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How to build a social circle?

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(...) which I am the leader of.

And you just slip it in there like that? 🙂

Well done!

TWO GROUPS FOR DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES

Jokes aside, I personally think that since you want to have two groups, why not making it about different things?

Groups tend to be porous anyway, in the sense that you can get people from one group and another group to do things with each other.

For example, I might not be a buff of board games, so you and I we'd meet for a drink, catch up, talk, and try new restaurants.
But if you'd tell me "hey, I found this super cool board game", then you tell me why you like it and you invite me to give it a try, I'd say yes. And the other way around works too, you'd tell your board game group "I'm going to this new restaurant with this guy, the food is supposed to be awesome, and this guy is very cool, wanna join?".
And he'd probably say "yes".

Two group to do the same things might also lead people to wonder: why keeping us separate?

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you very much!

Well, I would say that 4 of them accept my leadership and 2 of them are challenging it: nasty social climber A and Rodriguez. So there's still some work ahead to establish more firmly a win-win group.

This is a great suggestion. I agree: one group for restaurants is a great idea. Like board games, it's generic enough that many people will be happy to join. And it's not based on a strong identity (like cross-fit, or other hobbies like that). I will do that as soon as restaurants are open again. Thanks!

My current strategy is the following:

  1. Build a core group around board games where I'm 100% sure that people in it are authentic, benevolent and honest.
  2. Add women to the group (in progress, I took numbers at work today)

I'm moving out in 1 week to my new flat. So this will be easier to implement. I will be more in a position of picking and choosing who I'm adding to the group.

I will be able to organize dinners and board games: fitting in the food & games theme.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Ok, I thought about it and I found the solution:

Groups

  • Core group of 4 loyal trustworthy friends, I will invite them either to restaurants, board games, dinner, hikes, etc. I will call them to invite them instead of using the board games group. It's also a good way to cement bonds as when I call them I can ask them how they are. From this core group, 2 of them are previous friends of nasty social climber A. That proves that I was wrong and that now they are my closest allies because they've also been exposed to his lies.
  • Extended group of 6 people who I invite after the core group has been invited. So I know that even if there are dissidents in the extended group, I will always have a majority of trusted friends with whom I can share my perceptions.

That is a pool of 10 people. That is plenty for my week-ends. This extended group can also have people coming in and out. But we know that with the core group, we'll be doing activities together without nasty people.

Themes

  • Board games
  • Restaurants
  • Dinners
  • After works
  • Hikes

So basically: food, drinks, fun and nature.

Strategy

  • Core group: I will have to reinforce bonds with each one of the 4 members of the core group in 1-on-1 relationships. So I will invite them for dinners at my place so we can share deeper stuff together and form stronger bonds. Going on hikes is also a good way to build strong bonds as we have an adventure together and we can also share the leadership.
  • Extended group: add women to balance the dynamics and it's nice to have women around. Until then I focused on having male friends.
  • Board games: we played a lot of games where we lie to one another (bluffing, social deduction). I think that it has started to affect the dynamics a little bit also because when there are takers around, people are not completely relaxed.. So I will organize more cooperative games. I will organize games every week-end at my place.
  • Restaurants: I will look for great restaurants and invite them there. Restaurants with special themes. They are still closed for now but this is a great idea.
  • Dinners: Instead of board games being the focus, it will be a meal that I will cook for them. With desserts and all. Now that I know the rules with board games, I can always take one out at anytime if people feel like it.
  • Timing: In Switzerland, people plan their week-end a long time in advance. Most of my friends are French or spontaneous. However, to make sure I can organize something during the week-end, I must call them on Wednesday the latest. I will call the three friends each one their turn first so they don't feel like I'm pressuring them.
  • Whatsapp: After some time of real-life interactions (a couple of months), I will create a new Whatsapp group with the 3 guys from the core group. It will feel normal as I will justify it to be easier than calling. So this group will be clean from takers. Then I will be able to add people one at a time when I'm 100% sure they're not takers. I will not delete the previous group. I will let it crumble slowly as other people will use more and more the new group. People will not respond in this group so people will not use it. After a year or so I will be able to delete it and nobody will notice.
  • Timeline: this is a timeline on a year approximately to accomplish this plan.

So basically, time is my ally.

Cheers!

Lucio Buffalmano, Transitioned and NoLimits have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoTransitionedNoLimits

One last note: I have already a clean whatsapp group of 5 people with whom we play a certain game which is of very high quality and is quite addictive. So this is also a good starting base to invite/add/exchange people.

Quote from John Freeman on March 14, 2021, 10:34 pm

Ok, I thought about it and I found the solution:

Groups

  • Core group of 4 loyal trustworthy friends, I will invite them either to restaurants, board games, dinner, hikes, etc. I will call them to invite them instead of using the board games group. It's also a good way to cement bonds as when I call them I can ask them how they are. From this core group, 2 of them are previous friends of nasty social climber A. That proves that I was wrong and that now they are my closest allies because they've also been exposed to his lies.
  • Extended group of 6 people who I invite after the core group has been invited. So I know that even if there are dissidents in the extended group, I will always have a majority of trusted friends with whom I can share my perceptions.

