Author Topic: Increasing social connections/social capital  (Read 35417 times)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2018, 03:20:29 PM »
I guess my first goal is to reply to two unanswered letters from old friends (who still want as friends), and touch base with another friend I haven't talked to in a long time.
I am really terrible at holding up my half of friendships.

KBecks

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2018, 03:32:04 PM »
This is a good challenge.

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2018, 03:47:42 PM »
Welcome any newbies! And well done on all the progress! Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

I guess my first goal is to reply to two unanswered letters from old friends (who still want as friends), and touch base with another friend I haven't talked to in a long time.
I am really terrible at holding up my half of friendships going to try to improve at staying in touch with old friends.

FTFY ;)

Dollar Slice

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #53 on: February 05, 2018, 04:00:32 PM »
Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

Not much success here... I've invited several people to an event tomorrow but I don't think anyone's going to come with me. (I had originally planned to go with a couple of friends but they ended up being in Europe this week.) Ooh, but I haven't invited the guy who invited me out last week. Ack, I'm so shy with him. But I bet he would like to go. :-S

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2018, 04:24:55 PM »
Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

Not much success here... I've invited several people to an event tomorrow but I don't think anyone's going to come with me. (I had originally planned to go with a couple of friends but they ended up being in Europe this week.) Ooh, but I haven't invited the guy who invited me out last week. Ack, I'm so shy with him. But I bet he would like to go. :-S

I'm personally counting success as 'messaging someone' or 'asking someone to a Thing' :) I can't control whether someone comes to a Thing but I can control whether I invite them to a Thing.


Just realised I didn't do an update for yesterday. whoops!

- ate lunch with a couple of people at work (as in, we all happened to sit down at the table together to eat our food, but I'll count it :))

- had a text conversation with the Tupperware consultant who will be running the Tupperware party at my place on Saturday

- messaged a friend trying to arrange a get together in a couple of weeks. Trouble is, she's suggested a cafe with a playground in a shopping centre that I mostly avoid (too easy to run into ex and ex in laws there = PTSD-type bad reactions). Which has now increased the difficulty of organising stuff. Still working out what my best option for responding (which are, ask her if she has a suggestion not at that shopping centre, or me crowd sourcing kid friendly cafe options from another group of friends who have a zillion kids between them)

- responded a few times in this thread. that totally counts, right? ;)

HappierAtHome

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #55 on: February 05, 2018, 05:31:49 PM »
Arranged dinner before the show I'm attending tomorrow night with new friends, and also accepted the offer of a lift even though the driver doesn't live close by (that's the kind of thing that makes me feel really anxious, but she wouldn't have offered if she wasn't willing to drive a little out of her way, right?).

chasesfish

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #56 on: February 05, 2018, 05:33:21 PM »
I'm pretty happy with this challenge so far...reconnected with two people, one that its been a couple months on and one that its been a couple years

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2018, 01:55:39 AM »
Well done chasesfish!

Arranged dinner before the show I'm attending tomorrow night with new friends, and also accepted the offer of a lift even though the driver doesn't live close by (that's the kind of thing that makes me feel really anxious, but she wouldn't have offered if she wasn't willing to drive a little out of her way, right?).

If she offered, it's fine to say yes. (and I get the anxiety - I try to counter it with things like, well, maybe to her it's not very far out of her way, maybe she likes driving, maybe she likes feeling helpful or finds sitting in a car with people a good way to chat one on one - but to be honest, in reality it's probably no big deal to her and she didn't put much thought into it :p)

limeandpepper

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #58 on: February 06, 2018, 02:21:40 AM »
Arranged dinner before the show I'm attending tomorrow night with new friends, and also accepted the offer of a lift even though the driver doesn't live close by (that's the kind of thing that makes me feel really anxious, but she wouldn't have offered if she wasn't willing to drive a little out of her way, right?).

Also she might really enjoy your company! I know my friends and I sometimes go out of our way just so that we can spend more time together. E.g. waiting at the train station for our trains, there's a train I could get on earlier but I choose to wait and get on the same train as my friend, just so we can chat for longer, and I don't mind getting home later at all!

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #59 on: February 06, 2018, 01:33:18 PM »


I guess my first goal is to reply to two unanswered letters from old friends (who still want as friends), and touch base with another friend I haven't talked to in a long time.
I am really terrible at holding up my half of friendships going to try to improve at staying in touch with old friends.

FTFY ;)

:D  OK, I'm going to.

MrsWhipple

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #60 on: February 06, 2018, 05:31:17 PM »
Ahhh, thank you thread, I just texted my writing buddy to invite them over for hot chocolate. And yesterday I texted a neighbor and they didn't respond and I ACTUALLY WALKED OVER AND KNOCKED ON THE DOOR and asked if their kid could come play, and they did and it was awesome. I would not have had the courage before this thread.

