Welcome to Techtroversion!
If you are an avid gamer, redditor, or tech professional who wants to improve their communication skills, you have came to the right spot. If you don’t ascribe to the prior descriptions, that’s okay too, but I must warn you that some of my content is inappropriate for children and sensitive people.
Thoughts for Food is where I answer questions from friends and readers about different communication scenarios. If you are interested in learning more about communication, go to the blog.
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No New Friends (from Reddit)
baeconpancakes: How do I make new friends in a city I’ve lived for two years, but haven’t really met a lot of people yet?
I’m not a student, although I’m student age (21, almost 22) and it’s a very student populated city in the UK. I work full time so evenings and weekends are the only time I can really do anything. I have a fiance and we spend most of our free time with each other, or his friends. My only friends are his (who I love, they’re all really fun) but I have no clue how to approach people on my own and feel like I’m awful at small talk etc….I’m terrible with cancelling plans because I let myself get so anxious about it.
I love his friends and we all get on really well, I just feel guilty that everyone he knows he kind of has to “share” with me (he doesn’t mind, but I know it’s nice to have your own friends to chat to) and I haven’t had a friend of my own in so long. The only person I’ve met here is moving away this month meaning my socialising with her once a month will stop… which is tragic.
I just feel a bit hopeless, boring and feel like because I haven’t had friends in so long I’ve forgotten how to “do it” haa. Any advice etc would be greatly appreciated!
Techtro: I wrote a blog post about meeting new people (http://techtroversion.com/new-year-new-conversation/), which I believe will help you, even though it is “commonsense” information. Making new friendships and maintaining current ones takes effort. I have downsized my friend group significantly in recent years, because I wanted more time to myself. If you’re looking for a friend, sometimes listening to what someone has to say is more than enough to build a lasting relationship. However, if you build a relationships that way, don’t be upset when they build the expectation of you as the listener. I would suggest understanding what you want out of a friendship first, then you can be more intentional with where and how you choose to approach people. Cheers!
University Blues (from Reddit)
NonAmericanPsycho: “I’m a university student living at home and I spend most days just driving to school and back. On weekends, I mostly hangout with the same few guys I’ve always known, smoke weed in their basement and do nothing. I have an easy time talking to new people, but a hard time making friends. I’m a virgin who’s never had a girlfriend and I hate how boring my life is because I know it should be so much more. I don’t know where to go to meet girls either.”
Techtro: Personally, I had the same experience when I was 17 years old, at the end of my senior year in high school. I was a super late bloomer and poorly dressed, so I had to watch all my friends date, while I sat on the sidelines. Music is a great way of meeting and entertaining ladies, so I highly advise you to keep up the musicianship. In terms of finding people to date, I would join a meetup group and check out Tinder and Bumble. I know the latter two options are far from ideal, but they will provide valuable insight into what people want in relationships/hooking up, as well as texting experience. I know you’re not supposed to advertise, but I am starting a blog for younger people who are interested in improving their social skills. Here’s a link to one of my posts that I think might help you learn a little about building your confidence and tracking negative thought patterns, http://techtroversion.com/building-confidence-monitoring-thoughts/
I think it could be a valuable resource for you, and will be adding more content as the weeks progress. Please feel free to reach out to me with any specific questions. Otherwise, stay patient; women can sense desperation, appear nonchalant and mysterious. Cheers!
NonAmericanPsycho: Maybe it’s probably the music I like, but I almost never get attention from girls for my playing haha. The most I got last year was a girl asking to play a Drake song on my electric guitar. I sort of cringed and chuckled at the same time lol. I’ve used Tinder and Bumble and I’ve had pretty good luck with matches, but the girls are just extremely selective and they tend to so stop talking to me after a bit even if the conversation was going well. I feel like I would have better luck in person. I just never see girls alone. They’re always with their friends or some kind of group. I’ve been told by my friend’s girlfriend once that I give off this vibe that I don’t care or that it’s like I’m talking to a guy when I talk to girls. I still don’t know what to make of that lol. I’ll definitely checkout the blog. I was told recently that you should never be so arrogant as to completely dismiss someone’s honest attempt at helping you and it’s really stuck with me. Thanks for the advice!
