If you are shy, sometimes it’s hard making friends. I don’t know about you, but I was tired of sitting at home alone without anything to do but read a book or watch marathon shows. I mean, where was I supposed to go when I didn’t have anyone to go with? It’s time to stop the excuses and just go alone. Yes we are social creatures but who said we had to wait for someone else to want what we want before we do what we want to do?
I remember when I first started going to bars alone. I was so nervous! I felt pathetic because I thought that everyone would think I was a sad sight. The truth is that people really don’t think about you that much unless you make a memorable impression. Stop thinking about what someone is thinking of you. It is none of your business what another person thinks of you. You are the one who knows who you are and you are an amazing person.
When choosing to go to a bar alone, you always risk going on a night that is so dead that you can hear the wind howl. There is a strategy behind this process and integrating yourself into the social scene while going to the bar alone;
- Find out the busiest night to go and go early enough to talk to people before they are slurring at you. I believe that 8:30-9:00 ish works- depending on what city you live in.
- When you arrive, grab a beverage- don’t drink alcohol on the first round, you do not need to be drunk by the time you work up the nerve to talk to someone.
- With your drink, walk around the bar as if you are looking for your friend, feel free to fake text this invisible friend but DO NOT pull up FaceBook- it makes you look more nervous. Who goes to the bar to play on FB? What you are doing is looking at your available options without being obvious. The drink and phone are only something to help you with your nerves but don’t let it be something that keeps you from eye contact.
- Now that you have cased the location, go ahead and get your first drink- but keep it safe. No hard liquor. This is just the drink that should relax you a little bit.
- Put your phone away and do the walk through while smiling at everyone and say hello to anyone who makes eye contact with you no matter who she/he is. You want to look at everyone and see them- not avoid them. Every person should be special to you. Imagine that these are all people you know and care about. The whole purpose of this move is to set the tone. You want everyone to think that you are completely accessible. Remember, everyone is afraid of rejection of some kind. You want everyone to believe that you are the friendliest person to talk to so that they appreciate and remember you when you want to sit with them.
OK, so you smiled at everyone and made plenty of eye contact right? Take a deep breath–here comes the fun part. You have to join a group of women without hyperventilating on your long walk across the room. You need to join a group so that you can be seen socializing.
You will need to read body language signals so that you do not sit with the Dark Diva crowd from Hell- if you don’t know what I am talking about, let me explain:
There is a special group of women who think that they are so hot that everyone who tries to talk to them cannot resist the urge to mate with them. In their imagination, we all want to have sex with them and use them for their hotness. If they give us genuine smiles, we will have the uncontrollable urge to ask for sexual favors. They are bitter angry insecure Goddesses who have been treated like trophies most of their lives and they have a big rejection sign at their table. This is how you identify them:
- They sit in a circle with their backs facing everyone to keep people out.
- They do not interact unless as a unit- they go to the bathroom in a group, the bar, the smoking area…etc.
- If you smile at them, they either give a frozen polite smile back or quickly look away.
Whatever you do, do not sit at this table! If you do, they will politely tell you that they do not mind you sitting with them and then the conversation will painfully die until they feel the need to “go dancing” and leave you there so that they can find somewhere else to sit.
The best group to sit with is going to be the one that is doing the opposite of the Diva group. These people are turned away from each other slightly while talking to each other so that they can watch other people. They are ready to laugh and seem to smile a lot. That’s because these people came here to socialize. Most likely, they barely know each other and just happened to want to sit down at the same time.
To start the conversation, feel free to use your 5 questions as discussed in the last article Finding the Nerve: Moving Past Social Awkwardness.
If you try doing this once a week or every other week, your face will become familiar to the regular crowd. Remember, you want people to know who you are. This is how you develop social relationships. Soon enough, you will be asked to sit with other people when they see you. Don’t get too cozy and sit with the same people every time or you will sink into anonymity again. Move from table to table throughout the evening. If you have a special crowd that you really enjoy sitting with, leave for about 15 minutes and then come back. You are not wearing a glass slipper so don’t stare at the clock; just have a good time and remember that you are preparing yourself for the final step of making the move toward the right lady. This is not a rushed process, so take your time.