And I went to a ladies' night and a mom hike and look at me, I just texted another friend I haven't met up with in a while and asked her out for coffee, CHECK ME OUT PEOPLE, I'M BEING SO SOCIAL!!!

Carrie

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #61 on: February 06, 2018, 09:33:33 PM »
Yay, Mrs. Whipple! Go girl!

I've had a few chatty moments with three different neighbors over the past two days, and my kids have been playing with various neighbor kids almost every day. This is huge - there were many years we didn't know anyone in our neighborhood  (except for the elderly couple next door), and our kids didn't have playmates.
This challenge is helping my socially -somewhat- challenged child too!  Thank you for this thread!

Dollar Slice

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #62 on: February 06, 2018, 11:10:44 PM »
Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

Not much success here... I've invited several people to an event tomorrow but I don't think anyone's going to come with me. (I had originally planned to go with a couple of friends but they ended up being in Europe this week.) Ooh, but I haven't invited the guy who invited me out last week. Ack, I'm so shy with him. But I bet he would like to go. :-S

I didn't end up inviting that guy and went to the event by myself. But it ended up being an extremely social evening.

1. Talked to three strangers while waiting in line to get in.
2. Ran into four different people I know and chatted with each. Shared a taxi home with two of them. A third added me on FB.
3. Talked to three different strangers inside: one saved my spot when I went to the bathroom, one friended me on FB after we had a long chat, and one really loved the idea I gave him for the name of his debut album.

I also got into a couple of minor arguments, I'm not sure how that works on the 'social connections' spectrum... do I get demerits? :-P

Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #63 on: February 06, 2018, 11:48:21 PM »
DH's weekend date with another outdoor person is working out differently than expected. The guy is leaving really late from Denmark and is going to drive the long way. He won't be there until long after midnight on Friday. So they will both drive separately instead of in one car. But I still hope the guy goes to the same place and the get to meet and do some stuff together. Otherwise DH will be there on his own for the weekend, and he could use some company.

Hirondelle

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2018, 12:24:12 AM »
Ahhh, thank you thread, I just texted my writing buddy to invite them over for hot chocolate. And yesterday I texted a neighbor and they didn't respond and I ACTUALLY WALKED OVER AND KNOCKED ON THE DOOR and asked if their kid could come play, and they did and it was awesome. I would not have had the courage before this thread.

And I went to a ladies' night and a mom hike and look at me, I just texted another friend I haven't met up with in a while and asked her out for coffee, CHECK ME OUT PEOPLE, I'M BEING SO SOCIAL!!!

Awesome! Way to go!

Hirondelle

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2018, 12:29:33 AM »
My updates so far:
- Reached out to an old friend as I'll be in his city next week. Unfortunately he's traveling those days so no opportunity to meet up. We agreed on meeting up next time I'll be in his city tho (my boss is located there, so I go semi-regularly)
- Joined the pubquiz with co-workers last night that I signed up for in an impulse and really felt like canceling last night.

To doish list:
- Ask if the dinner plans for tomorrow with "new friends" from an event are still happening.
- Make plans with friends in hometown for the weekend
- Ask a friend who's just back from a 2 month overseas trip to meet up when I'm in boss' city next week.
- Text my friend in Pisa about my plans for my upcoming Italy trip and to what extent she has time to hang out/host me.

Annoying part is: I'm doing a good job at the "old" friends who tend to be far away (hometown, Italy) but my social circle here is still rather limited.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2018, 12:41:28 AM »
I am back in touch (via messenger) with a friend of mine that I hadn't been in touch with for a few months, because I was too apathetic. She will be going us on a trip soon and we are coordinating plans.

frontstepdesign

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2018, 08:27:15 AM »
Posting to join - we moved 5 months ago to a new state/town, and now I telecommute - so I don't have that built-in office pool of people to help me get acquainted.  I do kind of miss my big office building and all my people, even if I had to shut them out to concentrate on anything difficult.

Wins so far:
Finding a gym with small classes and a personal touch.  I actually got a lunch date out of this.
Attending a smaller,very friendly church - saw my yoga teacher there, and we're starting to have non-yoga conversations.
Got incredibly lucky in my neighbors - two other women also work at home, and have a 'come over any time and relieve the tedium' attitude.
Sold a pair of shoes on a FB group to someone who's becoming an entreprenurial-type friend.  Again, SHEER LUCK.
There's a few members of an international club (through which I met my husband) here, and we like hosting game night for that couple and his work friends.  Need to set another date for that.

Wins not cinched so far:
Volunteering at the library/Friends of Library association - I like the cause, but they only meet once a month, and sometimes I can't make it, and that's not often enough.
We've been included in a social group in the next town.  These people are nice, but they drink a LOT.  And eat out expensively a LOT.  This is a playground we dabbled in at the last place, and I want to make more sensible choices now that we're moved.
Need to keep trying at the church - scheduling hasn't worked yet, and I haven't figured out what small groups there are.
Gym is not without costs - I'm taking advantage of a deal for 'unlimited classes for $ for two months' now, but obviously that will expire.  Hoping that frequency now will pay off after I replace some group classes with running when the weather dries up a bit.