Techtro: You will have to search around to find someone who specifically fits your musical interests, but it doesn’t hurt to have a couple more popular songs in your repertoire for crowd pleasing. As far as Tinder and Bumble are concerned, don’t be afraid to flatter, and when things are going well, suggest a date at a coffee shop or some setting that allows for a brief date, and then go from there. Make sure you know what you want from the encounter before it begins, but don’t make it obvious to her. Group dynamics are great when meeting people for the first time. You don’t have to worry about constantly entertaining her, and you can talk to other people while monitoring the body language of the person you are interested in. If you are talking to one of her friends, and she keeps looking over at you or trying to talk to you, it probably means she is interested. Entertaining conversations at the outset are difficult, maybe have a couple interesting questions to pique their interest (e.g. If you could hop on a plane and go somewhere right now, where would you go?). Hope this helps!
One Line to Rule Them All
Gabe: “What is the one line that you use on women in order to seal the deal?”
Techtro: There is never going to be one good line that works well for all women; nonverbals are a much better indicator of where you stand with someone who you are speaking with. Body language and confidence will help you out way more than one line to draw her in. If you play your cards right, you will know what you are capable of achieving way before you need to resort to cheesy one-liners.
As far as flirting is concerned, be generous with your compliments (avoid excessive flattery), ask open-ended questions, and listen attentively. Make sure to maintain consistent eye contact (not too much), and nod or interject when appropriate to ask for clarification and confirm that you are following along with their story. Once you have put in a significant amount of chatter, and she seems to be laughing and enjoying your conversation, find an opportunity to put a hand on her shoulder or upper back, these are usually safe places to start (an open-backed dress might be iffy), and from there you will have to work your way down. If you are at a club or bar that has dancing, ask them to dance with you, I cannot think of a better way to build intimacy with someone outside of dancing.
One liners should be reserved for the most suave and successful individuals. If that’s you, then go ahead and try out a couple; if you are an average Joe, then I would recommend sticking to the process. Be respectful, attentive, and enjoy every interaction, even those that don’t go as well as you would have liked. Every failed opportunity should serve as a guide for what not to do in the future, or it’s quite possible that you ran into a prude. Thanks for your question! 🙂
Brandon: “I got in a Lyft with some friends–the driver had cochlear implants in his ear–and I wanted to know about the effectiveness of his implants, so I asked him, ‘are those cochlear implants?’ As soon as I asked, everyone in the car told me to be quiet, because they thought I was being rude. What do you think?”
Techtro: I have known Brandon for a long time, so I know for a fact that he meant no offense by his question. However, from an outside perspective, I could definitely see how his behavior could be misconstrued as rude. Broaching uncomfortable topics is never easy and results may vary, but nonverbal communication will probably determine the outcome of your conversation.
Tone will be the biggest nonverbal factor to be aware of.
Sarcasm is the antithesis of successful awkward conversations with strangers. If the recipient has the slightest inkling that you are joking, you will be dead in the water. An inquisitive tone will convey your curiosity, and start you off on the right path. Once you have asked the question, pay attention to the reaction of the recipient, if they seem hostile, back off; otherwise, continue with caution and be respectful. Short responses are indicative of a disinterest in the topic, if you cannot engage the receiver, I would suggest changing the topic to something more appropriate for a cab conversation.
Your question seems innocuous to me, but the bay area is a cesspool when it comes to political correctness. I suggest finding friends who are more comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. Thanks for the question!
Arianna: I was sitting on the bus, heading to college, and the guy sitting across from me was flossing his teeth vigorously. After he finished, he rolled the floss in his hands, threw it away, and got out mouthwash in order to rinse his mouth. It was disturbing and gross. After finishing with the mouthwash, he spit it out onto a tissue, and I could see the spit drip down. He does this every morning. What do you think?
Techtro: First, that is disgusting. Commuting to school is bad enough without the added eyesore of watching your fellow students perform their morning hygiene rituals. As uncomfortable as the situation might be for you, he is doing little to harm those around him. When the process begins, you will have to avert your gaze and find something more enjoyable to watch. Take out your phone or bring a book.
I cannot fathom any intervention that would lead to a successful outcome without coming off as an asshole or just being put in your place for not minding your own business.
Sorry for the commute qualms, hopefully he can find time to take care of his hygiene at home. Thank you for sharing!
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