Do you get overwhelmed and feel that you nearly have social anxiety in group settings? ME TOO. I had so much trouble with it that I had to create a system and technique to help me navigate building relationships in a group setting. Now, I am able to thrive, and make friends and build great relationships while being in a crowd, and in this episode, I'm showing you how you can too!
Special thank you to this episode's sponsor: The Party Q's App, the FREE app that offers a HUGE variety of thought-provoking and conversation-starting questions to break the ice and get the party going. Party Q's is the ultimate wingman for your social life. Available on the App Store and Google Play, as well as a web version for you to play right now! Download Party Qs today - You will love it!
Remember, you're worth having and building relational wealth! The connection you’ve been looking for is on the way, and it all starts by being Accidentally Intentional.
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70% of people do not have a single person that they can call in the middle of a crisis. Let's face it, we are relationally broke. And my mission is to make that percentage zero. But how? By building relational wealth, the embodiment of all your relationships with yourself with others, and experiences that enrich your life. I promise you, this podcast will help you build wealth in every way that money cannot. And it all starts by being accidentally intentional. Let's begin. Hey, what's up, guys, and welcome back to another accidentally intentional podcast episode. Now, the genesis of this one feels a little bit personal to me. Because today, we are talking about one thing you can do to build genuine relationships in a group setting. And this might surprise some of you if you've been listening for a while, because it would probably be easy to assume that I'm extremely extroverted, and I just love talking to everyone all day long. I just get a emotional high off of it, etc. Well, that's actually not the case. I do enjoy talking to people, but I actually have extreme social anxiety. When it comes to group settings. So much so that whenever my husband and I are going somewhere, we're like mentally preparing. He's, I'm like, hey, I need you to be my wing. If I'm feeling closed off, I need you to push me to actually have a conversation with people. And it's, it's frustrating sometimes because I don't want to clam up, you know, like, I've been doing this for so long. I love building relationships. So why is it that a group setting makes me feel totally closed off. And I think part of it is because I get really overwhelmed, because in order to build meaningful relationships, you have to be able to lock in with people, and stay really focused and have a long conversation, which, when there's a group of people present, it's hard to do. So that's how I want to start this conversation is by talking about what to do, right when you walk in to a group setting. And my number one thing that I would say, is to actually start a conversation with one person, you don't need to pull them out of a group, sure how small talk with a group. But if you can get in a zone with one person, this is where you're going to actually be able to build deep roots when it comes to having a meaningful conversation. And you might already be listening. And you're saying, well, that's terrifying, because I am so awkward when I meet new people. True story, I asked a group of 20 people in a small group that I lead once, how many of you think you're awkward the first time you meet somebody, and every single hand went up, which leads me to believe we all think we are awkward when meeting new people. So it's actually not us. That's awkward. But the situation itself is awkward. And so when you're at a party, for instance, and you don't know a lot of people, the goal is to meet somebody who can be a connector and a bridge for you at that party. But we'll get into that a little bit later. But I wanted to squash any fears of being awkward, because even if it feels uncomfortable, and even if it feels awkward, that's normal, you're on the right track, it's your first time doing something in this specific setting. So if you're feeling that you should know that's your lead indicator. All right, I'm on the right track. So the number one thing you can do in the settings is quite honestly, to ask people questions. But that's not the whole story, right? Because you want to get into a rhythm of conversation with people. And by with people. Let me just clarify right now with one person specifically make it your aim when you go to a group setting that you are going to have one meaningful conversation with one person if it happens to be with more than one fabulous, but this is a great jumping off point in starting point there. So the goal is to ask questions that get people out of yes or no answers. Now you can start with yes or no questions, but be prepared to pull the thread as we podcasters love to use it our language and the way you do that is by intently listening but you can also have some questions in your back pocket at the ready. Now I say back pocket, which you might think I'm joking but no literally in college. When I started this I had cue cards that which are which were literally on note cards in my back pocket. In case I felt like