Planned attempts:
I've been invited to a new book club starting out next week.
Church's pancake supper next week.
I've heard of a running group, but haven't seen them yet.

Dicey

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2018, 09:23:32 AM »
Wow, I like this thread.

I was invited to join a new group that supports our local theater. It requires an annual donation to the theater, but the amount is less than we give anyway, so I look it as a way to make new friends. Monday was the inaugural meeting. Instead of hanging with someone I already knew, I decided to meet other people. I saw someone with the same name and struck up a conversation. She introduced me to two of her friends, and we all chatted for quite a while. I also met someone whose name I recognized because she's a friend of a friend. Afterwards, there was more mixing and I got to chat with the people I knew before I got there. Fun evening, plus I have an excuse to use our shiny new DAF.

Yesterday, I had a bunch of scrapings from some squash and a large pumpkin left over from Halloween. It was uncut, but had developed a fairly substantial soft spot. I posted on NextDoor, because I wanted to give it to someone with chickens. A neighbor that I knew replied to say that her neighbor had chickens and would take it, but that she was at the hospital getting her son's broken arm set. I made a batch of cookies for the family and collected the scraps for the chickens. It was late when I made the delivery, but we had a nice small chat and now I know a little bit about another neighbor.

Today, I am walking with my walking partner. I will be dropping my MIL off at her new companion's house. I found her on ND, too and I'm enjoying getting to know her. My walking partner is the person I deliberately did not hang out with at the event on Monday. (We had walked just two hours before the event, so what did we need to say to each other?) It will be fun to compare notes on our walk today.

I have one more, but I'm out of time. Thanks for starting this thread!

Serendip

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2018, 09:50:51 AM »
A friend mentioned she would love to learn a certain type of stitch (I studied textile arts) so instead of waiting weeks--I invited her over last night and we had a lovely evening. She brought deserts and we stitched, had a nice connection AND I ended up inspired.

Also tonight is weekly XC-ski night with a co-worker friend (as long as my sore throat clears up), we started doing it at the start of winter  (locals night) and it is always such a good event. Probably my most social event of the week as we usually run into others that she or I know and I end up meeting new people, even if just briefly.

Hirondelle

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2018, 01:39:50 PM »
To doish list:
- Ask if the dinner plans for tomorrow with "new friends" from an event are still happening. Done. We'll be with about 8-10 people tomorrow!
- Make plans with friends in hometown for the weekend
- Ask a friend who's just back from a 2 month overseas trip to meet up when I'm in boss' city next week.
- Text my friend in Pisa about my plans for my upcoming Italy trip and to what extent she has time to hang out/host me.

New on the list:
- Invite one girl from "new friends" group for lunch at work as we happen to work almost next to each other.
- Get to know one of my co-workers better - he seems nicer than I thought at first.
- Plan dinner with my office (only date that worked out so far was Valentine's day - how about we're all lonely PhD students :'))

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #71 on: February 08, 2018, 04:42:05 AM »
So awesome to see all the activity on this thread. Amazing work, everyone! <3

I'm low on energy/spoons (flare up of a pre-existing illness thingy) so I haven't done anything new, just trying to maintain the momentum of things I've already started.

I have a Tupperware party on Saturday, continuing to organise that. I'm not sure how many people are turning up, maybe 5? maybe up to 10? (I did a blanket invitation to a FB get-together group of women that I belong to, and some of them aren't always good at remembering to rsvp yes)

I messaged a friend to see if she is still happy to meet for lunch on Sunday.

And, I stopped procrastinating about responding to a message from an old school friend about meeting up for lunch in 2 weeks time. She suggested a location that I avoid because of the risk of running into my ex and ex in-laws (I have PTSD-type reactions and have a silent phone number for safety reasons because of them etc). Argh. Of ALL the places she had to suggest to meet up in my city. I did try to look up other places that have a close-by playground for her child to play in while we all eat lunch, but couldn't find anything. But... I made myself reply and asked her to suggest somewhere different. ugh. I want to see her but this was Hard.

Drole

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #72 on: February 08, 2018, 07:00:40 PM »
I invited some folks that are biking around the country to stay with us. Obviously they are quite low maintenance so the fact that I don't have enough beds is OK and one bath to all share. Lovely folks.  Tiny bit crazy in a good good way. Kids are having lots of fun.

Met up with the my friend of a friend. Went very well and seems we'll start walking together. 

I'm tempted to offer to host another family over spring break but not sure since our lives/house might be a little too rough around the edges for many. These folks i'd been in touch with online before inviting them. A blind offer to strangers...gotta think some more.



