich your life, not everyone will. You will come across some people who are crabs in the bucket. There will be people that you meet that will not enrich you but rather destroy what you are trying to accomplish. Coming from a paradigm of abundance also means that you can start to choose the people you let into your life, and be more selective about accepting only high quality people. You are now ready to leave the house and meet new people.

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PRINCIPLE 3: START WITH POSITIVE INTENT

Principle 3: Start with Positive Intent


Your mission: make new friends period Whenever you leave the house, you need to keep in mind that your main purpose is to make new friends. Period. You are not going out to date, pickup, seduce or conquer anyone (although that can be a fun fringe benefit and side-effect of social networking). Your intent is to open yourself to the possibility of meeting new and interesting people who will inspire, intrigue, and complement you. Your intent is to stretch out of your existing social network to make connections to other social networks. You are not meeting new people in order to date them necessarily, although your dating life will automatically improve as a result. You are meeting new people because you want to expand your social circle and improve your chances to meet the right person. Sometimes, you need to dig through a lot of dirt to find a diamond. Starting out with the right mindset and positive intention means you are always open to opportunities to make new friends and you do not want anything from them. Because you have already practiced principle 2, you are non-needy in your interactions and you are not invested with a need to try to date everyone you meet and you can afford to be selective. All you want to do is make new friends in order to enrich your life and expand your social circle.

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Make friends with everyone At this stage, be open minded enough to give everyone a chance. You may not be physically or romantically attracted to this person, or they may not be available because they are already in a relationship, but that doesnt mean that they cant be an interesting new friend and an important addition to you social network. And most importantly, everyone you meet has friends. Let me repeat that, because this is probably the most important lesson to be learned: Everyone you meet has friends. Even if this particular person is not attractive to you, they may have a friend that is. If they like you, whether they are your type or not, available or not, they will be dying to introduce you to their friends. And that is the essence of social networking. If I go out one night, and I meet 5 new people, I may not be romantically interested in any of them but I will take the time to connect with and befriend all of them. Person 1 might be a single guy, and since I am a straight guy Im not interested. Person 2 is dating person 3 and they are a couple Im not interested. Person 4 might be a gay woman Im not interested. Person 5 might be a 65 year old woman Im not interested. So why would I waste my time talking to them. Because you never know who their friends are.

Pre-approval: Get your network to do the work for you If I befriend all of them and have great, non-judgemental conversations with them, they may know someone that I may be interested in romantically. And if they like me, THEY will be doing the work of trying to get me to meet their other friends that they think I might be interested in. Its like having an army of people out there

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working on your behalf to get you to meet the right person. And meeting people through mutual friends who have already said wonderful things about you is a very low stress way to meet new people. By getting to know all of these great new people, whether I am interested in them romantically or not, I am increasing the radius of my social circle and increasing the chances that I will meet someone that I am romantically interested in. And the best part is that I dont have to do all the social legwork of meeting them one by one and selling myself: I come pre-approved. My expanding social network is doing all of the selling for me.

Matching 3 couples ensures your entrance into heaven People love to play matchmaker. Everyone knows some great single guy or girl that they are dying to set up with someone equally great. Being a good social networker gives people the opportunity to brag that they brought this couple together. So, whenever you go out, try to meet as many people (men and women) that you connect well with and add them to your social network. Its not rare for me to go out and get as many numbers from guys as I do girls and NO, it's not because I'm going to date the guys. But, now that they are in my social circle, they'll invite me to their parties and introduce me to their female friends. And I'll do the same for them. This is how I've met the vast majority of friends over the past few years and as a direct result, my dating life has been spectacular. And, in fact, this is how MOST people meet their mates through common friends.

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PRINCIPLE 4: BE A SOCIAL NEXUS

Principle 4: Be a Social Nexus


The dictionary defines a nexus as: nexus 1. a connection or link associating two or more people or things, 2. a group or series of connected individuals or things, 3. the center or focus of something, 4. a specialized area of the cellular membrane that helps cells to communicate or adhere. As a social nexus, you are a little bit of all of the above. In order to be a social nexus, you want to become a social center of gravity where fun and exciting things are always happening around you and help be the glue that binds social groups together.

Initiate social outings Always have a plan, an idea of something sociable, fun, exciting or unique to do. Find out where the fun places are to go for a bite or drinks. Keep abreast of all the festivals and special events going on in your city. Keep your ears open for fun new things to do. There are always great new places to go out to or fun things to do. Get away from always doing the same thing at the same places. If you were to hang out with me in a typical week, you might find yourself going out for Ethiopian food where you have to eat with your hands, a classical piano concerto, trapezing at a circus school, rock climbing, a Tango or Salsa class, and maybe a wine tasting or gallery opening, on top of several party invitations that Ive received for the weekend. This is in a typical week! And Im always inviting new friends to join me on these adventures. Does that make you want to be in my social circle? Hanging out with me means always being invited to do fun, exciting, and sometimes

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wacky things. You might roll your eyes the next time I call you because I am embarking you on yet another crazy adventure, but youll be glad to know me, and youll always return my calls. In fact, because I am a social nexus, I am usually the center of an ever expanding social group. So YOU will probably be calling ME to find out what fun things are going on, and to find out if you can join me in order to meet new friends through me.

The myth: $ = Fun Dont get into the mindset that you need to spend lots of money to have fun or that you are too broke to go out. Sometimes, the most enjoyable activities cost little to no money. Even if you do go out, you dont need to be drinking copious amounts every time. Here is a list of some cheap fun things to do: hiking, rollerblading, mountain or rock climbing, picnic, painting ceramics, going out on a photo safari, free outdoor concerts or events etc. If going out is not interesting to you, how about fun, sociable things you can do by staying in: potluck supper, cooking class with friends at your home, a sushi rolling dinner party, pyjama party (extraordinary potential for fun!), movie night at home, cocktail party, wine and cheese etc. If you are still having trouble finding ideas for fun things to do, you need to go back to principle 1: Be a renaissance person, and reread that section until you get it.