I was running out of things to ask or I was getting nervous, I'd always have a card to refer to with some questions. But now I'm in the flow of it, and I understand how it works. And that's what I'm going to impart to you today. When you ask great questions, it leaves someone with that thought of Oh, my gosh, you won't believe I just had a great conversation with. That's the goal. If you can have one incredible conversation with somebody where they walk away, and they tell somebody else, you know what, I'm so glad I went to that social event, because I just had a great conversation with you. That's gonna be incredible. And that's going to feel super rewarding. And so how on earth do you get people to say more than yes or no? Well, let's first think about questions that you would love to be asked. Now, for some of us, that question might be how are you? But the question we don't actually want to be asked is, How are you? There's an intonation change. The question we actually want to be asked is, Hey, how are you really doing? I know, that's a lot of people's experiences, they just wish someone truly wanted to understand and see them. And an event like this could be the perfect opportunity, if you're running into someone that you haven't seen for a while. And of course, I'm gonna go over some questions and example questions that you can give someone to kind of jog your ideas for how this can work for you. So when I'm doing this with someone, my goal is to be genuinely curious, not fake, curious, because that will read is fake, but genuinely interested in the person in front of me. And I treat it as though I kind of want to do my homework on them. Not in like a creepy way, of course. But I want to be able to have a conversation with someone and be able to introduce them to someone else in the room by saying, Hey, this is my new friend, Leah, for example. And she currently does this at this place. But what she actually wants to do is this, her goal in the future is this, I think this is a great setup for conversation, because you find out what they're doing in life right now, whether they love that job or not. And then what they want to do, and when you bring someone's vision and dreams into a conversation, people want to help make that happen. So let me give an example of a group setting and what I would do in this situation so that you can kind of understand how this can work for you asking great questions. So the goal is to go from small talk to a level deeper, a layer deeper. So from level one to level two, let's say that's the goal of my conversation. So let's say I'm at a work or networking event. And I would normally get really overwhelmed in this type of setting, especially if it's a networking event. Because networking is really intimidating when you're in a room full of people that are basically just verbally giving their resume and what they're great at in life. So what if instead of making it anything about me, I'm actually trying to find ways to empower the person in front of me. So here's how this conversation would work. For instance, Hey, my name is Joe, what's your name? Okay, we shake hands. Great. Oh, nice to meet you. What do you currently do? What's your job? What's your career path, something like that. They say what they're saying. And what I actually like to ask immediately after someone tells me what they're doing in life, when it comes to income, I say, are you enjoying that? And genuinely wait for an answer? How do you like that? So some variant of that question, because it's going to take me two very distinct directions. So if someone says, I'm not really, I'm kind of just doing it to make money at this point, you know, grind it out here. Then if I know they don't like their job, I get to be a little bit more curious. Oh, yeah. No, I totally hear you. But also, how grateful are you to have a stable job and income right now in this economy? Right, crazy out here. But now, I'm curious. If you were to have any job in the world, what would that be? Or what would you like to work towards? What What's your dream job or dream career? Boom. Now, we've entered a different phase of conversation, because I've just connected with what their heart is after. So then they can start telling me oh, man, like my dream is to become a professional podcaster. Who knows? It could go any direction. But the moment that they start telling me this, I'm listening to what they're saying. And I'm thinking of do I know anybody else? that currently does this. And I want to act as a connector at least share my limited experience or knowledge of what a friend may do to impart that to them, so that we can kind of have a dynamic conversation going. And then if that person is in the room, who's doing what that my new friend potentially wants to do, I'm absolutely going to introduce them. But so let's say, have that conversation, right? Hey, what's your name? Boom, what do you do? Boom, I find out oh, do you love it? Yeah, no, I absolutely love it will tell me about your job. I love talking to people that love their jobs, because you can just see their face light up. They're so passionate. So tell me tell me what it is that you love about what you do. I've had some great conversations with nurses who love their job, because they understand the importance of what they do. And they