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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Get out and meet new people
Hanging out in different places can increase chances of meeting like-minded people
 
Published Thursday, February 7, 2013 7:30 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

If you are single and ready to mingle and meet someone new, the first thing you must do is get out of the house and spend more time around other people.

National matchmaker Jasmine Diaz, CEO of the Shawn Mackenzi Agency, said one of the biggest mistakes singles make is they stay home too much.

“How can you expect to meet someone new if you don’t go out?” she said.

If your regular routine consists mostly of going to work, coming home and getting ready to go back to work the next day, it’s time to shake things up.

Consider your interests and think of places that are frequented by people with similar interests. If you are a Christian, consider attending a singles’ event hosted by a local church. If you are into fitness, join a gym. Enjoy photography? Sign up for a class. Volunteering is also another great way to meet new people.

Now that you’ve got somewhere to go, does the thought of approaching a stranger and striking up a conversation make you nervous? If so, you are not alone. But if you are not careful, your nervousness can come across as being creepy and scare people away.

Be mindful of what your body language is saying. If you are sitting in a corner away from the crowd, blankly staring into space with your arms crossed, your body language is saying, “Stay away from me!” And those around you likely will keep their distance. Invite others to start a conversation with you by smiling and appearing friendly and inviting. Make eye contact but don’t stare at people.

The gift of gab

If talking to strangers is totally out of your comfort zone, get some practice. Simply make an effort to say hello and speak to people you pass on the street. Next time you purchase something, engage in some small talk with the cashier. Just get into the habit of speaking to others.

When making an effort to meet new people, alleviate some of the stress by going to places or events that naturally serve as icebreakers and give you a reason to strike up a conversation. If you are at a sports bar watching a game, talk about which team you want to win. If you are at a fundraiser or volunteer event, ask how the other person got involved with the cause.

Sheryl Spangler, a certified relationship coach and owner of Heart and Soul Matchmaking, said many people are afraid to approach someone new because they have no clue what to say. “It’s very normal to feel that way,” she said. However, it is a problem that can be easily fixed. People love talking about themselves, so just have a few questions ready that will give them an opportunity to do so. Ask about their family. Did they grow up in Charlotte or are they new to the area? What brought them here? Work? What do they do?”

Comment on your immediate situation or shared environment. Say something like, “This place is crowded” or “I’m so glad it didn’t rain today.” Give them a compliment. Asking for assistance with something is another simple way to break the ice.

 When introducing yourself, don’t always go into full network mode, walking up offering your hand and giving your first and last name. Sometimes, it’s better to strike up a conversation naturally and save the introduction for the end. Simply say, “Oh, by the way I’m…” The other person will likely give you their name as well. When they do, remember it. It shows that you are interested and paying attention.

If it’s not likely that your paths will cross again, initiate a time when you can get together. Offer your card and request they give you a call if they would like to meet up for coffee or lunch. And don’t worry about rejection. Sure, there are some unfriendly folks out there who may not be interested in getting to know you, but don’t let that get in the way of meeting someone who is interested.

Comments

Yes,this is correct. I have been trying to get a friend of mine out of the house. I will be showing her this article. She wants to meet people, a nice gentleman but she will not leave the house unless it is going to church on Sunday. As for myself, I am a social butterfly.
Posted on February 7, 2013
 

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