That is a pool of 10 people. That is plenty for my week-ends. This extended group can also have people coming in and out. But we know that with the core group, we'll be doing activities together without nasty people.

Themes

  • Board games
  • Restaurants
  • Dinners
  • After works
  • Hikes

So basically: food, drinks, fun and nature.

Strategy

  • Core group: I will have to reinforce bonds with each one of the 4 members of the core group in 1-on-1 relationships. So I will invite them for dinners at my place so we can share deeper stuff together and form stronger bonds. Going on hikes is also a good way to build strong bonds as we have an adventure together and we can also share the leadership.
  • Extended group: add women to balance the dynamics and it's nice to have women around. Until then I focused on having male friends.
  • Board games: we played a lot of games where we lie to one another (bluffing, social deduction). I think that it has started to affect the dynamics a little bit also because when there are takers around, people are not completely relaxed.. So I will organize more cooperative games. I will organize games every week-end at my place.
  • Restaurants: I will look for great restaurants and invite them there. Restaurants with special themes. They are still closed for now but this is a great idea.
  • Dinners: Instead of board games being the focus, it will be a meal that I will cook for them. With desserts and all. Now that I know the rules with board games, I can always take one out at anytime if people feel like it.
  • Timing: In Switzerland, people plan their week-end a long time in advance. Most of my friends are French or spontaneous. However, to make sure I can organize something during the week-end, I must call them on Wednesday the latest. I will call the three friends each one their turn first so they don't feel like I'm pressuring them.
  • Whatsapp: After some time of real-life interactions (a couple of months), I will create a new Whatsapp group with the 3 guys from the core group. It will feel normal as I will justify it to be easier than calling. So this group will be clean from takers. Then I will be able to add people one at a time when I'm 100% sure they're not takers. I will not delete the previous group. I will let it crumble slowly as other people will use more and more the new group. People will not respond in this group so people will not use it. After a year or so I will be able to delete it and nobody will notice.
  • Timeline: this is a timeline on a year approximately to accomplish this plan.

So basically, time is my ally.

Cheers!

This is really really good, John!

Huge thumbs up, this is what proper power dynamics and strategic thinking applied to (value-adding) social life looks like.

Matthew Whitewood, John Freeman and Transitioned have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodJohn FreemanTransitioned
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hey John,

I love your systemic approach in social group formation. The onion grouping strategy where the center is your core group of close friends and branching outwards provides a good filtering mechanism against takers (much like internship converting to full timer in a job). I do come across many social groups but I observed that as a lead of the group, you have to put in the extra, if not huge amount of effort in some cases to keep the group together. I guess that is where the leaders of the group has obtained higher social value among the rest.

Keeping the inner group small is a neat one, since larger groups tend to breed more lurkers and create stronger by-stander effects where no one would step up to host events if you decide to take a break from leading. I would think that spare some times on top of all these, to explore new groups, so as to not put all your eggs in one basket. Since people and context can change, friends fade in and out of one's life as time goes on.

 

Transitioned has reacted to this post.
Transitioned

Hey John,

I'm facing similar social challenges than you do and find your plan inspiring.

LOVE how you persisted to build that circle. It looks like you've changed your mind on switzerland and the ability to make friends there or am I wrong ?

 

I believe that EVERY big city has the potential of building an incredible social circle. Especially if people there have at least somewhat of a social life.

A few skills are necessary when you want to make friends in a new town:

  • A learner mindset - everything is a skill, and you have to learn and sometimes, even re learn the basics of social skills.

    For instance, I'm good  at connecting with people in other countries but in France, I have to re learn this skill, mainly because of french people are less warm at first impact and probably more shy than say, italiens or americans.

  • An oppoortunistic attitude : what we are going through is a real apprenticeship on a branch of social dynamics that it would not be possible to master if we stayed in our own country.

    We are going through the much needed deliberate practice by the simple act of having moved away from home town and  TRYING to integrate abroad.

    We are also building freedom. This skill of making friends anywhere you go and create a social circle might be - as John once mentioned - more important than finaniancial freedom. Being able to make Money, get Girls and make new Friends are the skills that lead to mastery and framework happiness and self esteem.

  • If you live in a city where after 5 years, you have tried it all, and still have made no friends despite the fact that people love being around you and you are a value provider, well. Change country.
    I think this is however very rare in a big city. Much likely, you haven't found the right strategy or haven't built the right mindset. I remind myself of this daily and am always eager to hear about others experience in new cities.

    Anyway you strategy sounds awesome !

Curious wether you are changing your mind on switzerland, and shed some of that disappointment you had at first toward the possibility of making friends there 🙂

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