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Get into a social habit Whatever fun things you are going to do, invite some new friends to come along. Get into a social habit. You have to get into this habit of calling up NEW friends every time you go out even if it's just to grab a bite to eat, catch a play, go to an art show whatever. Ive even called new friends to come join me while I had to go out and buy a new pair of socks. Recently, a new friend invited me to join her while she went to return her library books. It was hilarious. Just get into a social habit: I mean how hard is it to pick up the phone on a Friday night after work and call a couple of people to join you for drinks or a bite to eat? It sure beats eating alone.

A few weeks ago, I had this exact situation. I had no plans and was wrapping up work on a Friday evening. Rather than go home to eat alone, I made 2 phone calls after work, and spent the evening at a restaurant sitting around a table with about 20 people! I only knew the 2 old connections that I had called, and I ended up meeting 18 new people. Most of the people were like me: bright, successful, attractive, fun (principle 2). And even though there were lawyers, accountants,
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scientists, artists, and a few bohemians thrown in, it was easy for me to talk to all of them (principle 1 & principle 3). The funniest thing about that night was that all of these people were sitting around the same table because of me and nobody really knew each other. I had brought them all together because I was the social nexus even though initially, I only knew 2 of these people directly (principle 4). Even better was the fact that it all happened very spontaneously because I had a fun plan to propose. I had only called 2 friends, but all night, peoples mobile phones kept ringing. People kept calling their friends who were at our table, asking what they were up to, and since we were having such a fun time at dinner, they would eventually join us. It was really funny: Every time somebody's mobile phone would ring, the person on the other end would invariably come join us and it became like a running gag at our table. And this all started with me only calling 2 people and having a fun plan. And it is so easy to connect with someone that you have common friends and similar values with and who has just become part of your social network. You are essentially stamped 'approved' by their friends, so they are very open to meeting and connecting with you. And because you've spent the whole evening socializing with them around a table full of new friends, its easy to exchange contact information in order to get in touch later.

Be a social leader Being a social leader means moving towards people who are too shy to get out of their shell. It also means organizing outings and calling up friends (old and new) to drag them along when you do go out. Peoples lives are generally pretty boring. They're craving some fun and excitement. So you could be their local fun and excitement pusher. Eventually, people get into the habit of calling you up and

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asking if you know of anything cool or fun going on. People are very attracted to leaders, so be a social leader. As you become more of a social leader, you will become a social center of gravity where fun and exciting things are always going on around you. And trust me: within a few months of deciding to do this on a constant and regular basis and becoming a social nexus, you can have literally hundreds of new friends in your social network. It's just a habit to get into.

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PRINCIPLE 5: BE A YES-MAN

Principle 5: Be a Yes-Man
If you have ever been home alone on a Saturday night with no plans, ask yourself why this happened: Have you ever turned down invitations? Have you ever stood up friends by not showing up even though you said you would? Or, have you become a social parasite and not returned social invitations or favours? If so, people have become fed up of calling you and you have fallen off the social radar screen. People will usually only give you 2 chances. If you turn down 2 invitations, dont return 2 phone calls, or are getting invited out and not returning invitations, people tend to stop reaching out to you and stop inviting you out. You have become a social burden and may be seen as a taker and not a giver (Principle 2). You have to get into a habit of saying YES and making an effort to at least make an appearance to each event. If you start saying no, or not showing up, people eventually stop extending invitations.

Get into a habit of YES A yes-man, whether male or female, is someone who infuses life and energy into any social interaction. When someone asks if you are in or out, a yes-man will always say IM IN!, before they even know what it is that theyve just gotten themselves into. And, they dont care what theyve gotten themselves into because a yes-person is someone who embraces life and is always open to anything new and exciting, especially when it is an opportunity to meet new people. Support new initiatives. Be a joiner. Be in. Be a Yes-man.

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A yes-person tends to be seen as energetic, fun, exciting, openminded, confident, adventurous, vibrant, and joyous. These are attractive qualities. Embrace them. Tattoo them to the inside of your eyelids if you have to. Do whatever it takes to internalize these qualities. A no-person has a tendency to be out or often say no thanks to initiatives or opportunities. They are often seen as lethargic, cautious, picky, difficult, conservative, afraid, insecure, judgemental, and boring. Not attractive qualities. These people tend to be problem focused and are always looking at the negative or dangerous side of things; at what may go wrong in a situation. They are depressing and difficult to be around. Eradicate these qualities from your life surgically if you have to! As you work on yourself to be more of a renaissance person (principle 1) and work at bettering yourself physically, intellectually, and emotionally (principle 2) it will be easier for you to step outside your comfort zone and become a yes-man.

The hidden benefits of being a Yes-man You know from your own experience that it is easier for you to say Yes and to be a joiner when you are feeling good about yourself. Did you also know that the opposite is also true. That saying yes to activities also makes you feel good about yourself. In fact, most psychologists are unanimous in agreeing that this should be a standard part of therapy for depression. Saying yes helps get you into an upward spiral where you feel better, get more socially active, so you feel better, so you get more socially active etc.

