Becoming a Social Butterfly

It fascinates me to see how we feel attracted towards people who are similar to us in some way. Then, throughout our lives we learn, grow and take different directions which will either grow our relationships stronger or slowly tear them apart.

Scientists call it the Social Butterfly Effect. We tend to gravitate around people with whom we share a passion, a hobby, a political view, a religion.

But what happens when our interests change? What happens if someone talks us into outdoor sports or we suddenly find a book that meets our heart and we finally discover the power of literature? What if our flat mate returns from Spain with lots of charcuterie and we start to wonder how we could have lived 19 years without serrano ham and chorizo?

Chorizo, El Pirata de Tapas (London)

Yes, I only discovered chorizo when I was 19. What a waste of years!

Whenever we discover a new interest, the doors to another social group (aka. friends) fly open. You know, you will start to be part of the people who enjoy reading in the park or become one of the people who can spend hours talking about food or, well, one of those people who don’t leave their home without a camera.

The same way that my relatively new interests lead me to new friends – these new friends may also introduce me to other new interests.

Which is why this months is all about meeting new people.

May Dare: Make new friends. Lots of them!

Amsterdam with the girls

Cheering for friendship, the end of a semester and the beginning of a perfect weekend in Amsterdam.

I don’t consider myself shy or introvert. Actually, put a glass of wine in my hand and put drop me in any social or networking event and I’ll assure you I won’t be alone for more than 5 minutes. I have no boundaries on company seniority, age, race or religion. I mean, I’ve been the sole women (and I’m pretty sure the only person under 40) attending a conference on financial investment opportunities in a very traditional muslim country (and even got an invitation to visit the country, he was going to take care of the visa). And I’ve joked about swiss german-ness with a swiss german millionaire (well, I hope he knew I was joking). There’s really little in chatting to random people that can still make me nervous.

The thing is, although I have been meeting plenty of people since my move to London, I haven’t really been meeting lots of people that are similar to me, people that would belong to one of those social groups I do. This city is so big – I find it difficult to find them!

Sailing in Tenerife, Spain

I bet this is not what you imaged when thinking of sailing in the Canary Islands, huh?

This was, until I realized they might as well be in the same places I am: taking sailing courses in the Canary Islands, sweating in the gym during lunch breaks, in the climbing centers all over the city, and even here – in the internet.

This month, I’m filling up my social calendar with brunches, drinks, park fitness and social climbing activities. I might even join a photographic city tour and a one or two day escape to the South of England (if english weather allows me to). I want to meet people alike. Learn, grow, inspire and be inspired. Who knows what will be my next discovery!

How do you meet people that share your interests in a new city?

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5 Responses to “Becoming a Social Butterfly”

  1. MeriMay 2, 2012 at 5:04 AM #

    sometimes it feels like a lot of work to meet new people, but it can be really worth it when they enrich your life! Great “dare”!

  2. EkuaMay 2, 2012 at 7:06 AM #

    I think it’s so easy to get lost in a concrete jungle. What helped me make a lot of friends when I first arrived in my city were volunteering, taking classes (dance classes in particular) and reconnecting with friends I’d fallen out of touch with. And after my last few years of traveling quite a bit, some of my newer good friends are people I met abroad who ended up moving to my city!

  3. ArianaMay 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM #

    I am a total introvert– very good in social situations, but exhausted afterward– and it takes a lot of effort for me to try to meet new people. But I really WANT to! I have been taking pottery classes, and it’s nice to be in a social environment, but working on something with my hands. I also plan to start in some kind of outdoor fitness program. British people seem very reserved and hard to get to know, to me, but I think that doing something physical helps everyone break through their personal barriers a bit, laughing at themselves and sharing a fun experience. So, that’s my plan of attack… Thanks for the added inspiration!

  4. ZhuMay 3, 2012 at 3:02 AM #

    You are right, with new interests come a new circle of friends! Of course, it’s always hard to make the first step and to find time for a new hobby but it is worth it in the end ;-)

  5. ChristineMay 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM #

    If you feel bad about 19 being the age you first discovered chorizo, don’t worry! It wasn’t until I was 22 that I first had it! And I applaud you for your dares–you’re an inspiration!

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