So my friends and I were all sitting around this weekend by the pool, and remembering exactly how each and every one of us first met. Some at coffee shops or events, others through other friends…and it kind of bled into the topic about how exactly people acquire friends as they age.
Obviously by getting out there more and having more experiences, from travel to dance classes, yachting to hanging out at a decent lounge bar, you make friends one way or the other. Well really, acquaintances when you think about it – then there’s a filtration process. My buddies and I discussed that as well and that’s probably the most frustrating part.
Most of my friends run in the same circle – and by circle I mean way of thinking. Entrepreneurial, driven, independent, forward thinking. We all work, and play hard – well, maybe play a bit harder than we work 😉 after all the motto is work smart, not hard.
What exactly do I mean by filtering? Well, I’m not trying to go on a rant here, while picking up acquaintances is easy, it’s finding genuine friends that requires a bit of skill. You’ve all heard it at some point before – in movies, general conversation, through music. While being successful is great, sometimes it’s an absolute drag when people get to know you better.
Think of it like this – you happen to meet someone – in public, at the grocery store, through a social event, maybe shooting pool or going bowling, joining a fencing class in your area or hitting up a dojo because you’ve been wanting to try out Aikido for months now. You two exchange a few words, hit it off really well, get each other’s contact info. You invite them out, either with other friends or maybe to party it up somewhere, maybe go for some hookah.
Turns out you guys have a lot in common – both into sports, both into great music, both into travel and open to other cultures. It’s great – ever had those kind of conversations where it’s not forced and it just flows really well? Yeah – those are awesome. So you talk, talk, talk the night away. Bond with some hookah, bond with some drinks, hell, you may even become wing men/women and hit on people together.
Things seem great – until something happens. It could be the first time, could be the second, third even. Bottom line is – it happens…
…and usually, it leaves you with that sick, churning kind of feeling in your stomach. The “oh no…not again” type.
The bill comes, and they ask if you can cover some of their portion for it.
Or the bill comes, and they say ask if you can spot them this time because you’re “good for it.”
Or…my favorite, because it’s just so damn funny – the opposite (or same, for some) sex, says that you’re good for it, and while they may not have enough cash – they have something else for you afterwards if you do front their half of the bill. Then just kind of…nudge or press into you and wink.
Now don’t get me wrong here – I love treating people. I love buying a bottle or two and passing it around the table. I love buying food for everyone or buying every other round of drinks. However – when it’s expected that it should be done automatically, sheerly based off the fact someone is under the assumption you’re better off than them – even if they may be doing pretty damn well for themselves. This absolutely irks me.
My friend Luke (no, not the one from Star Wars) absolutely hates it as well.
Well, because honestly it kind of makes a person feel like they’re being used. Taken for. Taken advantage of. Sort of like if someone’s looking at you, and you look into their eyes, and instead of the reflection of yourself – you see dollar signs. Their eyes are lit up, bright and green, with paper.
And again hey, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t just happen with successful men – so fellas, before you go on a rant about how women are gold diggers, there are plenty of guys out there who seduce women for the thing humans so highly hold called money. Don’t believe me? Check out the movie Spread (2009).
…and this is where the filtration process kicks in.
My friends and I all have different tactics – one of them when inviting new people out, attempts to have the most boring outing of their life, just so they can see whether or not the person wants to be their friend because they want to hang out with them. Not their money. You’re probably asking why they’d go out and do something boring – well, think about it…
…you’re out and about, having a good time, at a live music venue, yadda yadda. Or maybe you’re both playing squash or out racing go karts. Naturally, a setting has been created, where you’re both having fun. This really eliminates the need for any form of meaningful conversation. The fun is there – the mind is focused on said fun. The engagement is already there.
It’s like video games – or even better it’s like watching a movie – you don’t really engage with each other – you just watch the movie, and maybe share some brief thoughts about it afterwards. Which is why I’m really not a fan of suggesting those type of things in my dating life, for a first date. It’s an inefficient use of time, and an exit for pushing yourself to become a conversationalist.
My point is creating a boring atmosphere really accomplishes two things:
- It pulls people out of their shell and gets them to talk – instead of fiddling with their phone.
- It reveals whether a person wants to get to know you or your money.
So when you’re sitting there with nothing but a Dos Equis in one hand and the view of the beach across the street, you’ve gotta actually think about what to talk about. What questions to ask, topics to pick, etc, etc. The best part about this is – you can get a relatively clear reading on the person. Not doing an all too engaging activity gives you time to study body language, eye movement, facial expressions (which tell you a LOT, like if someone’s lying – if you pay attention), and much more.
This is the best way to get to know a person…and besides, before all the technology, before all the awesome things that were created for having a great time graced human existence today, this is how we started out – through conversation. Literature was once the fuel that flamed this fire – reading about different things, educating ourselves, studying an atlas, breaking down and comprehending poetry, all that jazz….
…and by conversating with and reading people, often you’ll find you can read their thoughts. Their motives. Their intentions. Their hearts.
You can tell if they wanna get to know you, for you.
Not your bank account.
Stay smart…and you’ll stay happy.
Musings Episode 14: Friends for Friends….or Friends for Money….? is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life