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Be busy and popular An added bonus is that by getting into this upward spiral, you are displaying one of the most attractive qualities: being busy and popular. Someone once asked me, I know that being busy and popular are attractive qualities. How do I show that? My answer was simple, BE busy and popular! Getting into a habit of yes is one of the quickest ways to do that. Nobody wants to latch on to a new friend or lover who is withdrawn, introverted, and a social ball & chain. Being busy and popular means that you have a very attractive social life to any potential lovers and partners. Have you ever noticed how nothing attracts people like a crowd? Recently I walked into an empty restaurant and immediately walked back out. I was thinking, If no-one is here, there must be something wrong with this place. On the other hand, what goes through your mind when you walk past a crowded restaurant (assuming its not a fast food joint): Wow, look at all these people. This must be a really fun place. The more sociable you are, the busier and more popular you are, the more you will attract people because they will be saying to themselves, Wow, this person is so popular, there must a reason why. Id love to find out.

Hire a social secretary Now that you are into a social habit (principle 4) and you embrace social opportunities by saying YES (principle 5), you will have to learn how to manage being double or sometimes triple booked. Your phone keeps ringing, and you have to hire a social secretary just to manage your social calendar. At this point, you have, what we call, an over-abundance problem, which is a very good problem to have.

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Dont underestimate how quickly your social calendar can get filled up when you start to become a good social networker. Lets take a lesson from some masters of social networking to see how they handle this problem of being too popular. You have several options. Option 1. You can give up on sleeping so you can meet all of your social engagements. Option 2. You can give up your day job and become a professional socialite, going to glamorous cocktail parties for a living, and living on a diet of cappuccinos and martini olives. Option 3: You can join a monastery or convent and become a hermit because you have realized that this socially exciting lifestyle is just a distraction to your souls true calling which is to transcend all worldly pleasures. Option 4: You can learn the skills of politicians. Lets assume that: 1) you enjoy sleeping once in a while; 2) you are not independently wealthy enough to become a professional socialite; 3) although you want enlightenment, you are too busy having fun at the moment to become a hermit. That only leaves you with option 4 as probably the most appetizing one to embrace. You probably never thought you would be learning lessons about dating from politicians, but havent you ever wondered how they seem to be everywhere at the same time? Either they have mastered the art of omni-presence and teleportation, or they have learned some key secrets. The simple answer is that they do this by making an effort to at least drop by every social opportunity, shake a few hands, meet a few people, and then they move on to the next event. People will always appreciate the effort you have made to drop by, even if you cant stay long. If you have said yes to an invitation (which by now is a reflex principle 5), ALWAYS drop by at least

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for 30 minutes. Walk up to the host or the person who invited you so that they know that you are there, and thank them for the invitation. Stay a little bit, have a drink (if its a cocktail party), meet a couple of new people, exchange contact info, then make a quiet departure. This works for most situations when you are double or triple booked. You can make a quick appearance at each event and then choose the one where you want to spend your evening. This obviously doesnt work if you are invited to a dinner party or a play or other place where you cannot make a discrete exit. In those cases, leaving early would just be rude. Another option is to stack your invitations: pre-dinner cocktails with one group, dinner with another, and then dancing or going out late with a third group. In any case, your modus operandi, is always the same: come in strong with a great first impression, thank the person for the invitation, delight a few new friends, and leave quietly and graciously remembering to take down peoples contact information. By now, because you have embraced all the principles so far, you are already being invited out constantly. How do you turn all of those invitations into new friendships? Well the secret is in delighting people so much when you first meet them that they want see you again. That is our next principle.

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PRINCIPLE 6: BE A GREAT CONVERSATIONALIST

Principle 6: Be a Great Conversationalist


Be Interested And You' Be Interesting ll One thing I practice religiously is: "BE INTERESTED AND YOU'LL BE INTERESTING". This means that the more things you are interested in life, the more interesting you will be to talk to. If you want to be an interesting conversationalist, be interested. Be interested: in life, in what you are talking about, in what the other person is saying. It is critical to have hobbies and interests in life. Be mindful to pick ones that are social hobbies and not ones that you practice alone in your basement. That alone can help expose you to tons of new people and help you build your network of friends enormously. I'm interested and fascinated in just about anything: I've gone skydiving, scuba diving, white water rafting, rock climbing, trapezing (when I dated a circus acrobat), hot air ballooning; I'll go to poetry readings, classical music concerts, punk music concerts, cooking classes, art classes, photo classes, salsa classes, yoga classes ...... and these are all activities I will do in an average month! I have no end of things I am interested in. So I am constantly meeting new people and can carry a conversation on just about any topic (principle 1). But more importantly, I'm open to trying ANY new experience and often playfully challenge friends to make me experience something new (principle 2).

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Every new meeting is an opportunity to delight or disappoint Every opportunity to meet someone is an opportunity to delight or disappoint. The more you are focused on the people you are interacting with and giving them a wonderful experience, the more likely they will be delighted. The more you are focused on yourself and getting something out of the interaction, the more likely you are to disappoint (principle 2). Focus outward, not inward. One of the most sure fire ways to delight someone and project a positive first impression is to be interested in the other persons wellbeing during your interaction. This does not mean that you have to be self-effacing and come across as a spineless doormat! This means that you are gracious enough to be sensitive to how the people around you are feeling and especially how you are impacting them. Are they cold? Tired? Hungry? Shy? Did they just cringe at your last comment? Or did their eyes just light up when you mentioned something? Be interested in what the other person is saying. Be interested in what you are saying. Use your body language, eye-contact and voice tone to convey enthusiasm and interest. The energy you put into an interaction is the energy you will retrieve from it.

