Expand your social horizons with "social arenas"

During this ideal time for introspection that corresponds with winter and New Years, some of us may decide that we need to expand our social horizons. We may be single and feeling a little lonely and isolated. We may be in relationships and/or friendships that are no longer meeting our emotional needs. We may be raising children and/or working a lot and not getting out very often. The holiday blues may be a reminder that we have not been attending to our emotional needs effectively.

So what to do? Get out and interact with people that have the qualities you are looking for. They may be people you know or people that you have not met.

One of the most effective ways to do this is through creating what I call "social arenas." A social arena is a place where the type of people that you are looking to relate to hang out. I suggest a 3-step process to create social arenas: 1. Identify what elements you are looking for in people you want to relate to- (i.e. honesty, not self-centered, etc.). 2. Identify social arenas where people with those qualities hang out; 3. Attend these social arenas on a regular basis.

By attending the same arena regularly, you will get familiar with these people. And even more importantly- they will get familiar with you. Conversations start to develop naturally. You start to get invited to things. You start to become a part of the little community. You have opportunities for new relationships. Examples of social arenas include: coffee shops, restaurants, wine bars, churches, meetup groups, gyms, yoga classes, bookstores, hockey games, Tai Chi class, dance class, art class, First Friday Art Walk, art galleries, rodeos, museums, the symphony, jazz bars, college or continuing education class, walking your dog at a park, and the list goes on...

So in 2010, open yourself to interacting with some quality, compatible people. They are out there... just hoping to meet someone like you.

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