Human beings like to form relationships. Well, most do. Those that don't we call anti-social or hermits or recluses. And we shun them. Which may be exactly what they want us to do.
But all of us run into a problem when we move to a new town or get a new job. We need to build new relationships, form new friendships, fit in to our new environment. We are, after all, social animals.
Since I have moved around a lot in my life. Mostly just avoiding that moment when the unruly crowd with the tar, feathers, and rail show up. I think I have become an expert of sorts on the subject.
I have determined there are 4 factors that we need to address when considering relationships:
1. How do you determine what people are the ones you want to form relationships with?
2. How do you meet those people?
3. What is the secret of being "popular"?
4. What should you do to "fit in"?
Number 1 is easy. And it ties in with factor number 2. The people you want to meet are people with like interests. For instance, if you like to bowl, go to the nearest bowling alley and chat with the people behind the counter. But only if they are your age. If you are, uh, "mature" and the person behind the counter has acne, various piercings, and purple hair then you might ask where the manager is. Chatting up the local punks will not lead to satisfying relationships. Ask about bowling leagues. Join one. If you play golf, check out the local golf courses, ask about leagues or groups. There will be more than one of these, try each of them out. Some group will have several people you will find you like. All will have several you can tolerate and a few you cannot stand. Only you can decide if the balance is in your favor.
Don't go to places that are not of interest to you. Atheists are seldom welcome at fundamentalist churches, for example. Strip clubs may seem like friendly places, and they are certainly popular, but I have rarely found lasting friendships in them.
Do not crash parties you see as you drive by. That may have worked in high school (and college) but there comes a time when it is not productive.
Do not be afraid to discuss politics, religion, or anything else. Controversial topics are often said to be taboo if you want to fit in. But if you feel strongly about certain things, you won't be happy with people who don't. You may get along with them because, well, it isn't hard to get along with those without passion. But you will be bored and they will not become close friends.
Factors 3 and 4 are inter-related. Being popular should never be a goal. You either are, or aren't. If people like you, it's because you are a good friend, you are honest without being cruel, and you tend not to drool much. But you really shouldn't try to change anything about yourself in order to fit in. Change only those things about yourself which annoy you. Like that drooling problem.
Nobody likes droolers.
Trust me on that one.
A Night Unremembered
2 years ago