Draw people out Choose conversational topics and encourage discussions that will draw people into your conversation rather than alienate them. Some people are shyer than others and need to be drawn into a conversation. But once you touch on something they are passionate about, and make them welcome into the conversation, they are usually quite animated and are always appreciative of the opportunity to talk. In fact, dont be

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afraid to approach people and invite them into the conversation. Many people are often just waiting for the invitation to enter a group or conversation and are delighted to finally get an invitation to join in because they are secretly hoping that someone will notice them.

Avoid mental-masturbation Be aware of the impact that your words and opinions have on other people. A social networking situation (which is pretty much ANY social situation) is not the time to expound your political manifesto or bore people with self-centered displays of your accomplishments. To me, those types of conversations are in the category of mental masturbation: fun for you, but boring for everyone else.

Be a good storyteller I grew up in a large family with five children (God bless my mom). If you wanted to get any attention around the dinner table growing up, you had to learn to be a good storyteller at a pretty young age. One secret to telling good stories is to really engage your audience and involve them in the story. Make the characters alive and interesting. When you introduce a new character in your story, describe what they look like physically. Exaggerate some unique characteristic about them. Give that character their own personality and voice. And dont be afraid to include the emotional content of the story: Thats what really hooks an audience. Here is a small excerpt from a story that I often tell in my dating seminars:

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One day, I was in California visiting my cousin Mike. Now, although cousin Mike lives in Southern California, hes originally from New York City. Ten years of California living has done little to mellow him out and he still has that crusty NYC attitude. He still talks with an accent as if hes picking a fight with everyone. He dresses in his New York law firm issued dark suit, although sometimes hell go wild and wear a red tie. And he walks like hes got a pendulum between his thighs. So were walking down the beach and we see this old man, shrivelled up like a raisin from way too much sun, with long dread-locks, sitting on an old beat up lawn chair sippin a beer, and hes got a little hand-written sign that reads: love doctor, $5. Notice how Ive described the characters for you in detail. You can see these two people in your minds eye. Cousin Mike is actually a brilliant lawyer, but that doesnt make the story more interesting. So admittedly, for the sake of artistic licence, Ive embellished the characters a little (but not really that much) to make them come alive for you and make them more interesting. I would tell this story in an animated and engaging tone of voice, and when each character speaks, I would give them each their distinct voice, complete with accent and idioms. So cousin Mike would speak his bad ass New York talk, Yo, Yo, whatup love doctair. And the love doctor would have his too cool, Old-man/ Rastafarian, accent going on, Yah mon, everytin irie. Respect.

Peak life experiences Part of being a great conversationalist is also about drawing people into discussions about things that they are passionate about. Rather than discussing boring topics such as the traffic, the weather, or work,

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bring up topics about peak life experiences. Peak life experiences stand out from our ordinary mundane lives. They are those experiences that have been the most formative ones for us. Experiences like: the most the funnest the first... Oftentimes, these experiences were from our childhood, and getting people to talk as if they are still those bright, curious, and mischievous little kids is the recipe for a great conversation because it allows them the freedom to be real in a way that they dont often get to experience in their regular professional roles. However, remember to keep the conversation light, fun, humorous, witty, and flowing. When talking about peak life experiences, remember to focus on positive experiences and avoid any negative discussion if at all possible.

Keep it real Keeping it real means being authentic. Warmth and authenticity in a conversation are very appealing. In order to achieve that, there has to be a balance between talking and listening. Talking also means selfdisclosure, and I'm not talking about bragging here. Self-disclosure is about talking about real things that are happening in your life. It means talking about your experiences and how you really felt in those situations. Listening is also an important skill, because the more a person feels heard, the more they drop their defences and their social mask. Although you want to engage people in authentic discussions, you still have to keep it light. In a casual social setting, I would not bring up the topic of death or taxes, but I might get you talking about your lifes most embarrassing moment, or the most exciting or adventurous thing you have ever done, or the time you played spin the bottle in the

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sixth grade and the first kiss you ever shared with that person that you had a crush on in high school. And I would do it in a way that made you feel comfortable enough with me to reveal a scandalous secret that youve been keeping, because you would feel that I am non-judgemental and genuinely interested in what you are telling me. You would probably start by shyly saying, I cant believe Im telling you this, but. And we would all have a great giggle together as others, including myself, divulge our little secrets too. Be a great conversationalist and get people off the boring path of scripted conversations. As you are learning to master this skill, you will invariably go too far and unintentionally insult, offend, or demean someone. If that is the case, a sincere, but not profuse, apology is usually enough. Then soldier on. People are usually so thankful for a good conversation that they will forgive some faux-pas. Remember, if you want to be interesting, be interested. Be interested: in life, in what you are talking about, in what the other person is saying. Now that you delight your entourage, and are skilled at making great impressions with new acquaintances, you are ready for the next step.

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PRINCIPLE 7: CONNECT

Principle 7: Connect
At the end of an evening, if you havent said a word to anyone, have not made any real connection with others, and you then ask someone for their contact information, they will most likely turn you down or find you weird. You have not given them any reason to WANT to know you better and reconnect with you. You need to delight someone (principle 6) in order to make them want to see you again.

Create connection Use your body language & eye contact In order to connect to someone, you need to be present in the conversation. You can do that by using body language and eye contact to show that you are really tuned in to the other person and are validating what they are saying. Be warm and authentic, but remember what you have learned about being a great conversationalist: Spice up your conversation with some witty talk.

