A success for this board!

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A success for this board!

Postby Jacque » Mon Mar 20, 2000 10:44 am

I had a lovely breakfast last Saturday with a new friend! Conversation was as deep and eclectic as one could hope for: we started out with the similarities between architecture and choreography, and ended up with the structure of subjective experience. This represents a success for the denizines of this board, as well. Goaded by suggestions made in my <A HREF=http://www.barbarasher.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000017.html>"Creating a community"</A> topic, I made an extra point of attending two dance performances the Universe conveniently provided, and this person turned up at both of them, thereby identifying himself as Somebody Worth Talking To. Then, while we were actually talking, I was enjoying my new-found ability to listen. I had floated this ambition in <A HREF=http://www.barbarasher.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000045.html>"Learning listening."</A> I was severally reassured that I am already a good listener. On subsequent observation, I concluded that I was at least an adequate listener. But this has been so much fun that I've upgraded my ambition to an ongoing hobby with intent to mastery. So I think this little triumph can be savored as a success of all the participants here. Thank you for your ideas and support! And thank you, again, Barbara, for providing this resource. You continue to accrue mountains of karmic gold! --<A HREF=http://www.eskimo.com/~jacquem/>Jacque</A> [This message has been edited by Jacque (edited March 20, 2000).]
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Postby BarbaraSher » Mon Mar 20, 2000 10:14 pm

What a *great* report! You are a master learner, Jacque. I am impressed. And you sound like you are having a lot of fun, too. I second your praise of this bulletin board. The unending concern and support never fails to amaze me. I go looking through conversations, about to answer something only to find it's been answered brilliantly already, often many times over. But you are definitely our trophy member today. Good for you and thanks for telling us about it.
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Postby Jacque » Fri Mar 24, 2000 1:34 pm

(Jacque staggers in late, falls onto her face in the middle of the living room floor -- thud.) I can't believe it, I've gotten together with friends outside of work (counts on fingers) <u>four</u> times this week. That's more than during the entire rest of the year so far. I've actually had (stands off and listens to herself say this with some awe) enough people-contact for one week. *...wheeze...* My planned, quiet, solitary weekend is actually looking like a relief instead of a sentence, for once.
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Postby Helga » Sat Mar 25, 2000 10:39 pm

Congratulations! That sounds wonderful. Would you care to elaborate on exactly how you accomplished this. Developing new friendships is something that doesn't seem to be taught anywhere. Too often we 'fall into' relationships that just aren't satisfying or are downright destructive. (as other conversations here have mentioned) Finding good people takes skill. How did you do it? Helga
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Postby Jacque » Mon Mar 27, 2000 10:32 am