love the fast paced nature of it, while at the same time, the rewarding element of knowing that you have literally saved a life. So that's a perfect example of how that conversation can go either directions, but I quickly got them out of a yes or no response. Let's give another scenario. Let's say you're at a party, and you barely know anybody in the room. Let's let's up the ante. The only person you know in the room is the person hosting the party. And therefore you don't feel like you really have the ability to talk to them that night, because they're hosting. So what do you do you have to make new friends? Okay, boom, we know, one commonality. Everybody else in this room? knows the person hosting. Okay, so the goal is to find more common ground than even that. So introduce myself, Hey, how you doing? How do you know? Let's say Mel, for instance? How do you know Mel, people start sharing how they know Mel. And by the way, I do have a friend Mel and she literally has more friends on the planet than anybody else I know. So she knows that this actually is about her. So say ask someone at her house. Hey, how do you know Mel, we start sharing stories. We have fun laughs and then I can go into that same direction of what do you what do you currently do? What's your job? Boom, then we can have a fun conversation. I love talking to people about their jobs, because I'm not actually asking about their job. I'm trying to figure out what their biggest passion is, which is honestly my favorite question to be asked one caveat to this one, we're getting into conversations where we're asking good questions. And the good questions come from a genuine curiosity. One thing to note is that you may find yourself in a conversation where someone is very open, honest, transparent and vulnerable with you in a way that may surprise you. Because it's not normal for people to ask genuine caring questions. So if you find yourself in that situation, my biggest piece of advice is to absolutely listen, and empathize. But here's what this doesn't mean. Let's say for instance, someone is sharing with me that it's actually been a pretty hard year. And it's hard because they just lost a loved one. What I actually don't want to do is say, man, like I totally hear you because I just lost a loved one recently to what would be better is to listen and be like, I can't imagine how hard that is. I'm so sorry. And and then ask questions. It doesn't even need to be like, What can I do for you as much as what have you been learning through this? Or if it is someone who's had a loss, for instance, ask about the person that passed? Seriously. I know that sounds crazy. But I'll link to the episode on grief that I did was Sherry Dunlavy. And she explains that that's one of the best things you can ask someone who has lost a loved one, or maybe it's grieving a loss of a relationship, a loss of a house, it could be anything, right? But what we don't want to do is make it come across as if we are going through the same thing so that it feels almost competitive and comparison based. We just want people to know that we see them. And another thing that's really important that I have learned through the years is to not expect anyone to ask you questions, let alone the same questions in return. Now, that seems silly, right? Like, well, obviously, I want to have a good conversation with someone so I don't want it to be an interview, where I'm asking all the questions. I had the exact same thought process until I met Who is now my best friend. And we joke about this all the time is the first time my best friend and I sat down to get to know each other. She didn't ask me a single question. And I left that dinner thinking, well, she doesn't care to get to know me at all. But actually, what had happened, she told me afterwards was that I was asking such good questions. And I was leading the conversation that she felt intimidated and didn't even feel like she could get a word in edgewise to ask me anything, because of how I how I was leading and almost like dominating, asking the questions in that conversation. And so it's not everyone's style. And there's a bunch of people that won't do that on the first encounter. So that's something to be mindful of is, your goal is Who can I get to know? Right now, right now at this group setting, and group event. Another thing that I found really helpful is asking someone for advice, or help or insight. This comes in real handy at family gatherings. Okay. So family gatherings, you haven't seen people for a while, or maybe you have, but everybody loves to give advice. Okay, everybody, I truly believe this. Everybody wants to feel as though they have the ability to help someone, it's rewarding, knowing that you've helped someone. And you don't have to take the advice that you ask someone for. But you can at least ask for it, to start a great conversation and get to know someone better. So family gatherings are a great place to do something like this. If you've listened to the podcast, you know that I'm recently married. And so let's say at a family gathering, you know, I'm in the first year of marriage, there's a lot that you're learning in the first year of marriage. So what I could do is I go to a family event. And my Aunt Christy is there, for instance. And, you know, we're striking up