Even if I am addressing an audience of several hundred people (which I am often required to do as part of my job), I make sure I make eyecontact with almost everyone there so that they all feel like I am talking directly to them individually. In fact, I often get this feedback
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when I address an audience, it felt like you were talking to me, like we were alone in the room. By doing this, you can create a connection and intimacy even if you are in the middle of a crowded room. In order to connect to someone, you need to draw them out of their shell. To do this, you also need to step out of your shell and be fully present in the interaction: Dont be guarded or defensive or selfconscious. If you are inside your mind worried about whether or not they like you, you are not being present. The more inside your mind you are, the less present you are in the conversation. If you do not step out of your shell, preferring to play a persona instead, people will walk away from the interaction feeling like you have something to hide. So be authentic and genuine in your interaction. Show your real self the best parts of it anyways (principle 2). Be that little kid you used to be and try not to fall into your professional role (principle 6). By doing so, you connect with people on a much more sincere level and encourage them to step out of their shell too.

Dialogue, dont monologue We can also create connection verbally by learning to dialogue rather than monologue. When you monologue, you are so interested in blurting out these brilliant ideas that pop into your head that you are preparing your next sentence rather than listening to what the other person is really saying. That is not being present. Engaging in a true dialogue means knowing when to saying nothing, and listening in a way that encourages the other person to truly express themselves.

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Me too! Have you ever noticed that when someone relates an anecdote, most people jump in by saying that happened to me too! and then relating their story? When this happens, the two are engaged in mutual monologue; each one is so obsessed in telling their story that they are no longer listening to the others story. Heres a typically example: Oh my god! I got a flat on my way to work this morning. Yeah, that happened to me too last year. It sucked. I got my hands dirty and it was freezing outside and ... The person who started the dialogue feels cut off, not listened to, and invalidated. They feel like the conversation has just been hi-jacked. Instead of saying me too it is more gracious to say Wow, so what was that like for you? what happened next? what did you do? Another conversational blunder is when we tell people what they should do and how they should be feeling. Example: My boss is such a jerk. Well, I was in a similar situation. You know what you should do The person is likely to be thinking, dont tell me what I should do, just listen to me and stop talking about yourself, you selfish boor!

Feelings first, Facts second Focus on the other persons experience and get them to relate the emotional salience of the story. Feelings first, Facts second. The important part of the story is the emotions that the person felt, not the facts. As soon as you engage someone in a fact finding mission, the story becomes boring and you quickly lose any kind of feeling of connection with the other person. That is a great technique if you are looking to get rid of someone that you are not at all interested in. But if you want to create connection, you need to get comfortable talking

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about feelings. Notice the next time you are in conversation with someone how you feel as soon as they ask you factual or detail oriented questions. Yeah, so this crazy thing happened to me today Where were you? What time was it? What were you wearing?... Would you SHUT UP and let me get to my story!

Always get the digits Most importantly, connecting also means that every interaction should end with each of you wanting to get to know each other better, and the best way to do that is to exchange contact information. This is, after all, your primary objective for networking. It serves no purpose to meet all of these wonderful new potential friends, have brilliant conversations, and then have no way to get in touch with them later on.

If you are in a business-networking situation, exchanging business cards is ok. But if you are in a social networking situation, better to punch that persons phone number into your mobile phone, or scribble down their e-mail address on the back of a napkin. Just make sure to copy the information somewhere more reliable as soon as you get home. And I speak from personal experience when urge you to back

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up your mobile phone address book somewhere. I recently lost my mobile phone (along with a thousand or so phone numbers) passing through airport security. It was a disaster for my social life. People kept calling me to go out but would not leave their phone number, assuming that I already had it. So if youve given me your phone number in the past year, send it back to me especially if you are a single and attractive woman. People always ask me what technique I use for getting phone numbers. The answer is very simple: I dont use a technique. I just simply make sure that I had a delightful conversation (principle 6) with the person, have made them want to keep in touch, then I simply say: It was great to meet you. Id like to keep in touch. When it comes from a genuine, sincere, and non-needy place, people are usually delighted to give me their contact information. Keep notes without being creepy A little tip that you will find useful is to scribble down notes on who you met on your evening out and through which friends you met them. That way, the next time you are invited to a function within that social circle, check your notes to see who is part of that group. People will be so impressed when they see you again and you remember their names and some personal information about them. Well, they could either be impressed or get creeped out that you are a potential stalker. You could use this same technique very usefully for business networking or just remembering whos who in your in-laws: your brothers wifes cousins wifes sisters name the cute one you met at the wedding last summer. Once you get good at connecting and exchanging contact information, you are now ready for the next step.

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PRINCIPLE 8: FOLLOW-UP

Principle 8: Follow-Up
People have notoriously short attention spans. ou need to follow-up with anyone with whom you have exchanged contact information within 1 week, at the very latest. Beyond that, they may not remember who you are and will wonder why you are calling them.

Dont stalk & Dont get stale People often wonder how long they should wait before contacting someone they have just met. You dont want to come across as needy or creepy, but if you wait too long, there is a chance that the other person will not remember you, or worse, that their initial attraction has already waned and cooled off and you need to reignite that initial connection you both felt. As a general rule, following up the same day is creepy (unless this person is your friends cousin from Greece and is likely to be leaving town the next day). Following up more than a week later, and you have staled out. Generally, I will try to reconnect with someone the very next day I meet them. Just a quick e-mail, phone message, or text message that says: Hey, it was really great to meet you yesterday. Youre not too shabby. We should keep in touch. I would love to continue our conversation about the mate selection strategies of the 3-toed sloth in Madagascar. You can give me a call at (insert your number/ e-mail address.) Bye.

