Are you the kind of person that can walk into a room and instantly everyone knows you. You crack a joke, and the room breaks out in laughter. The end of the night there’s not a person in the room who doesn’t know you and love you! Yeah, me neither. But, I have progressed from being the one content to sit in a corner and sip on my tea and pass the evening away to a pretty good socializer who leaves an event with a few new friends. In my line of work, its important to build relationships, to share lives, and personally I’ve found that life satisfaction comes from relationships. Good ones that always begins with a stranger. So how do we come from the hermit in a corner to the one who leaves a party knowing that life long relationships have begun? Let me share a few of my studies with you from living a life overseas and getting to know many people from different walks of life.
I grew up in a home of IT people. Brainy guys like my dad and brothers who can build computers from kitchen tools and put together a “mother board” (whatever that is!) with a soldering iron, chips, and a green thing. This is like a home set up for social disasters. Many conversations were awkward and meeting strangers was uncomfortable. After leaving home, I realized I had to break free from the social phobia and meet some people, actually remember some names, and get out of my comfort zone.
I’ve come a long way and now look forward to the challenge of getting to know others from different cultures, religions, ways of life and share my life with them.
Making friends in Asia is a blast. Their lives are so different, interesting, and the way they look at life is very different than my own. In Southeast Asia, the people have always been open, friendly, and forgiving at our language mistakes. I love to stop on the side of the road to talk to “ordinary” people and hear about their extraordinary past. Here are a few examples:
Interesting Random Conversations That Went Deep
- One day, I stopped to talk to a family cooking their evening meal:What did I find? Stir fried rat. There didn’t seem to be enough meat to feed a small cat needless to say a family! The grandfather shared with me how he had survived the civil war during Pol Pot Regime by catching and eating raw rats in the field. He seemed to say that he felt spoiled to eat it with delicious spices and cooked!
- Near our home in East Cambodia there are many rubber tree plantations and ladies such as these who work these plantations and then ride home late at night. We asked this lady about her work, she was delighted to share and was grateful for her job for the money it brought to support her family. How many days does she work? 7 days a week.
- Whats so unique about this home? This home is located in a resettlement camp where people were without food, water, and toilets. Within 2 months of being burned out of their homes, this family began their own business and invested in a pool table.
How did it work out for them? They now have a nice house and a car because of all the income they made from this business. Come to find out that during this crisis, people needed to get away from the problems and have a good time.
What do you find in common in these stories? They are random people I met. They are not wealthy but their lives have great wisdom to share and learn from. If you want to know what kind of relationships you need to help you grow in success, then don’t miss this article: 7 Relationships That Will Change Your Life
Here are some tips to start today. No matter where your at or who you see, initiate conversations. Use the tips on the info graph to go deeper!
The more often you do this, the better you’ll get and think about it, everyday you don’t is a new friendship you miss!
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