HappierAtHome

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #73 on: February 08, 2018, 07:17:40 PM »
Having a friend over today! Woo!

pbkmaine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #74 on: February 08, 2018, 09:30:22 PM »
So awesome to see all the activity on this thread. Amazing work, everyone! &lt;3

I'm low on energy/spoons (flare up of a pre-existing illness thingy) so I haven't done anything new, just trying to maintain the momentum of things I've already started.

I have a Tupperware party on Saturday, continuing to organise that. I'm not sure how many people are turning up, maybe 5? maybe up to 10? (I did a blanket invitation to a FB get-together group of women that I belong to, and some of them aren't always good at remembering to rsvp yes)

I messaged a friend to see if she is still happy to meet for lunch on Sunday.

And, I stopped procrastinating about responding to a message from an old school friend about meeting up for lunch in 2 weeks time. She suggested a location that I avoid because of the risk of running into my ex and ex in-laws (I have PTSD-type reactions and have a silent phone number for safety reasons because of them etc). Argh. Of ALL the places she had to suggest to meet up in my city. I did try to look up other places that have a close-by playground for her child to play in while we all eat lunch, but couldn't find anything. But... I made myself reply and asked her to suggest somewhere different. ugh. I want to see her but this was Hard.

Just tell her that, Astatine. “Could we pick somewhere else? I don’t want to chance running into my ex or his family.”

MrsWhipple

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #75 on: February 08, 2018, 10:54:37 PM »
Having a friend over today! Woo!
Woo! Hope you had a blast!

I am hosting a hot chocolate and burrito get together with my writing friend and her partner. And then I thought of this thread and went hog wild and invited a mutual friend and her family that I would like to get to know better. And I talked with someone at the gym that I had met hiking, and she is super nice and I'm going to totally get her number the next time I see her because I forgot today.

It's hard sometimes to talk with people since I'm a SAHM and all I really do is kid stuff. So I've been forcing myself to read (a book a week) so I have something else to talk about. Reading buddies are the best kinds of buddies!

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #76 on: February 08, 2018, 11:20:34 PM »
MrsWhipple, you’re on fire! Way to go!


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Off the Wheel

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #77 on: February 08, 2018, 11:26:16 PM »
Ooh this is a great challenge! Accepted. :)

Today... had some nice bonding at work. We have a treehouse in our office (that sounds weird) and for the first time in ages my whole department was in town and we were able to get up there for our meeting and it felt so lovely and nice. I really love my team, and expressed that.

Also made a reservation for dinner on Sunday for my dad's birthday.


Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2018, 02:36:35 AM »
Drove out to look at an amazing sunset after doing the grocery shopping. Ended up having a good chat with a random guy who was out for a walk with his baby, including about some local redevelopment that was happening.

We’ll probably never run into him again but it was nice having a chat with a local.


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Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #79 on: February 10, 2018, 01:19:00 AM »
Sooo, I had a Tupperware party at my place today (wanted to get some BIFL pantry items). I was a bit worried that it was going to be awkward because only 5 people showed up in the end.

But it was good fun. Lots of chatting in between the Tupperware-ing.

And... at the end, me and 2 friends ended up chatting with the consultant for another hour or so, well after all the Tupperware-ing had finished. She has a lot of common with one of the friends, and we all quite like her (which is why we were happy to continue with the wave of Tupperware parties when she was first introduced to this particular women's FB meet up group). And now we're absorbing her into the group, and she'll now get invited along to all of our regular get togethers.

LOL! Kind of the reverse of the social capital issue described in the link to TheGrimSqueaker's post in my OP in this thread. We kind of absorbed an MLM consultant into our friend group.

So awesome to see all the activity on this thread. Amazing work, everyone! &lt;3

I'm low on energy/spoons (flare up of a pre-existing illness thingy) so I haven't done anything new, just trying to maintain the momentum of things I've already started.

I have a Tupperware party on Saturday, continuing to organise that. I'm not sure how many people are turning up, maybe 5? maybe up to 10? (I did a blanket invitation to a FB get-together group of women that I belong to, and some of them aren't always good at remembering to rsvp yes)

I messaged a friend to see if she is still happy to meet for lunch on Sunday.

And, I stopped procrastinating about responding to a message from an old school friend about meeting up for lunch in 2 weeks time. She suggested a location that I avoid because of the risk of running into my ex and ex in-laws (I have PTSD-type reactions and have a silent phone number for safety reasons because of them etc). Argh. Of ALL the places she had to suggest to meet up in my city. I did try to look up other places that have a close-by playground for her child to play in while we all eat lunch, but couldn't find anything. But... I made myself reply and asked her to suggest somewhere different. ugh. I want to see her but this was Hard.