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Your follow up should just be a quick note or voice message to let them know that it was fun meeting them. If they also had a good time talking to you, they will be genuinely happy to get a message from you. And even though you exchanged phone numbers and contact information, they may have lost it. At this stage, your follow-up should not necessarily include an invitation to see each other again, UNLESS you had such great chemistry together, that you saw your unborn children in this persons eyes, all time seemed to melt around you in a Dali-esque scene, and the world stopped turning and all this was not caused by someone replacing the wild mushrooms in your soup with magic mushrooms. If your chemistry is that intense and instantaneous, then you are one of the truly fortunate people on this planet who have met their soulmate and you should stop reading this book immediately, quit your job, and set off on an adventure around the world with this person living on nothing more than love, honey, and wild locust. You have either found true love, or you are a potential stalker and need to find out first if the other person felt the same chemistry. For the rest of you, this stage is just a chance to let the people you have met know that you thought they were interesting and would like to get to know them better because they would make interesting potential friends. Keep the conversation brief (less than 5 minutes), light hearted, and fun. You can even mention a few of the more interesting conversational threads from the night before as a way to remind that person how much fun it was talking to you.

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People are fickle Peoples perceptions and interactions are very much affected by their mood in the present moment. So dont be surprised if, once the alcohol vapours of the 4 cosmopolitans they drank last night have evaporated, their response to you is not as warm and fuzzy as it had been the night before. Such is the hazard of social networking. Dont take it personally.

Change their mood, not their mind Sometimes, someone will be overwhelmingly friendly one night, and then cold and dismissive the next day with nothing to explain their apparent change in attitude other than the fact that 24 hours have gone by. In these cases, ask yourself if you may have a Jekyll and Hydelike tendency to black out and may have done something egregious like grab their bum. If your conscience is clear, you can use the follow-up call/e-mail/ message to rekindle some of the complicity of the night before. Once you get them back into the positive mood of the night before, often times, their attitudes towards you will change too. As the saying goes, change their mood, not their mind.

Know when to say when If that person continues to be dismissive, does not respond to 2 phone calls or 2 e-mail messages, let it go and move on. Continuing to try to follow-up with someone who is brushing you off will make you feel

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lousy, reignite insecurities, and make you come across as a needy stalker. Remember, you are coming from a paradigm of abundance, not scarcity (principle 2). You are not so obsessed with this one person you have just met that you are willing to make them the center of your social life immediately. Even if you do not necessarily connect with this one person, it does not really matter because there are many more potential friends out there for you. You are embracing the paradigm of abundance. You should never let yourself get to a point in your life where you start to act like this one person is your last chance to make a new friend. Remember that abundance thinking means that you do not necessarily need them in your life. Anytime we start having difficulty letting go of a single bad interaction, become obsessed with that one person who wont return our phone calls, it is because we have fallen back into a paradigm of scarcity and have given this person too much importance in our lives. This is even more inappropriate if it is someone we have just met because there is no way that this person should have so much power over you so soon that they ruin your day. Once youve followed up, its time to cement the bonds of a new and budding friendship.

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PRINCIPLE 9: CONSOLIDATE

Principle 9: Consolidate
Consolidating a new friendship means cementing the initial bonds that drew you together in the first place. While a friendship is still budding, this consolidation process is even more important than for an acquaintance that youve known for years.

Consolidate within 2 weeks Within 2 weeks of first meeting someone new, you need to find or create an opportunity to see them again. Experience has taught me that beyond the 2-week timeframe, the window of opportunity to consolidate a new friendship starts to close, and if you do see that person again socially, your chemistry has staled out and it is like starting over from scratch. Sometimes, social networking is all very spontaneous and you could wind up having a great night out even though nothing was planned. A great night out for me sometimes means just planting seeds. I won't go out with the intention of going home with anyone (principle 3), but I will go home with a bunch of phone numbers and contact information for prospective new friends that I will follow up with that week. I'll schedule them in for drinks, a bite to eat, or outings on successive nights during the following week: Monday though Thursday. Ill save the weekends for making new friends and planting new seeds. You can also get into a habit of Saturday or Sunday morning brunch or dim-sum as a great way to consolidate new friendships. Don't get me wrong here: These are not necessarily dates and they may not even be exclusive one-on-one outings (although sometimes they can be). This is just a chance to make and consolidate new

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friendships, even if it's just with new guys or couples or other people that Im not romantically interested in that I've recently met. Whatever Im doing that week (out for drinks, a quick bite, brunch, etc) Im inviting some new friends that Ive recently met to join me in order to consolidate the friendship. I may even mix old and new friends together. But remember, dont assume an intimate level of friendship with someone youve only just met.

Respect social boundaries Give your social relationships a chance to mature slowly, becoming increasingly more intimate with each subsequent meeting. We all have different spheres of social intimacy. First is our public sphere where we play our professional roles. Second is our social sphere where we share our acquaintanceships. Third is our private sphere where we enjoy our relationships with family and friends. Fourth is our intimate sphere that we share with lovers and our closest and most cherished of friends. Fifth is our secret sphere, our innermost and most intimate sphere into which we rarely let people enter, and the one we rarely share with anyone, not even our closest friends or lovers. Remember that because these are new and budding friendships, people wont feel comfortable with anything that requires them to get too close too quick. They wont feel comfortable doing things that are usually reserved for more intimate friendships with someone they just met. Inviting them to share intimate things too early in the friendship may make you come across as needy and not having many friends. Initially, people wont feel comfortable doing anything for a consolidation meeting that requires them to go too far out of their way or to do something that monopolizes too much of their time to see you again. It has to be something light, quick, and fun. For example, on

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weekdays, it has to be something that you can do just after they finish work and preferably close to their work. Inviting someone that youve just met once to a 5-star restaurant is too much. Inviting someone youve just met for a weekend in Cabo to consolidate the friendship is a bit over the top. Likewise, inviting a new friend over to your place before you have had a chance to followup and consolidate the friendship is probably going to be seen as too close, too quick. Generally, the first consolidation meeting should be in a public place (coffee shop, bar, restaurant etc) and it should not last more than an hour or so. It can also help keep it light and low pressure if other friends are present. Otherwise, it is considered a date. A second meeting can be something a little more intimate like your place (as long as there are other people there) or a party with your friends. Inviting someone over to meet your parents right away is probably a little weird, unless your parents happen to be famous because they once got arrested for staging a nude rally to raise awareness of how clothing oppresses peoples right to choose a life of voluntary simplicity.

