Yes New Friends: Why It's Important To Meet New People

by Samantha Lebbos

Okay, so get this, you step a foot outside of your door to run errands, go to a social event or go for a walk. Thoughts like, “I hope I don’t see anyone I know” or “please no one talk to me” run through that mind of yours.

Trust me, I know — the number of times I've said such things to myself is ridiculous. The last thing you want to do is converse with someone, specifically someone new, while you’re wearing something embarrassing. While out, you sense a conversation about to strike... what do you do? Naturally, you go out of your way to look busy when every one in this world knows you’re just texting your best friend about how your crush hasn’t responded within 30 seconds.

Why do we go out of our ways to avoid people? Do we think meeting new people is a waste of time? Or are we just lazy and think that meeting someone new really is a hassle?

Communication is the key to life. We have been told that many times. Take the past generations, like our parents, for example. They seem to take full advantage of that whole “communication” concept because they grew up talking face-to-face while Generation-Y grew up staring at screens. It’s 2014 and we still spend hours of our days sitting on Facebook, creeping on our exes while we text our friends and ponder about all of the things we want to say to certain people that we don’t have the guts to actually do in reality.

So, what’s the big deal with meeting new people? Even Drake lied when he rapped the song “No New Friends.” Nowadays, we are so caught up in our little circle of friends — our comfort zone. We love that they laugh at our jokes, that they understand our feelings and can read our minds. Most importantly, they know when we want to be alone (that’s necessary, right?). They just get us.

Holding a conversation with someone new means sucking up, flirting, agreeing with things that you don’t actually believe and being someone you think they want you to be — it is, as I said before, a hassle. It takes up so much energy, and at some point or another, it is exhausting. Maybe it’s that Generation-Y was raised in an introverted way, which may be why meeting new people is extremely difficult for us. Check out some reasons why:

- Introverts hate small talk — they roll their eyes every chance they can get. Maybe I sometimes converse with the wrong people, but I quit and get turned off when a conversation leads to a “k” response. If the other person doesn’t make an effort to hold a conversation, why the heck should I?

- Introverts can’t stand the fact that meeting new people may open up new doors and they hate the thought of exchanging ideas or contact information. Every awesome conversation leads to “Can I have your number? We should meet up sometime.” Feeling obligated, you hand over those digits when in the back of your mind, you know that you won’t text back.

- They think, “I am never going to see this person again,” (we’ve all thought this, don’t deny it) so they don’t care as much to impress new people as they do to try and impress the people with whom they already have a deep connections.

- Let’s face it, introverts have a tough time staying attentive. Someone could be telling a story and you probably only retained the first and last sentence.

- You could go out to parties to meet new people, but you lay down and doing nothing instead.

- If you had a dollar for every time you were told to “think outside of the box,” you would be able to pay rent for months.

Don’t let me bring you down if you relate to any of those points because there’s always a bright side to everything. Introverts are thoughtful and caring. They enjoy details and learning. Introverts are also great friends. Now, imagine if you mixed those positives with extroverted traits once in a while, especially in situations where you may meet new people:

- Be excited about little things that make you happy.

- Enjoy going out to social events.

- Find new things to do and learn about different people.

- It doesn’t hurt to invigorate your mind by taking action.

- Turn “I don’t have time for this” into “I want to know more about this person — he looks interesting.”

- Become diverse. It’s such a beautiful feeling after you have a great conversation with someone new. You'll feel accomplished.

Keep in mind that someone who can communicate and hold a great conversation is attractive. Good looks are a plus, but when you need someone to whom you can vent, eye candy alone won't do the trick.

If you like what someone else is wearing, tell him or her. Who cares? It could open up a whole new world of useful questions and answers and if, God forbid, you have a dreadful conversation, at least you took a chance and narrowed down what you like and don’t like about certain personality characteristics.

Everyone has a different preference about who they do or don’t want in their lives — but don’t look at meeting new people as a hassle. Don’t shut people out — who knows, you might even be a huge positive influence on someone else’s life as well.

Life is too short, so meet all the people you can meet, make the effort to go out and laugh. Most importantly, be yourself. Those who are meant to be in your life will make the time and effort to be in it. Remember, every “hello” leads to a smile — and a smile is worth a lot.

Photo credit: HBO/Entourage