Over the course of my time as a rolling stone, I’ve had the unique opportunity to cruise the world, and meet hundreds of thousands of people. I would produce content for artists & musicians on the road. My tours ranged from high profile arena tours right down to stuffy college bars. It was always amazing. Point being, I met a shitload of people from all walks of life. And across the world, I’ve been able to attract amazing people into my life. Some bonds have been stronger than others. Some romantic. Some platonic. Some kinda soul-matey. You just have to be open to it.
All of these suggestions aim to open yourself up and help attract the right kind of people we all need in our lives. Through some experimenting, you’ll start to understand the value of surrounding yourself with quality relationships.
1. Go on an adventure with someone you don’t know. Some of the most rewarding experiences we can have are with strangers. Why? No judgements. No expectations. I promise, if you let yourself, you’ll enjoy a startling honesty when sharing with a brand new friend. And bets are if you’re geared up for a great adventure, you’re already like minded. You’ll probably have a few, if not several, “Damn…that feels good to say” moments.
2. Get in the habit of sincerely asking friends, family, and strangers, “How are you doing today?” You’ll find reward in asking. That simple question often touches a nerve because EVERYONE is going through something (positive, negative, or neutral). Life is a series of somethings we’re going through. Asking someone about their somethings might be the perfect ice breaker to a new and insanely wonderful personality in your life.
3. Remember we all have reasons for the way we are. Gosh, to have compassion. It’s priceless. It’s so easy to judge a book. There are a million reasons why “he is like that” and “she acts this way”. It’s okay not to further your bond with someone, but be forgiving. You do expect the same, correct? Simply understand that countless have been through shitty relationships, abandonments, loss of life, betrayals, freak accidents, etc. We all have our share of baggage which inevitably bleeds into conversations. Sometimes it dominates conversation. But, for the record, people who have grown from traumas are among the most resilient and qualified in bleeding love. Hands down.
4. Respect yourself enough to be present with others. Laugh at the things in front of you. Get mad if you’re mad. Respect yourself enough to cry when it hurts. Ask questions when you’re curious. Do your best not dwell. Enjoy your stories as they play out more than you’ll enjoy telling them. ”Carpe the diem”, as they say, or “Seize the carp.” Everything we feel is just part of this wacky ass emotional roller coaster we all live through called life. Mentally being there for it is one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself.
5. Listening is not the same as hearing. Listening is the most popular failure in personal (and professional) relationships. When someone actively listens to you and asks relevant questions about your life, are you wise enough to recognize it? If so, don’t you almost ALWAYS walk away with a sense of trust? Learn to enjoy richer conversation by really listening to someone.
6. Call on people when you need to. Everyone thinks we can handle our own shit. Wrong. That’s what we project. Whether its music, mom, or an awesome weekend with friends, it’s the outside influences that guide and encourage us through. People enjoy being needed when they have something to give you. Also, remember, there’s over 6 billion of us. In other words, you’re not the only person going through your problem. Plus, sharing the embarrassing and shit parts of life with friends and strangers will help forge some of your strongest bonds.
7. Put away your phone when in company. We’re all guilty, but seriously. Put that thing in your pocket, your purse, or leave it in the car. If you’re buried in Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, email, text, Skype, blah blah blah, people in company recognize themselves as a lower priority to you. Therefore, efforts to get to know you are already being sidelined. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you even shake a hand. Go to any gathering with the intention of giving your time. It is why you’re there, right? The energy you put in, more often then not, you’ll get right back.
8. Ask questions about anything you’re remotely interested in. The simple act of wearing curiosities on your sleeve will open yourself up to more than you think. When you start understand how enjoyable learning is, you’ll want to absorb faster than you can keep up with. And even if you don’t go “gung ho” into a hobby, the worst you did was learn a little and build a relationship. Also, most people are multi-talented so forging a bond here could be an “in” to something so much better in the future.
9. Practice hospitality by inviting people into your home. This will not apply to all, but many of us use our apartments, condos, and homes as caves. They are a safe haven. A place where we get to store all our privacy’s. Try, once, to host a dinner or a party. Shake it up a bit. Even if your apartment and kitchen are small and you have only one bathroom. It’s a good experiment to see what people take away from your hospitality. Think of this way, do you not want to be friends with someone who generously invites you into their comfortable home and cooks you dinner and offers you a drink? Life could be worse.
10. Let people watch you learn. Of course, there’s always some fear in letting people watch you “give it your best”. What if you fail? What if you embarrass yourself? You’ll quickly shed layers of ego by encouraging a bit of humility to take hold. As walls come down, friends come pouring in. Just the way it works. And you’ll attract quality people if you help others learn how to learn.
11. Travel the world. That’s a bonus one, but trust me.
When you’re tired of all this law of attraction crap, drink a beer and watch some episodes of Family Guy to normalize.
Feature image by Jenna Rosenfeld. follow her on Instagram.
Two men laughing from the short docu film Road’s End.
Banksy image from an article on This Is Colossal.