Sunday, November 30, 2008

Being a Social Coordinator

In the lifelong quest of working on social interactions and developing a high quality and dynamic social network, there are certain actions one can take to put them on the best path to success. Over the past few months, my friends and I have been leaders in making social events happen, that is, coordinating BBQ's and other social outings. In this process, our social network has slowly grown, and often, we are the "go-to" people for our friends who are looking to have some fun.

I propose that being a social coordinator is an important step to developing a quality social life for a couple of reasons. The first is the obvious one of having social proof. If you are the one bringing everyone together and introducing people, they will all see how many friends you have and how you know how to bring the right type of people together. This will lead to more contacts as they want to bring their other friends into the world you have helped create with them. A second reason is having flexibility with people you do not know very well. If you run into a cute acquaintance on campus or at the grocery store, it is a lot easier to say something like, "Hey, a bunch of my friends and I are having a BBQ tomorrow night and you should come. Bring your friends!" as opposed to "Hey, it was nice seeing you. We should hang out sometime." Perhaps both are ok, but it is a lot easier for people to meet up with you if it is not a 1-on-1 interaction. Additionally, you are even encouraging them to bring their own friends (guys or girls of course). Now you have people who would typically not be comfortable coming to your house because it would seem "weird", who are now comfortable with the idea. The quicker you make them comfortable with you and your surroundings, the more likely the person, especially a girl, will be comfortable enough to do other things as well.

Another important part of this idea is that you are always designing your social life yourself. You are not relying on other people to make it happen. For example, I love having BBQ's, as opposed to going to a club and spending a ton of money. It is extremely cheap to fund even for a bunch of people (and people are usually willing to bring beer and other stuff). I can have steaks, corn, and potatoes for 6 people for around $20, which is a small price to pay for an ever expanding social network, as well as a good time and good food. By designing your own events, this gives you power to show people new types of things. For example, we have our BBQ's in the back of my friend's parent's house. It is not the coolest place in the world to go to...until people actually come and have a great time. I am pretty sure every one who has ever been to one of our BBQ's has come at least twice.

This process of being the social coordinator has an upward spiral effect. By showing you are someone who can take action and be a leader, you are portraying yourself as strong person, which will only make people want to be with you more. The only downside of being a social coordinator as it is simply not possible to start at zero. You need to have a least one or two other really good friends to be your partners. If you have one or two fun guys around and you start inviting a bunch of people, eventually people will starting taking a bite, and they will likely want to keep biting.

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