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  1. #31
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    I get value from socializing, especially if I've helped someone.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Survive & Stay Free View Post
    Parties are great though, its great to entertain, I dont know why people dont appreciate it more or think of it as one of the pinnacles or great experiences life has to offer.

    You hear about people entertaining to mark occasions or network or as a reflection of group or society politics but I think its enough to simply celebrate another day of living
    Depends on what people mean by 'party' as generally speaking the nature of where I live is that 'party' means loud obnoxious sounds with people whose only agenda is pure sex without connection at all costs and (if possible) getting as drunk as possible and looking for a fight.

    Occasionally there might be dancing though, but usually not. And a lot of these people are highly outgoing yet about as interesting as talking about the weather (and only the weather in the most limited way possible) with random bus stop strangers......actually I take that back: it's worse than that.

    And many of them do it every night if they can afford it. I understand the short term pleasure in it but I've been to such parties many times and I've tried very hard to make it work, but no luck so far. There's no one to talk to (good luck hearing anyone as well) and the whole environment just induces a headache in me.

    I realise there are other kinds of parties and I've been to them, but the vast majority are like the above around these parts.

    They come across as a desperate, existential need to be noticed or fulfilled every..... damn....second. With each person trying to outdo the other in self-aggrandisement but with the most off-putting displays.
    I guess this has made me very wary and bitter as I recognise that this is a perfectly legitimate way to let loose, but it's so prevalent round here that you would be hard pressed to find anything else as a way to socialise with others. Although, most of them have the personality of dry wallpaper when you do get them into a sober conversation, so maybe it's for the best, and that's coming from someone as boring as me.

    It's all just so excessive, piling sensory indulgence on top of yet more indulgence....to what end? Racing towards a final conclusion of pleasurable explosion maybe? I suppose it's a suitable aspect of human nature to pursue it at all costs (both to yourself and others) destroying as much as you can on the way as you flail about, looking for purpose.

    But to me it's a dead end; no growth, no future & no fulfillment.
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  3. #33
    Scary old man OldFolksBoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YUI View Post
    Okay, I'll post it in this thread either tonight or tomorrow.
    Disclaimers
    --This is a small-talk system that I use. I culled it from a few self-help books and it has helped me considerably. I'm not claiming that it's the best system ever, or that it should be used by everyone. I'm just putting it out there in case anyone might feel they need help bolstering their small talk skills. But if forum members are already satisfied with their existing small talk skills, then they should continue doing whatever is working for them and ignore my advice.

    --Also, whole self-help books have been written on the subject of how to do small talk, socialize, and mingle. So I won't get into a lot of background or explanations of why the experts prefer one way of doing things over another; the post will run too long. I'll just lay out a bunch of tips with little or no background, and readers can pick and choose whatever they think might work for them.

    Philosophy
    --Experts say that you want to aim for a listen/talk ratio of 65/35 or even 75/25 over the long-term. But of course when you're first meeting and greeting a new person, you may have to work a bit to draw out the other person. As for me, I'm prepared to aim for a listen/talk ratio of 50/50 initially, at least till I see how talkative the other person is.

    --How do you draw out the other person, especially if the other person is shy or reticent? The simplest way is to volunteer a piece of information and then follow up by asking for the same information from them in return. Volunteering info is a way of modeling the kind of behavior you want to see from them, and it justifies your asking for the same info back from them.

    --As for the advisability of asking a lot of questions: Some people who aren't good at small talk will say that they don't like to ask a lot of questions--it seems intrusive. So instead they try to babble on about themselves or current events and hope the other person will get the hint and reciprocate. But the experts say that asking questions is good: It shows interest in the other person, and it gives the sense of a more substantive discussion--one resulting in some genuine exchange of info.

    Components of a small-talk template

    Biographical outline: Main headings of personal things to be discussed: Work, family, recreation, interests, current events, friendships, etc. For meeting new people, the Bio outline can be pretty abbreviated and simple. For chatting with people you see regularly, on the other hand, the outline can be pretty long and detailed; you can even keep it on paper and make notes about the people you socialize with; salespeople do this with clients. People get a thrill when you demonstrate that you remember details of old discussions.

    In my case, I meet with an older crowd and aspire to come across as a reasonably friendly, chatty old man with no particular agenda. So at least initially, I stick to basic stuff: Name, residence, work, family, recreation. If I were a college student meeting other college students, then I would probably start the Bio outline with some information exchange about college background: Majors, classes, etc. You get the idea.