Just tell her that, Astatine. “Could we pick somewhere else? I don’t want to chance running into my ex or his family.”

Thanks pbk, I ended up saying something similar (it was hard though).

Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #80 on: February 10, 2018, 12:46:14 PM »
Today I visited an event about a subject I am interested in. I immediately found some people I had met before and chatted with them. I also had lunch with another women I'd met before and we had very nice contact. She invited me to contact her later if I ever want to visit an area in Sweden where she has a cabin. I also contacted an orher women that I met last autumn and that I might by working with later.
But I was not good at meeting lots of unknown people. I was friendly to everyone, but didn'k make conversation with many new. Many of the people were also a generation older than I was. I hang out most with my generation. New chance tomorrow.

Carrie

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #81 on: February 10, 2018, 01:27:22 PM »
I need to host a coffee day to build up to a dinner. I love to cook, and I want to get to know three different neighbors/families in our neighborhood,. Not necessarily to be my bff, but so I know them and trust them since our kids play together.  It also wouldn't hurt to have a few more connections anyway.

So - coffee first, I'd make scones or a pastry, invite 3-4 neighbors (moms who work part time or sah).  Then beginning of March invite one family for dinner. Doable? 

I always wonder how often other families invite guests into their home. I want to work up to 1x per month for dinner and 2x per month for  either coffee or a craft day.

Dicey

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #82 on: February 10, 2018, 02:11:40 PM »
Okay, more social capital. After a long period of unemployment*, my good friend was asked to be the interim Executive Director for a non-profit that's right up her alley. We have season tickets to our regional theater. I knew our subscription seat mate was connected with the same NP in some way, but we've never done much more than exchanged social pleasantries. Saw him last night at the theater and asked him if he knew my friend. Turns out he would be her boss. Further, they had done final interviews just yesterday. I told him a story about my friend that demonstrated her amazing resourcefulness that she never would have told in an interview. (It was about a trip we took together that could easily have gone sideways, but her smart thinking and connections saved the vacation.) Who knows? It might just might tip the decision in her favor. Kinda cool.

Today I'm going to a Valentine's Tea for charity. A library friend called when a slot opened up. I have a "Random Ask" giving category that works like this. Whenever someone asks me for something that seems worthy/interesting/intriguing, I give them a hundred bucks. I earmark $1k annually for this type of giving. Any residuals go toward our regular charitable giving. The ticket price is only $35. There will be a silent auction raffle where you buy tickets and drop them in the baskets of the things you'd like to win. I plan on buying $65 in raffle tickets and taking my chances on the practical things. More to the point, it will give me something to do and something to talk with other people about. I have no idea how many people I will know there, but I suspect not a lot. In a nice bit of synchronicity, some of the beneficiaries of this event are also supported by the friend from the first story's NP.

Plus, I confessed elsewhere about buying a pink scarf for a previous Valentine's-themed event. I'll be wearing it today for the win.

Oh, and Monday is my turn to host the Board Meeting for another group. Twenty women in the morning. Fortunately, the hostess only provides coffee and tea, which I have and were paid for by this group (I'm the Hospitality Chair), for the frugal win. The co-hostess brings the edibles so easy-peasy for me. Then on Monday afternoon, we have the first meeting for an annual city-wide event that I co-chair. Probably about fifteen people will turn up for that. It's not in my home, and we don't serve refreshments, so it will be even easier. Whew, thats a lot of socializing in a short amount of time.

*My friend was in a small-ish multinational company where she was their factotum in two languages on several continents. The co-owner/founder died suddenly and the company was sold. The new owners discovered how amazingly capable my friend is and they kept piling on more and more responsibilities. Finally, she had enough. She asked for a buyout and Got It! She's fine financially, but did not expect this sabbatical to last as long as it did. I suspect this new job will not pay nearly as well, but she's got enough put by that it won't kill her, and it aligns with her passions. It's an FU story to be sure, but it's not mine, so I'll just tell it here, not on that other thread. I strongly suspect that my friend is FI. She's not mustachian at all. I'd guess she has no plans for ER. Different strokes, I guess, but still a good story.

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #83 on: February 10, 2018, 05:27:03 PM »
I think I'm going to try practising this gauntlet in this thread :) I was thinking that online friends and acquaintances matter too.

@Linda_Norway I think a lot of people find it hard to make conversation with people they haven't met before, but maintaining connections with people you know is important.

@Carrie I love how you're continuing to push yourself outside of your comfort zone! Very inspiring. Hope it all goes well with your neighbours.

@Dicey Wow, that's a lot in a short space of time, and I love how you're conciously using social capital to try to help others.


