Meet and Greet

The door opens and you enter a room full of people.

It is full of mostly unknown faces, spread here and there in various social bubbles. There is music playing faintly in the background and a table with munchies on it.

People permeate the scene, coming and going...chatting, sitting, standing, mingling.

So what do you do? How do you respond?

Do you meet new people? Do you find the people you know and pull up a chair?

Are you uncomfortable with all these stangers? Do you find the nearest warm body and strike up a convo?

All questions we ask in social settings, I think. Or perhaps we don't ask them, but merely feel them.

And I find the variable social responses to a group environment particularly curious. How people react in the environment, what they do, who they talk to, what they "get" out of the experience.

Oftentimes I make the mistake of thinking that everyone thinks like me. Certainly this is not the case. And earlier this year, through some enriching convos, I came to a broader understanding about social situations in particular: not everyone likes group settings. And actually, some people really DIS-like them and would prefer, for example, bamboo splinters under the fingernails. And some people are in the middle.

So, it's good to understand the various personal perspectives concerning group settings and meeting new individuals. And one perspective isn't better than another. Outgoing isn't the ideal. But I find that I really do enjoy these things. Or meeting new people, at least.

The Technique:

I scan the crowd for familiar faces and address these people. Then I move on to the new peeps, employing predatorial methods to meet and greet. The key is to single people off from a social bubble and then attack. I find this method less intimidating (for me) than addressing a whole group of newbies.

And I like the mindset of thinking of everyone I first meet as a friend. No pre-reqs necessary. And I generally need to know more about people than less for some reason. Background, profession, family details, etc. I don't know why, but I do. And having completed many, many interviews for journalism stories, introducing myself and sparking a dialogue isn't scary like it used to be (see a very shy middle school J Stu).

But we're all coming to the scene with different personalities and backgrounds and side dishes (hopefully). And a group setting tends to display this smattering of sundry people types. And I find this cross section interesting and enjoyable. I also like to just kick back and observe sometimes too.

So, yeah, this is my perspective. Been thinking about this lately.

It was nice to meet you though. Great party. I'm gonna go get some more dip and carrots at the food table now.

1 Response to 'Meet and Greet'

  • Laura Negus said...'> 1:30 PM

    Its that ending line that gets my palms sweating. How do you just walk away? And if its just a one-on-one, the person is just standing there. I usually just panic and head to the bathroom to breathe.