Humans are fully social creatures. Even when we were apes that couldn’t really communicate in a meaningful way, and our way of communication was throwing faeces at each other, we still chose to form communities of up-to 150 apes.
Now we go forward to 8 million years, and here we are still living in communities and societies. The most amazing thing is that it has been shown that the most meaningful connections that you can have can still only go up to 150 connections. Any more and we start losing track of who is doing what and it gets messy.
What can you do with this information?
Now that you know that your maximum potential is having 150 connections, how can you use it to improve your social life? Considering that the average number of friends that a human has been going down on average and now is 4 friends on average, we can slowly start expanding our social circle to 150 people.
No, I am not suggesting having 150 friends. Friends are sacred people that you feel safe with, and you feel happy with. You can have as little friends as you want, but in order to really improve your social life, you have gotta start building weak ties.
Weak ties is a term for connections with people with who you spoke with for more than 15 minutes and have exchanged some form of contact information.
That is it. If you spoke to a person for 15 minutes, you have only scratched the surface of what that person can tell you and what he can offer, but you and he have already made a subconscious decision whenever you would like to interact again. In those 15 minutes, you have connected and left an imprint in the mind that will link some type of events in their lives with this interaction.
That can seem meaningless and a waste of time, but as long as you get 150 weak ties, you are guaranteed to be one of the best socially versed people. Not only interacting with 150 people will train your body and mind on ways to better interact with people, but you will have an ability at any day of the week to call any of the 150 people and invite them to a dinner or to some event so that you can socialise. Is that not you end goal for improving your social life anyway?
Well, sure, I can try this. But how do I find 150 people?
This is probably one of the most important and difficult bits as we are right now more or less stuck at home, but it is still doable.
There are a bunch of ways that you can still connect with people over the internet and make it as meaningful as possible. The easiest thing is to have or to get a hobby that would make you interesting and out of the ordinary for others.
After that, go into LinkedIn or any website where you can find groups of like-minded people, start messaging them and ask to connect and get to know each other.
I know that this can be difficult and reaching out to people is not a fun exercise, but if you really would like to supercharge your ability to socialise, there’s no better way than to challenge your comfort zone.
If the work above seems to be too hard, there are special websites that create groups that get together and talk and discuss things on the topic. Before it used to be offline, now most of them are doing it online.
And guess what, if you were in the same zoom call talking about beekeeping for an hour straight, if you message them and ask to have a private call and discuss a topic close to beekeeping, they won’t say no. I promise. If they do message me and I will personally ask what the heck is wrong with them.
Either way, when it comes to social life, do not be afraid of starting first. Don’t be afraid to be rejected. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to be yourself. You will be surprised by how awesome you are.
Start now. Get perfect later.