I was going to write more but I have to go meet a friend for lunch. :)

JanetJackson

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #84 on: February 10, 2018, 06:59:40 PM »
Okay, more social capital. After a long period of unemployment*, my good friend was asked to be the interim Executive Director for a non-profit that's right up her alley. We have season tickets to our regional theater. I knew our subscription seat mate was connected with the same NP in some way, but we've never done much more than exchanged social pleasantries. Saw him last night at the theater and asked him if he knew my friend. Turns out he would be her boss. Further, they had done final interviews just yesterday. I told him a story about my friend that demonstrated her amazing resourcefulness that she never would have told in an interview. (It was about a trip we took together that could easily have gone sideways, but her smart thinking and connections saved the vacation.) Who knows? It might just might tip the decision in her favor. Kinda cool.

Today I'm going to a Valentine's Tea for charity. A library friend called when a slot opened up. I have a "Random Ask" giving category that works like this. Whenever someone asks me for something that seems worthy/interesting/intriguing, I give them a hundred bucks. I earmark $1k annually for this type of giving. Any residuals go toward our regular charitable giving. The ticket price is only $35. There will be a silent auction raffle where you buy tickets and drop them in the baskets of the things you'd like to win. I plan on buying $65 in raffle tickets and taking my chances on the practical things. More to the point, it will give me something to do and something to talk with other people about. I have no idea how many people I will know there, but I suspect not a lot. In a nice bit of synchronicity, some of the beneficiaries of this event are also supported by the friend from the first story's NP.

Plus, I confessed elsewhere about buying a pink scarf for a previous Valentine's-themed event. I'll be wearing it today for the win.

Oh, and Monday is my turn to host the Board Meeting for another group. Twenty women in the morning. Fortunately, the hostess only provides coffee and tea, which I have and were paid for by this group (I'm the Hospitality Chair), for the frugal win. The co-hostess brings the edibles so easy-peasy for me. Then on Monday afternoon, we have the first meeting for an annual city-wide event that I co-chair. Probably about fifteen people will turn up for that. It's not in my home, and we don't serve refreshments, so it will be even easier. Whew, thats a lot of socializing in a short amount of time.

*My friend was in a small-ish multinational company where she was their factotum in two languages on several continents. The co-owner/founder died suddenly and the company was sold. The new owners discovered how amazingly capable my friend is and they kept piling on more and more responsibilities. Finally, she had enough. She asked for a buyout and Got It! She's fine financially, but did not expect this sabbatical to last as long as it did. I suspect this new job will not pay nearly as well, but she's got enough put by that it won't kill her, and it aligns with her passions. It's an FU story to be sure, but it's not mine, so I'll just tell it here, not on that other thread. I strongly suspect that my friend is FI. She's not mustachian at all. I'd guess she has no plans for ER. Different strokes, I guess, but still a good story.

Great updates!  I often consider going to charity events to increase the "justification" of a social event to encourage myself to go!  Maybe I'll do it!

Dollar Slice

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #85 on: February 10, 2018, 09:29:56 PM »
My entire week ended up being excessively social. I went out to seven events alone and ran into people I knew at every damn one. Even the weird "ice dancing to Franz Schubert" thing I got a free ticket to. I even ran into someone while walking down Broadway in midtown NYC during rush hour, and it turned out we were on our way to the same place.

I will only take gauntlet credit for one of them, where I was in a rush to get from event A (ended at 8) to event B (starting at 8:30), and walked past someone thinking "huh, that kind of looked like so-and-so"... and made myself go back to check, and say hello when it turned out to be her, and long story short she and her friend were interested in coming to event B with me, so we shared a taxi over and ended up having a long talk (I really only knew her slightly, so this was a big step). She introduced me to two of her friends, who seemed like very interesting people.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #86 on: February 11, 2018, 10:27:48 AM »
Today I was at the second day of the event. I talked a bit to a person I met yesterday and who I knew. Also talked to a couple of other women I'd met during courses in autumn who liked to catch up with me. Talked to a strange women from another region. And I had nice conversation with two unknown men at the munch table. One of them is learning to pass an exam in the subject and doesn't live too far from my place. I passed the exam last autumn and offered him to contact me later in the year to help him study. (The subject is knowledge about mushrooms, so we need to wait for the right season and can study by taking a walk in the forest. The whole conferance was about mushrooms.)

MrsWhipple

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #87 on: February 11, 2018, 12:08:00 PM »
Okay, more social capital. After a long period of unemployment*, my good friend was asked to be the interim Executive Director for a non-profit that's right up her alley. We have season tickets to our regional theater. I knew our subscription seat mate was connected with the same NP in some way, but we've never done much more than exchanged social pleasantries. Saw him last night at the theater and asked him if he knew my friend. Turns out he would be her boss. Further, they had done final interviews just yesterday. I told him a story about my friend that demonstrated her amazing resourcefulness that she never would have told in an interview. (It was about a trip we took together that could easily have gone sideways, but her smart thinking and connections saved the vacation.) Who knows? It might just might tip the decision in her favor. Kinda cool.
This is fantastic! I feel like sometimes I hold myself back from helping since I don't want to overstep bounds, but I think I need to indulge in whatever urges towards generosity I get. There's a neighbor who's really sick right now and going through treatment, and I'm going to ask her more if her toddler can come over to play with mine so that she gets more of a break. He's a sweet kid, so it's no trouble at all, but she never asks for help so I think I need to be better about reaching out.