Expand your friendship contexts Most social relationships are context dependent. I have colleagues with whom I have worked for years, and though we get along great at work, I do not consider them as friends because we dont socialize outside the office. I also have acquaintances that I often see socially, and though Ive known them for years, I also dont really consider them as friends because we have never been to each others homes. Our relationships are context dependent and we do not see each other outside of those settings.

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Evolve your acquaintances into real friends As you see someone socially more often, look for opportunities to turn that relationship into a real friendship. In order to consolidate a relationship, especially a budding friendship, you have to create opportunities to see someone in different contexts. So, if I see a colleague at work daily, but we never go out socially together, we are not friends no matter how well we get along because as soon as I stop working there, the chances are that we will not continue to see each other anymore. If I see someone socially, but we have never been to each others homes or they have never met members of my family, we are also not really friends. Even though we like hanging out together, chances are that as soon as there are changes in our social lives (a new boyfriend or girlfriend for example), we will stop hanging out together. Some friendships are based on proximity: You have befriended each other because you live or work close to each other. Some friendships are based on shared interests or activities: You have befriended each other because you both have a passion for collecting Fijian centennial stamps. But these friendships dont last because they never transcend the single context in which they were born. For a friendship to become consolidated, you have to interact with the person in 3 or more contexts. The difference between professional or social acquaintances and a friend is that the friendship exists beyond the context in which you interact. A friendship is a more intimate relationship and a true friendship is not dependent on proximity or shared activities. It will survive if you change jobs or change cities or if you dont have any shared interests at all. When you are social networking and meeting lots of new people, it is important to consolidate new acquaintanceships as soon as possible because they are very fragile. You have followed up within the first few days that you met someone new with a quick but witty phone call,

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e-mail or text message (principle 8). Now its time to actually see those people again.

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PRINCIPLE 10: RECIPROCATE

Principle 10: Reciprocate


The social parasites There are few things in life as disappointing as someone who is a social parasite. OK. There are lots of things more disappointing, like: leprosy; finding out that the cute person you flirted shamelessly with last night is actually a hermaphrodite; finding out that ... well, you get the point. A social parasite is someone who does not return social favours and who is a social taker, not a giver. We all know people like this. They show up to potluck dinner parties without any food. They get invited to parties but never throw parties of their own and never return invitations. They have met and dated dozens of people through you but have never so much as introduced you to any of their single friends. They have been over to your place dozens of times, but come to think of it, they have never invited you to theirs and you are starting to wonder if they actually might be homeless or something. They rarely return calls or e-mails and just have a special thing that makes them elusive. And thats annoying. People dont like to feel like they are always the ones initiating social invitations. People like to receive invitations too! It makes them feel wanted, appreciated, special (not Special Olympics kind of special), and it lets them know that you like them. Not only is it important to be a social leader and initiate social events (principle 4), it is important to always reciprocate invitations and social favours. It shows people that your momma brought you up right and has taught you to be socially gracious.

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Some simple ways to reciprocate Once in a while, you will start to fall behind and wont be able to follow-up, consolidate friendships, or reciprocate all of the social favours you have received. When this happens, it is time to throw a party and merge your social circles together. Invite everyone you know. And you don't have to throw parties in order to do it. There are many ways to reciprocate: by organizing outings yourself, letting people know whats going on (cocktail parties, festivals, special events, etc), inviting people to parties (even if its not yours), bringing cool people to the parties you ARE invited to, and introducing people in different social networks to each other. For example, I will introduce single men in my network to women that I am not romantically interested in, (or introduce the women in my network to great single guys). They are ALWAYS appreciative and will often reciprocate by trying to introduce me to their single friends.

Invite people to parties that are not yours If you are inviting friends to a party that is not your own, remember: Nobody wants to show up to a party alone or walk into a room where they dont know anyone. When faced with this unappealing possibility, a lot of people (both men and women) will just end up backing out and skip the party altogether. When you are invited to a party, always ask the host if you can invite some interesting friends along. Usually, people are delighted at the opportunity to meet new and interesting friends. One word of caution though: You will be judged by the friends you bring to a party. So, if you are bringing people who are socially awkward or inappropriate (drink too much, hit on everyone, make

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people uncomfortable or are just plain creepy), people will assume that you are like that too and you will never again get invited by people in that social group. People love to get party invitations, but sometimes they are nervous about going to a party where they dont know anyone. This is especially true if you tell your friends to just meet you at the party, or are inviting friends from divergent social networks. What do you do?

Have a party before the party One fantastic solution that Ive found to this problem is to throw a party before the party or an outing. Typically, Ill call up some friends that I want to see again, and say, Theres a great party going on this weekend and I would love for you to come. Were meeting at my place for cocktails and a light bite to eat beforehand and then all heading out there together. The other advantage to the party before the party is that it guarantees that your guests will make it to the main event. Oftentimes, people will go out to dinner before a party and end up getting tired, distracted, or just plain run out of steam and end up going home early rather than show up to the party. This is especially true in hip cities like the one I live in where people usually show up to parties around midnight. Having a cocktail party with some light food before the main event ensures that all of their excuses are defused beforehand. Excuse: Response: I wont know anyone there No problem, were all meeting at my place beforehand so youll get a chance to meet all of the important people so we can all make a grand entrance together.