    Personal info: This is your half of the conversation: It consists of info you provide about yourself using the Bio outline as a guide. Write it all out and memorize it. This info is totally under your control, so you can prep it and automate it, and have it right at your fingertips as you chatter away.

    Questions and follow-up questions: Once you have provided a piece of info about yourself, plan on asking for the same info in return. And then plan for 1-2 follow-up questions, depending on what info the other person provides. Follow-up questions should be along the "how so" model: "Oh yeah? How does that work?" In other words, prompts for an explanation.

    Fillers and anecdotes: It's important to vary things up a bit and maybe have a little anecdote to tell about yourself in each of the main headings of the Bio outline. Again, these can be prepped in advance. They're helpful for filling in the gaps if the other person just isn't very talkative. Or, if the other person is talkative, then fillers and anecdotes allow you to chatter back.

    Talking points for any touchy subjects: Personal stuff is going to come up: Marital status, divorces, availability to see other people, etc. Don't hem and haw when awkward subjects come up. Decide beforehand exactly what info you want to give, and prep your talking points.

    Pleasantries/opening line: I saved this for last because it's a separate topic all by itself, and a good lead-in to the finalized small-talk template. Anyway, people make a big deal about the opening line when meeting new acquaintances, especially when it's someone of the opposite sex or some situation like a salesperson approaching a possible client in a showroom. A lot can be said about the opening line. But for me, in my persona of a chatty older guy, I just stick to a simple default: Be as mundane and banal as possible (a comment on the weather, for example), and focus on being confident, natural, and easy-going.

    I go with mundane and banal, because too strong an intro can be creepy or intrusive. When I stick to the basics, I'm playing it safe and putting people at their ease. Deliver it with confidence and naturalness, and people won't have any objection to engaging with me. Banal intros include:

    --At a meet-and-greet social event or in the workplace, you really don't need any tricks. Most times you can just walk up, stick out your hand, and say, "I don't believe we've met. Hi, my name is YUI."

    --Engaging with a service person behind a desk or a waiter taking your order: Just ask, "Having a busy day? Seems like you have a pretty good crowd here."

    --Engaging with total strangers at a bus stop or in a doctor's waiting room, etc.: You don't even have to look at the other person initially. Just say loudly as though to the room in general, "Another cold day outside," and then look at the other person for some kind of acknowledgement. Even if they just look up and nod, you have your intro; just follow up with some little filler about how icy the roads were coming in, and then pick up the conversation as below.

    Exchange of names: This can occur either immediately after the Pleasantries/Opening line, or after discussion of one item from the Bio outline. But try to exchange names pretty early along. It's embarrassing to chat for 20 minutes with someone and then walk away realizing that you never got the guy's name. Also, once you get the guy's name, shake hands with the person (if appropriate) and repeat the name aloud at least once: "Glad to meet you, Bill." Because it's even more embarrassing to get someone's name and then immediately forget it. Saying it aloud will help you remember.

    Sample small talk template (names and info altered to protect my anonymity)

    Pleasantries/Opening line (pick one)

    --Weather: "Cold one today." Or "It's been a mild winter so far."
    --Public venue: Came from work? How was trip here? Traffic?
    --Appearance: Comment about clothes, jewelry, carry-along items, shoes
    --Surroundings: Comment about things prominently exhibited, artwork, decorations, theme (color, subject)

    Exchange of names and Residence

    --(Personal Info) My name is YUI, I live here in Springfield
    --(Questions) What's your name? Do you live here in Springfield too?
    --(Follow-up question) How long have you lived here? You're from here originally?

    Work

    --(Personal Info) I’m a fairly recent arrival here, actually. I've been here about six years. I used to work in New York. I was a programmer with a financial organization.
    --(Questions) How about you, what do you do for a living?
    --(Follow-up question) How long have you been at your job/in your career?
    --(Follow-up question) Why did you choose that field/job?
    --(Filler/anecdote about self) I knew that I had a knack for coding back in school and then in the military.
    --(Filler/anecdote about self) In New York, the work itself was basically pretty boring, but I was at the center of a big financial hub, and it was fun to get the insider view on that.