Villanelle

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #88 on: February 12, 2018, 01:54:22 AM »
I forced myself to go out to a dinner with a group of people that I am sort of naturally a part of (by the nature of DH's job and our positions), but that I have up until now sort of avoided due to anxieties.  I really didn't want to go.  I considered begging off as sick at the last moment (and I did have a cough that has now actually turned into Very Sick).  But I went and ended up having a very nice time.   

Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #89 on: February 12, 2018, 02:05:12 AM »
I forced myself to go out to a dinner with a group of people that I am sort of naturally a part of (by the nature of DH's job and our positions), but that I have up until now sort of avoided due to anxieties.  I really didn't want to go.  I considered begging off as sick at the last moment (and I did have a cough that has now actually turned into Very Sick).  But I went and ended up having a very nice time.

Well done of stepping outside your comfort zone and getting a positive experience.

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #90 on: February 12, 2018, 02:29:01 AM »
I met with a friend for lunch yesterday, it had been nearly a year since we'd caught up. It was a fun couple of hours.

I forced myself to go out to a dinner with a group of people that I am sort of naturally a part of (by the nature of DH's job and our positions), but that I have up until now sort of avoided due to anxieties.  I really didn't want to go.  I considered begging off as sick at the last moment (and I did have a cough that has now actually turned into Very Sick).  But I went and ended up having a very nice time.   

Well done on overcoming your anxieties and going to the dinner! That's a big deal. I'm battling anxieties about writing to various people tonight. Argh.

Hirondelle

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #91 on: February 12, 2018, 04:14:26 AM »
Update on my initial to do list:
- Make plans with friends in hometown for the weekend This worked out. Met up with all of them
- Ask a friend who's just back from a 2 month overseas trip to meet up when I'm in boss' city next week. Did reach out, but she didn't have time unfortunately
- Text my friend in Pisa about my plans for my upcoming Italy trip and to what extent she has time to hang out/host me. Done. I can stay at her place as long as I want and she has time for some trips on the weekend!

So all are done and 3/5 of my reach outs were succesful in the sense of a meetup. The other friends didn't have time but will be happy to meet up later.

New on the list:
- Invite one girl from "new friends" group for lunch at work as we happen to work almost next to each other. This probably won't happen until March due to me going on holiday this Friday
- Get to know one of my co-workers better - he seems nicer than I thought at first. Won't be at work till Wednesday
- Plan dinner with my office (only date that worked out so far was Valentine's day - how about we're all lonely PhD students :')) This date is set. Even the only postdoc with a wife managed to convince her of celebrating Valentine's day another day :p

Carrie

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #92 on: February 12, 2018, 08:31:39 AM »
I have been feeling unsociable this weekend. The weather is dreary/rainy and perfect for cocooning in the house working on a sewing project & reading books.

I was asked to check on kitties for a fairly new friend (known them for about a year) while they're out of town. This makes me feel good that we can do things for each other. I need to make sure to cherish & grow this friendship.

I guess I need to set a day and text invites for that coffee I've been thinking about hosting. Maybe next Monday, and invite 2 or 3.

Drole

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #93 on: February 12, 2018, 07:29:13 PM »
I need to host a coffee day to build up to a dinner. I love to cook, and I want to get to know three different neighbors/families in our neighborhood,. Not necessarily to be my bff, but so I know them and trust them since our kids play together.  It also wouldn't hurt to have a few more connections anyway.

So - coffee first, I'd make scones or a pastry, invite 3-4 neighbors (moms who work part time or sah).  Then beginning of March invite one family for dinner. Doable? 

I always wonder how often other families invite guests into their home. I want to work up to 1x per month for dinner and 2x per month for  either coffee or a craft day.

I need to do this too. We have 2 new neighbors.  Both younger/without kids, but need to build up some community where we are currently living.  Perhaps I'll see about coffee and breakfast tacos. 

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #94 on: February 13, 2018, 02:22:34 PM »
I haven't done anything yet. :(

Tris Prior

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #95 on: February 13, 2018, 03:15:03 PM »
I need to be on this thread.

Boyfriend and I are pretty socially isolated. We interact a lot with friends on social media - a large number of our close friends have moved away in the past few years - but seem to strike out regarding any sort of in person contact with local people. I'm not sure if we're somehow offending people, or our friends are largely just really flaky and unable to show up at a date and time they say they will, or what's going on. We get a lot of last minute cancellations, or we make plans and for whatever reason they don't happen. Recent examples:

- I make plans to go to the Women's March with a friend. We arrive separately (this was probably the fatal flaw but I wanted to minimize my standing-around-waiting-for-stuff-to-start time so I didn't get tired too quickly), and when I get there I message her asking where she is. No response. I hear back from her hours later, after we're both home, that she went with other people.