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Excuse: Response:

I dont know how to get there Dont worry. Were all leaving from my place and will be carpooling together. Leave your car at home, I make good martinis. I have to eat first, then well see if Im still up to it Everytin is irie, mon. I make one food! Translation: well be having a bite at my place beforehand, and Ive made my killer haggis (or insert favourite recipe here).

Excuse: Response:

Throw a party: merge social networks If you dont know of any good parties going on, its time to throw a party of your own. Its a great way to initiate and reciprocate social invitations. Most often, my parties tend to be an opportunity where I bring together many different circles of friends from my different interests and activities.

The reality of being such a good social networker is that you will eventually fall behind in follow-up (principle 8) and consolidation (principle 9) with all of these new friends you are meeting. Throwing a party lets you consolidate and reciprocate with a bunch of people

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simultaneously, rather than one at a time. There is also something about hosting people in your home that makes new friends feel like they are suddenly old friends. It makes them feel much closer to you because you have let them in to a more private sphere (see principle 9: social spheres). Throwing a party is also a great way to mix friends from different social circles. So, if you have friends from your pottery class, and other friends from your stamp-collecting club, and yet other friends from your volunteer work at the gay pets association, you can invite them all to your party and try to mix social circles. Sometimes, mixing networks at these parties can produce interesting results, especially if you invite your vegan friends from yoga class to a party with your friends from your investment and profit-making club.

Have a singles party When you do throw these parties, dont be afraid to let your guests know ahead of time that this will be a singles party. Everyone knows some great single friends that they are interested in introducing to other singles. These parties are a great way to consolidate, reciprocate and network all at the same time. Moreover, its a great way to bring together single friends and friends-of-friends to meet other singles. It doesnt mean that you should ban coupled friends from coming, but you can set a rule that they can only come if: a) They are accompanied by a single friend that they dont mind feeding to the wolves; b) They dont mind shamelessly flirting with singles that night; c) Their partner is not some kind of psycho jealous person; d) All of the above

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Keep the ratio up Whether you bringing friends to a party that you are invited to or throwing a party of your own, make sure you keep men:women ratio up. There is nothing worse than walking into a party with a bunch of new female friends, only to find out that there are only hungry single men there. This happened to me recently with disastrous consequences. I was at a baby shower/ brunch one morning and had also been invited to a party later that evening. So I seized the opportunity to invite many of the young, single women at the baby shower to join me at the party. Since they did not know anyone at the party, I first invited them to pre-party cocktails and a bite to eat at my place. About 12 attractive, single women (and 1 guy) showed up at my place and we had a great cocktail party. By 11:00 pm we were all having a grand old time and hopped into cabs to head to the main event. As soon as we walked in to the party, I sensed a looming disaster. Inside the room were about 50 guys and 2 women (ironically, these 2 women were also women that I had invited from another social circle, but they decided to join me directly at the party since they had earlier dinner plans). Thats about a 4:1 ratio of men to women! With shock and horror in their eyes, the women immediately turned to me and said I think were leaving. That was a polite way of telling me that they were less than impressed. In all, they stayed less than 5 minutes. I was furious at the guy who invited me and all the other guys at the party, and labelled them as social leeches. They were counting on me to provide single women at the party as if I was some kind of pimp. These women never again accepted my invitations, assuming that this was the sort of person I normally hang around with guys who dont have many female friends. And I never again accepted invitations from this guy or his social circle because they make me look bad in front of my guests.

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Women are generally uncomfortable when there is a disproportionate amount of men. A good party usually has slightly more women than men. If the men outnumber the women, the energy and atmosphere are more predatory and the women feel uncomfortable. If there are slightly more women than men, the atmosphere is generally more vibrant, gregarious, and fun. Women dance. They socialize with people better. And they are more tuned in to making sure everyone has fun, even if they are not the hosts. (OK. I know I am a little biased because I like women more than men, but the rule of men:women ratio holds true nonetheless.)

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CLOSING

Closing
So you see, there really is a use for all those people who once told you they "just want to be friends". Take them up on it. Turn them into friends and use them to expand your social network. Have a Really Interesting Life It is critical to have hobbies and interests in life. Be mindful to pick social hobbies, not ones that you practice alone in your basement. That alone can help you build your network of friends enormously. Be a Renaissance Person Open yourself up to learning new things and embrace the values of the renaissance person: elevate your life to an art form. Embark on a path of continual self-improvement in order to attract people that elevate you. Remember, once you start befriending people from certain walks of life, all of the people that they introduce you to will also come from similar backgrounds, share similar values, interests, levels of success and maturity. Be a Social Nexus Be the center of an ever-growing network of friends. Its important to constantly have a lot of friends around (both men and women) because it helps keep you in a paradigm of abundance (principle 2), it creates social value, and it keeps you from accepting less than fulfilling relationships. Plus, always being busy with social engagements means that youre busy and popular and that your time is very valuable. Thats very attractive. Nothing attracts people like a crowd. People are not going to be attracted to someone who tends to be a loner or who is desperate for just anyone to rescue them out of their boring life out of his parents' basement. People want to associate with someone with an exciting and fulfilling lifestyle.

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CLOSING

Being popular and busy also means that you constantly have to make choices about which social options you are going to entertain and which social networks you are going to invest your time in. That is very empowering. Ultimately, that is the value of social networking. To empower you to have choice in who you attract into your life. One woman described the feeling of being with me as "a celebration of life" because everything feels very intense when you operate on this level. And it's incredibly fulfilling. Now, go out and make every day a celebration of your own life.

Enjoy. Your friend, Doc

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