Any ideas on how to make friends and manage relationships?
Any ideas on how to make friends and manage relationships?
I think it's all about being a good human being - good friends will magically appear in your life.
On the other hand in the "Wall Street" movie Gordon Gekko said: "If you need a friend, get a dog."
Certainly from a GTD point of view, there are recurring next actions on my lists, to touch base with different people regularly.
In the rush of everyday life, it can be difficult to keep track of who you haven't spoken to recently, so a list of the most important people in my life gets reviewed in my weekly review, along with everything else.
If they've got something particular going on in their lives, that goes on the list to follow up as well, because they appreciate you 'remembering' and showing an interest.
Any chance to get involved in your community so you could meet like minded people who want to make a difference such as Rotary? We have made some great lifelong friends through Rotary that we might not have if connected with without it. For example, one of our friends is a physician I work with on a regular basis (I work for a hospital) but I wouldn't have sought his friendship from just a work perspective.
I would definitly make it a GTD area of focus and make your actions some projects. I also really enjoy your posts and would welcome being a virtual friend. I realize it isn't the same...
I have a dog.
I am in a group - I'm secretary of the Australian Plants Society.
I'm just a very shy person. I find talking to others difficult in group situations, even social situations with people I know I find difficult and stressful and tend to talk less than normal which isn't very much.
I tend to shy away from invites unless it feels safe.
I think these two points above mean that people tend to either not find me interesting enough to be a friend or think that I'm not interested in being a friend.
And I don't find many people that I have things in common with so that makes it hard.
A checklist for catching up with friends is a good idea. I also need help with talking to people. I think of calling, but get put off because I can't think of what to say, I feel that if I call them I should carry the conversation and so get put off and think I'll call them later and then never call. Unfortunately I didn't learn social skills as a child.
I can relate, Suelin. One thing I have found helpful when I don't know what to say to someone is to ask a question. It's especially useful to ask open-ended questions, because they elicit longer answers. For example, I might be nervous talking to you on the phone or in person, so I might ask you, "How did your interest in plants develop over time such that you became the secretary of the Australian Plants Society?" That's not a yes/no question, so you'll probably have to talk for at least a couple of sentences to answer. This is partly selfish on my part. While you're answering, I will probably relax and be less nervous. And we'll be developing some rapport.
Anyway, I agree that making social relationships an area of focus with potential projects could be a very practical way to apply GTD.
Thanks for posting about this.
I like that questioning technique, I could brainstorm some questions ahead of the call or when we meet so I can feel more relaxed.
I have already found GTD helping quite a lot with meetings at work, having a prepared agenda list has been valuable, so I'm keen to apply the techniques in social situations.
Often I find work relationships easier to maintain because you have a purpose in getting together and you catchup more frequently, and you're all located close so getting together is easy.
My plant society only meets once a month, and I'm finding it harder to get the close bond. Need to improve discussion skills and also organise more social events I think.
As someone who was very shy for a very long time, I can relate. I actually created a plan for myself the summer I was sixteen. It involved three areas (general hellos on the street, talking to boys, talking to store clerks). I listed my goals and worked on them all summer. For example, I started by smiling and nodding to people as I walked by (this was at a summer resort where everyone says hello).
I wouldn't say that I'm most comfortable in crowds where I don't know anyone but I can now confidently give presentations at conferences and walk around the trade show. Asking open-ended questions is a great idea. Also, being a good listener will not only improve the chances that others find you interesting, but you'll constantly be on the lookout for that followup question or remark on what was said.
Bringing this back to GTD, go ahead and make some projects, next actions or even an area of focus. GTD provides the structure but you get to decide what kind of work you want to do.
I look at it as if I'm interviewing the person for an audience or an article, or some other mythical purpose. Often I find out wonderful things they wouldn't have volunteered about themselves, and it makes them more comfortable with me, too. And when I feel like I've run out of good questions (even if I've only asked a couple...), I'll say something like, "I've really enjoyed talking to you about this. I hope we can do it again sometime."... so that I'm the one deciding to end the conversation before it gets weird or uncomfortable.
Anecdotally, (and please don't take this as me patting myself on the back... I just want to share a success) I was at a luncheon where my table of 10 ladies was not, not, not talkative, so I just starting asking questions of ladies who were 2 or 3 seats away from me. In that way, the people in between were part of the conversation, too. After about 10 minutes of starting conversations around the table, they had all found something to talk about, and everyone was involved. Afterwards, one woman came up to me and said, "I have to know who you are and what you do! People are so drawn to you!" I had said nothing about myself, and I had only asked questions. And that made me interesting to that one woman. They were engaged because I facilitated it like a roundtable discussion... and it took me out of myself and my own insecurities.
Thanks for letting me share, and ramble a bit. I think you'll have great success moving forward, Suelin23!
What a brilliant example Dena, I love that!