- While Boyfriend and I are both horribly sick with flu, a friend emails us: "Hey, when you guys are feeling better, why don't we all get drinks?" I respond, "Yes! We're still sick but when we recover, let's definitely do this." We recover. I check in with them again - "Hey, we're healthy now! When would be good?" Response: "OMG, we're so busy right now, we can't, so sorry." This was about a week after the initial invite. What happened?

I try not to take stuff personally. People have lives and stress and schedule problems. But this sort of thing happens a LOT, and after a while you start wondering if it's you.

Boyfriend is turning 50 in a month and he sent save-the-dates for an evening out, last month. A few people said they'd show - but we get so many last minute cancellations any time we make plans with people that I'm scared to death he won't have anyone come and celebrate his milestone. (Two of the "yes" RSVPs are the couple who invited us for drinks and then said "OMG too busy!")

So, clearly I need to make new connections with others who are reliable. I have no idea how to screen for this other than trial and error.

Right now, the other impediment is the 14 inches of snow on the ground. I can't blame people; I don't want to be out in that either.

I think we should start small - joining things, leaving our house to go to events we're interested in. Maybe some meetups. Hard sell when the weather's so bad but we can force ourselves.

Boyfriend, however, wants to leap right into inviting people over, which gives me a lot of anxiety because I'm not a great housekeeper and I've had close friends shame me because I missed some dirt somewhere even after I spent days scrubbing. (There was also a memorable incident where a friend turned on a ceiling fan that we'd literally never turned on since moving into our apartment, because I don't like them, and huge dust bunnies flew EVERYWHERE. I was mortified.) And yes, I know someone who shames you for not being clean enough is not really a friend, but again, how do you screen for that?

Poundwise

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #96 on: February 13, 2018, 08:14:22 PM »
Quote
I make plans to go to the Women's March with a friend. We arrive separately (this was probably the fatal flaw but I wanted to minimize my standing-around-waiting-for-stuff-to-start time so I didn't get tired too quickly), and when I get there I message her asking where she is. No response. I hear back from her hours later, after we're both home, that she went with other people.

Something like this happened to me, too, at the NYC March. I  found myself going with an entirely different group than those I expected to see, and met up with some others. I tried to text my original group, but texting was not working. In the end my son and I got separated from all of our companions, then ran into another person we knew, and went home with her.  I know a group of over 40 people who started out together, but only about 7 were left by the end.

Over the weekend, I went to a party alone, because my husband didn't want to go.  I didn't have the best time ever, but I did see a lot of people I know. It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.

I think I have been making progress on "truthfully compliment a person at least once a day" front. I think the ultimate goal is to increase this to noticing/saying something good to each person with whom I interact for more than 5 minutes each day. I just can't think that fast, so maybe I can ratchet up to 3 compliments a day?

Dollar Slice

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #97 on: February 13, 2018, 09:19:53 PM »
Tonight, even though I was really tired and worked late, I called a family member (who really likes phone calls) and talked for an hour. We made tentative plans to see each other next week. Sunday night I went to a concert and saw a couple of friends/acquaintances who have been having pretty serious health problems lately, and tried to be a sympathetic listener. I also talked to the musician who put my friend on the guest list for her concerts and made sure my friend had a chance to thank her in person.

Over the weekend, I went to a party alone, because my husband didn't want to go.  I didn't have the best time ever, but I did see a lot of people I know. It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.

You should definitely have more fun. Fun is a lot of fun! ;-)  And there are lots of fun activities that aren't about consumerism. I guess not every crowd of friends is the same, but in my friend group if you had a party there would be discussion of interesting books, documentaries, music, local events, politics, etc. Much better than talking about everyone's latest example of conspicuous consumption. :-/

I always worry about my dad, he's well into FI and 72 and says he will never retire unless he's forced to. But work clearly and obviously stresses him out very much, to the point that it affects his health. I wish he had a great hobby that he had been dreaming about retiring to for 20 years instead of this.

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #98 on: February 13, 2018, 10:41:40 PM »
Today: hung out with my mums' group. Such awesome women.

I'm making plans to have a friend over during the day on Friday. Woot!

Drole

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #99 on: February 14, 2018, 02:14:47 AM »
Met up with my new acquaintance-friend-to-be for a walk and that went well. Future walks delayed due to her schedule, but in a few weeks, we should be able to go again.

Posted in a small group that I can host some folks overnight.

Tried to chit chat with the other parents at most recent school bday party. I get confused on names, kids, etc etc