Skip to main content

The art of making friends

Due to a change of season in my life (check out Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) I'm in a position where it's important to make new friends.

Fact is, my phone isn't ringing, and few people invite me to do things. That's not a complaint, just a fact. So, it's important that I make an effort to build my base of friends, and fill my calendar with new things to do.

There is no shortcut to making friends, and it's not always an easy task. It is similar to finding a new job, or having a career in sales.

Here's a few tips from the master competitor on expanding your base of acquaintances:

  • If you see someone you want to meet, walk over and talk to them - immediately and at that moment. If you pause for a second, there's a big chance you'll talk yourself out of making that connection.
  • Just like sales, this process of making friends will take time. You'll be the recipient of several rejections and false starts, but that's the only way you'll get closer to finding those people who may be compatible as a new friend.
  • Be honest and open. Don't rehearse. Just thing of something interesting you would like to know about that person, and ask them.
  • Don't set any expectations. Just open the door by making the introduction, and see where it goes.
  • If there is a common interest, learn more about where that person goes, and if there is another group of his/her friends that also enjoy that common interest.
  • Don't talk about yourself. Present questions where the other person can tell you more about who they are. I always view the potential friend as more interesting than myself, someone I can learn things from.
  • Don't be too persistent or pushy. Let the conversation take a natural flow, and if that's not happening, conclude and move on.

Just this week, I had a conversation with someone who works out in the gym at the same time I do. It turns out he is building a commuter bike for school, and a great conversation about bicycles ensued. So, based on taking one opportunity to talk, I made a new friend.

I have realized that no one other than myself - and God - can change the environment in which I exist. And, I have also realized that my personality, beliefs, and traits will only be appealing to a select group of individuals. It's up to me to make the changes I desire. And to that end, I am moving forward.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…