Friday, January 24, 2014

On Making Friends in the Small Big City

 The Guide to Being an Adult in St. Louis Who Has Friends and Is Able to Make New Ones:
[Full disclaimer, all guiding points have been realized by author due to originally not following them.] 

1.  Not everyone needs to be invited to happy hour.  Invitations only result in entertaining, and the venue of choice is not paying for a second hostess.
2.  If you run into a casual acquaintance (and you will time and again,) never start a conversation with the line "I haven't been to this place in years."  It not only ages yourself, but it also diminishes the possibility of converting that person into a friend.  And the real fact of the matter is, you were there last month and pictures exist on Instagram to prove it.
3.  Have at least two secret best pals (remember, best friend is a tier, not a person).  These are people who you can have a very productive Wednesday power lunch with, but are probably not sitting at the same hungover Sunday brunch table.   In this day-in-age though, productivity is everything.
4.   RSVPing is the biggest factor in gaining trust from anyone.  Even when it's a "no."  So start doing that little thing.
5.  Reintroductions might be annoying, but many times they're necessary.  It's never a shame to acknowledge a past meet-and-greet, just do not turn that recollection into a shame on them.
6.  If you find youreself somewhere with no familiar face other than the people you walked in with there will be a natural inclination from your crew to leave.  If there's music on stay, and make yourself responsible for putting on a song everyone can dance to.  If there are no sound devices in close proximity though, by all means leave.
7.  Always assume you will have to be the first to say "hello."  You will either be saved from getting named dropped in petty dramatic conversation behind your back, or you will be pleasantly surprised when beat to the punch.
8.  It may not be a metropolis as big as NYC, but St. Louis has culture.  Go to concerts, restaurants, events and sporting games.  Life happens outside of your "usual spot."  Bring your usual friends though because they won't have plans either.
9.  This is a city divided by neighborhoods.  If you find yourself in one other than your own, phone a friend to grab a latte or glass of wine.  If you find yourself on the other end of that call, make sure you just go.  Everyone has 45 minutes some way, some how. 
10.  Read, listen, or both.  No one has ever benefitted from someone who was uninformed.

{Image Credit: Lark & Linen}

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