Heh. Yes, that is the $24K question, isn't it? It's very strange. I'm still "just falling" into relationships, but I think the trick is <u>choose</u> your angle of descent. Lessee here (long post warning -- just remember: You Did Ask ;-> ): • Saturday breakfast (mentioned in the first message in this topic): Worked up the nerve to attach myself to dinner party with the presenters of a dance demo at the local university a few weeks ago. During dinner, kept a careful eye/ear on the other members of the party, and quickly identified one couple as worth talking to. (Sorting criterion: mushing together interesting and not-obviously-related ideas.) Spotted them again at another dance performance a week later; chatted during intermission. Positive hit: worked up the nerve to exchange email/phone numbers. Contacted them the following week, suggested coffee. Waited and chewed nails until he (she's out of town on a dance gig) got back to me with a date/time of availability. • Went to a free screening of <u>Gaia Symphony</u> sponsored by my local sushi mogul. I'm enough of a regular at the restaurant that I'm on their mailing list for special events, and they'd sent out postcards announcing this screening the previous week. (They'd also put up posters around town, but I hadn't actually seen any of those.) Since I enjoy the sushi folks, and it sounded interesting and out-of-the-house, I went. (sub-• Took the opportunity to pump one of the owners about their graphic artist, who consistently does amazing stuff for them. Plan on contacting her for an "information interview" about her business -- mostly a plausible excuse just to meet and interact with someone I suspect to be an interesting person.) (This opportunity came as the result of long patronage at the sushi bar. I'm known by name there, and try to make a point of saying hi to staffers I recognize.) • My friend <A HREF=http://www.bazilians.org/>Jon</A> came into town for a ceramics conference and crashed at my place Tuesday night. (Ah luvs having a guest room!) We went to dinner at the sushi place. We were greeted warmly ("You were at the movie last night!") and I had fun introducing him around as my "sushi guru." • (Actually, I hadn't counted this one in my last message, but it's significant, I think.) Encountered a young woman while walking home Wednesday. She was reading a book, and I share Barbara's compulsive curiosity about the books people are reading, so I stopped her and inquired. The book turned out to be a seminal influence on the producer of one of my favorite TV shows, and so was a natural conversation-starter. Turns out she's another science fiction fan. Our brief chat was fun; we exchanged phone numbers (at my suggestion) and I may call her for coffee sometime soon. • This one's a shameless cheat, since I was riding on <u>Jon's</u> social-connection impulses, but he directed me to catch up with a couple of his friends from a nearby town, and the tree of us went down to Denver to meet Jon for dinner. In the course of trying to find a restaurant (Peruvian -- one always has to try new things when one eats with Jon), our dinner party accreted another ceramics-conference member and her husband, and we had a lovely chat, the six of us, while trying out all sorts of exotic new taste treats. On the way home, made a pact with Jon's local friends to go help me christen the local tea house. Like that. I detect three principles running through these: 1. Stick around: being a familiar face (a la the sushi place) is an entre that will net opportunities hard to come by otherwise. (Woody Allen: "80% of success is showing up.") 2. Watch for interesting people; be aware of what constitutes "interesting" for you so you know what you're looking for. 3. Jump on opportunities to establish communication with people: - start conversations if common interest seems evident. - Get/give phone numbers if the start seems promising. - Follow up by making the making the first move in getting together. An awful lot of it seems to be about being the one who's willing to Go First. A lot of the above is a direct product of my latest trip to NY. Having nerved myself up to actually (gasp, quaver) interact with my favorite movie star, broaching conversation with random strangers on the street is a lot less intimidating than it was. Or maybe not, actually, but having confronted The Big Dragon, the usual medium-sized dragons seem a lot less frightening? Something like that. Also, Friday, I made a <u>bunch</u> of new connections, in part because of my recent exposure to Jon, who is an absolutely shameless people collector and very outgoing. I just ran movies of him in my mind and did what he would have done in similar circumstances. There, is that any help?
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Postby dahlia » Mon Mar 27, 2000 11:17 am

OH! jacque, are you a she? (brain shift ... redraw mental picture of jacque ...) that's so great! i am trying to do the same, really want to get more interesting, varied, creative people in my life. it's hard to make new friends after a certain age, i think. you have to do it on purpose and not just fall in with whoever's around like you do when you're young. jacque, if you find you're going to be in denver with time on your hands, i would love to meet for coffee. you sound like my kinda person. my email's listed. (peruvian restaurant -- was that los cabos? love that place!)
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Postby Helga » Thu Mar 30, 2000 4:23 pm

yes, Jacque your post was very informative. Like most other endeavors it requires putting in the time and being willing to take a few (or a lot) of tries that may not work. I tend to try once and if it doesn't work, then quit and go home. I just read through the "creating community" thread again. It's been very encouraging to learn that meeting new people is something others find difficult as well. It's not just me. Some people are quite happy with friends from work, neighbors and relatives. Meeting NEW people seems to take a lot more skill.
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Postby Jacque » Fri Mar 31, 2000 11:56 am

Oh, meeting new people in any kind of substantive way is incredibly difficult -- or at least I find it so. (At least I don't think I drive them off with the first words out of my mouth anymore; this is an improvement.) I'm also finding (again) that it seems to be a fairly high-maintenance activity, requiring continual attention, much like staying fit. That's why I'm keeping an eye out for habit patterns to cultivate that will keep me "in the market," even (especially?) when I don't feel like putting effort into it. This is why my friend Jon fascinates me so: it's beyond habit with him. More like a compulsion. Stay tuned....
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