    Family

    --(Personal Info) I took early retirement and moved up here to be near family.
    --(Questions) Do you have family up here?
    Wife and kids
    --Married? (Follow-up: How long married?)
    --Kids? (Follow-up: How old are they?)
    --(Follow-up: Ask about any adult kids: What do they do, are they married?
    --(Filler/anecdote about self) Two marriages & divorces. Have a girlfriend. Never had kids. Just never wanted kids. I grew up in a big family with lots of crying babies and dirty diapers, and I got my fill of it back then.
    Parents and siblings
    --(Questions) How often do you talk to your parents?
    --(Questions) Which family member are you closest to? (Follow-up: What does she/he do? Is she/he married?)
    --(Filler/anecdote about self) Parents are old and I moved up here to be available in case they need help. But I don't actually see them much from one week to the next. I did the "dutiful son" thing for 3 yrs and visited 2-3 times a week, But the visits were putting me to sleep. Also, basically they're shut-in wackos without a life of their own, so they pry and then take over everyone else's lives. They need to get down to the Senior Center and socialize and get a life of their own. Anyway, I tell them I'm available for emergencies and I check in on them once in a while. But it's good to keep a little distance there.

    ********************************
    And so on. You get the idea. Each succeeding section gets a big longer, and you're prepared to reveal more about yourself. The next section would be Recreation, and it would be the longest yet in terms of filler and personal info: Working out, more about the girlfriend, hobbies, etc.

    You'll notice that a tremendous amount of info is actually being exchanged. But that's the benefit of preparing your small talk ahead of time and memorizing it. You can pick and choose what info you want to exchange and be quite efficient in doing it.

    Also, think hard about what info you want to present about yourself. You want to provide a real window into what's going on in your life. The more you reveal, the more you learn in return. You may also want to get some info about yourself out pretty quickly: You have a girlfriend, you're unattached, you're busy and don't have much time for a personal life, or you have lots of time available and wish you had more of a personal life, etc. Make the small talk work for you.

    If you're at a party, do small talk with an acquaintance for 10-15 minutes max, then move on. Don't be bashful about it, just say, "I've enjoyed talking to you and want to hear more about your job another time, but there are a lot of new people here and I need to circulate a bit more and talk to some other people for a bit."

    Finally, when you and your new acquaintance go your separate way, say his name one more time: "Good talking with you, Bill." If it turns out that you can't remember his name or that you never got his name in the first place, this is the best time to work that out--"I'm sorry, but I didn't quite catch your name the first time. It was ....?" And then as soon as Bill is out of sight, break out a pen and paper and jot down some notes about Bill against the next time you see him, so that you don't have to start all over from scratch due to forgetfulness. This is especially important at a party, where you might meet lots of new people in a single evening. Be productive: Take notes.

    And that's about it. By the way, the filler stuff about me up above is all fake. For example, I wasn't a programmer and didn't work in New York, I don't live in Springfield, and so on.
    Doin' the old folks boogie
    And boogie we will
    'Cause to us the thought's as good as a thrill
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4y4asj3sjM
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  4. #34
    Scary old man OldFolksBoogie's Avatar
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    In my previous post, I provided a short Bio outline. Here's a long Bio outline for when you see people a lot and just need new ideas for what to discuss with them:

    Pleasantries
    --Weather: Hot one today. Cool summer.
    --Public venue: Came from work? How was trip here? Traffic?
    --Appearance: Comment about clothes, jewelry, carry-along items, shoes
    --Surroundings: Comment about things prominently exhibited, artwork, decorations, theme (color, subject)

    *****************
    Name & Residence
    --What's your name?
    --Do you live here in X?
    --How long have you lived here? (from here originally?)

    Additional questions about Name:
    --Name (alternate form of name, ethnicity)
    --Age, birthday, horoscope

    Additional questions about Residence:
    --Address, neighborhood
    --Kind of apt/house
    --Seeing effects of economic slowdown/improvement (housing sales)
    --What is your favorite city that you lived in?

    Work:
    --How long have you been at your job/in your career?
    --Why did you choose that field/job? (Follow-Up: How so?)

    Additional questions about Work:
    --What do you like most about your job? What's the most fascinating thing about your job?
    --Any interesting projects in the pipeline?
    --Do you love what you do for a living, or do you work to pay the bills?
    --What are your plans for the future?
    --Work downtown/outdoors?
    --Seeing effects of economic slowdown/improvement?
    --Co-workers
    --Type of boss (techie? good leader?)
    --Work goals, training done, trade publications followed

    Family:
    --Do you have family up here?
    Wife & kids
    --Married? (FU: How long married?)
    --Kids? (FU: How old are they?)
    Parents & siblings
    --Which family member are you closest to? (FU: Oh, what does she/he do? Is she/he married?)
    --How often do you talk to your parents?

