Check the attitude... No one likes to be around a whiner. If you’re looking to increase your pool of pals, the very first thing to do is to take a rain check on your negative chat. Others won’t want to be around you for long if you burst their balloon of enthusiasm. If you want to make lasting relationships, begin by ditching your whining.
Bring ideas... When you are building friendships, email new friends with fun things to do. This will help establish you as someone who is contributing value instead of just tagging along.
Take photos... One of the great things about taking pictures is that it gives you an excuse to get in touch with people later. Everybody loves seeing photos of themselves and it’s very easy after taking a picture to say, ‘Are you on Facebook?’ Or, ‘Shall I email it to you?’
Book a table for one... If you don’t know anyone in Dubai, it can be tempting to order take-out and retreat back to your lonely apartment. Instead, try eating by yourself in public as often as possible. You might feel self-conscious, but it has an important benefit: you are much easier to approach when you are alone. Bring your laptop (loads of places have free Wi-Fi), or – even better – an interesting book, which will give people an excuse to start a conversation if they’ve read it, too.
Never say no... In the beginning, never turn down a genuinely hospitable invitation from someone (your safety comes first, of course), even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally do. You will experience new activities and could potentially meet a great bunch of people. As time moves on, remember to ‘pay it forward’ by inviting people in return, which shows you value your friendships.
Be confident... Confidence is essential when meeting new people and fitting into a new community. When someone meets you for the first time, remember that your confident, warm attitude will make the other person feel at ease. This is how they will remember you afterwards. Your physiology is important: shoulders relaxed, head up, smile with your eyes as well as a genuine wide-mouthed smile and take long, controlled breaths allowing your voice and poise to carry confidently and with ease.
Put yourself out... People rarely ask for help these days, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it. Whether it’s with an assignment, to change a light bulb, to give someone a lift somewhere, or to carry their luggage, being helpful and identifying others’ needs is a tremendous quality to have and practise. Volunteering, raising funds for charity, giving donations, and other selfless acts of kindness, always have a ripple effect
of bringing people together.
Go with it... Being too picky about who you talk to is a common trap. To be judgemental will only do an injustice to yourself as people will pick up on it and actively avoid you. Open your mind and see beyond what your eyes see of people – you may be surprised.
Get your chat on... It’s all very well joining a gym, networking group, or other gathering, but if you don’t talk you’re wasting your time. Not every conversation will lead to a best friend, or your soul mate, but what harm can it do to strike up a conversation? If you become known as the person who never speaks, don’t expect people to approach you as they will assume that you don’t want to be part of their circle.
Carolyn Coe is an author and the creator of The Skyrocket Sessions – a series of powerful tutorials, which coach people for self-propelled success. For details of the sessions, visit www.icanskyrocket.com, or call Carolyn on 056-7340585.