conversation, we're doing the small talk thing of catching up. But then I'll ask something like, Hey, you have been married for a really long time. Give me some incredible advice of what you wish you knew your first year of marriage? Listen, people will love to answer that question. And love to give advice. And that can work in any setting, quite honestly. And again, remember, you don't necessarily have to take that advice, but you're giving an opportunity to kind of hear someone's heart on something. And that does something powerful, because that gives someone else the opportunity to be vulnerable with you, as well. And so now you're sharing your heart, which is how a meaningful conversation is happening. So those are three settings in which all of these things I discussed, could work. But here's an example five questions that are kind of my go twos. When it comes to being in settings, where I honestly don't feel comfortable, and I need to build a relationship with somebody in the room. One of my questions I love asking is, what has been the most exciting thing in your week, and your month, in your year? One of those variants, and that's obviously after we've gotten some small talk out of the way, I'm not going to walk up to a stranger be like, Hi, what's your biggest passion? That's weird. Once you start to get to know someone a little bit, then you can go asking these questions, which is number two is what is your biggest passion? Like I mentioned before? I love asking if you could have any job in the world? What would it be? I love asking people for their advice or their perspective on something. And then a fifth one is what's something that you've been working on lately? Or what's something that really excites you in life right now? Now, this is a really cute question, right? Because it could be anything from Oh, I have a kid in there my best friend now to Oh, man, I'm actually launching this business to Oh, actually, we're empty nesters. We're going on a trip soon. It could be anything. Right. And I love questions that are future, forward or reflective in a sense that pulls back and calls to the forefront positive moments because it actually does something to our body as well. When we're asked these questions, our brain starts thinking of good things. And this is another tip is if you feel that right from the jump, even just going up and be like Hi, what's your name is awkward to someone, here you go, here's my tip for you compliment them on anything. I compliment people's glasses and shoes, all the time, shirts, whatever, find something, if you find somebody that you want to talk to, at any of these social settings, these group settings, and you're like, I don't know what to do, find one thing that you can compliment that the person is wearing, or maybe you heard them give a talk something, anything and say, Hey, by the way, love your shoes, pound it, shake hands. Um, so by the way, what's your name? Boom, there's your entry point. And you're also starting from a place of seeing someone right? So that's a really good way to jump into all of this, as well. We covered a lot of ground in this episode, right? We talked about a lot of things. But what I want this to be is a first step that you can take to do one thing in these group settings. And the one thing To recap, is, find one person you can have one meaningful conversation with by asking good, thought provoking questions that show that you're genuinely interested in their life. Also, I have to shout out party cues, who is a sponsor of this podcast? Because they are the number one conversation starter questions app in the App Store and Google Play. And by the way, it's free. It has over 2300 questions that you can ask to someone or have at the ready for conversations like this. I love their tagline because it's punchy, awkward silences in the mouth. And it does exactly that I use the party cues up when I'm in these social settings as well. And of course, you can too again, it's free. Download it right now, party cues app in the App Store, or Google Play. And you might have listen to all of this. And you might be feeling a little paranoid, because you're like, Well, like I can, I guess talk to someone but like, Oh, I just I don't know what to do with my hands right that Talladega Nights quote, you're just feeling feeling awkward? Well, there actually are some body language cues that you can do to help make yourself feel less uncomfortable. And the person you're speaking with, feel that as well. And I can link that video up here, because we did a whole episode dissecting five body language cues that you can use in these first time conversations. But that's it for this episode. guys know that I love you. I'm proud of you. I believe in you. And you're worth having incredibly rich relationships in your life. So let's have the courage to do that this week, starting today. In fact, catching the next one guys, thanks for watching. And if you like this relationship building info, then honestly, you're gonna love the rest of the accidentally intentional podcast. Feel free to hit the subscribe button or the Follow button wherever you listen to podcasts, or on YouTube. Of course, we're here for you because we believe that you are worth building incredible relationships. And that's how we together will build relational wealth.