    Additional questions about Wife & Kids:
    --How is the parenting going?
    --Bring up current event in the news and ask: How responsible is a parent for their children's misbehavior, say bullying?
    --Are you into tough love or indulgence?
    --Parenting experts: Why do they do it that way? How did they used to do it? What do experts in this field argue about and why?
    --Bring up current event in the news and ask: How responsible is a parent for their children's misbehavior, say bullying? Were you have bullied? Are you into tough love or indulgence?
    --Have you had committed relationships before? For how long? How did those significant relationships end?
    Additional questions about Parents & siblings:
    --What's your father like?
    --What did you like to do with your father as a kid?
    --Was your father domineering, critical, aggressive, use corporal punishment, inspire fear, respect, present at children's school events, a good model for parenting? (parent-child roles)
    --How did your parents resolve conflict? Did they communicate well or was there lots of yelling? Silence?
    --How did your mother and father split the parenting responsibilities? (parent-child roles)
    --How often do you talk to your parents? How often do you make time to visit them? How do you prioritize events happening in your family or extended family (happy to help, or consider their problems a burden)?
    --How did your parents resolve conflict? Did they communicate well or was there lots of yelling? Silence? Did they support each other or undermine each other or were competitive? When talking with you, were they supportive/critical/sarcastic in referring to the other?

    Recreation & Social
    --What do you like to do in your free time?
    --What did you do last weekend?

    Additional questions about Social:
    --Social groups, civic associations/memberships
    --Friends (FU: Oh, what does she/he do? Is she/he married?)
    --Do you have friends of the opposite sex?

    Additional questions about Entertainment:

    --What kind of entertainment (movies, TV, books, magazines) do you enjoy?
    --What's your favorite book/TV show/movie?
    --After a tough day at work, what's the first thing you like to do?

    Additional questions about Misc:
    --Sports, fitness, outdoor stuff
    --Hobbies
    --Pets
    --Type of car
    --Weekend plans
    --Upcoming vacations
    --What is your favorite vacation (beach or mountains)?
    --What is the best/first concert you ever went to?

    Interests/hard:
    --Current events, politics

    Food:
    --Diet: What do you eat, any special diets?
    --Good cook?
    --Gourmet tastes, favorite restaurant

    Religion:
    --Are you religious or spiritual or follow a code of conduct?
    --If you could change something in your life, what would it be?

    Finances
    --Retirement account?

    Future:
    --Goals in life?
    --Retirement plans?

    Background:
    --Where grew up, get back there much?
    --Favorite places to live
    --College

    Health:
    --Good health? Doctor?
    --Exercise, fitness?
    --Family genes?
    Doin' the old folks boogie
    And boogie we will
    'Cause to us the thought's as good as a thrill
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4y4asj3sjM
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  5. #35
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Laid.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    Laid.
    Like an egg.
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  7. #37
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    Small talk is important because through small talk we discover the immediate emotional feelings of our partner. Small talk takes us out of our defensive intellect, and we can find out how the other is feeling right now. Of course if we are so out of touch with our immediate feelings, we will have no interest in the immediate feelings of others.

  8. #38
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    It makes me feel welcome among my current company, and is a great way to take a short break from working even when you're not actually on a real break. I love socializing at work, and especially being silly with my coworkers. It makes being at work less "work" and more fun and enjoyable. When I'm not working, I spend most of my time socializing online while doing other things like watching stuff and generally resting. I don't see my non-work IRL friends that much since we all have differing schedules and the bff works nights while I work days. But I love going out to dinner with them and hanging out once in a while.

    So, basically, the tl;dr is that I like socializing because it's refreshing.
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  9. #39
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    Its an opportunity to recruit more unsuspecting people to become members of the forum so Highlander can make booze money from the Chinese intelligence.

  10. #40
    Vulnera Sanentur Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Small talk is important because through small talk we discover the immediate emotional feelings of our partner. Small talk takes us out of our defensive intellect, and we can find out how the other is feeling right now. Of course if we are so out of touch with our immediate feelings, we will have no interest in the immediate feelings of others.
    Absolutely right. And my feelings - immediate or otherwise - are none of anyone's business, especially not someone I have just met. There are plenty of other things to discuss, and if someone disagrees, then we probably have no need to be conversing.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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