The Art of Blending In
How to blend and make friends in any environment
2 weeks ago I was sitting in a posh bar in the heart of manhattan with a business partner and two 20 year old models that make more cash than both of us. Outlandish 20 foot tall photographs covered the walls and provided endless conversation pieces as we sipped on $17 dollar cocktails.
Last night, I was wearing jeans covered in gasoline/oil smoking a cigarette in front of a shithole college bar chatting with the bouncer about where to buy good welding gear… Ah how quickly things can change if you have the ability to change your location and have the ability to interface with all different kinds of people.
The ability to connect with people quickly and off more or less random circumstances is a crucial key in our self reliant toolbox. When I first started in this lifestyle by design journey, just getting to new cities/countries was the big daunting task. But trust me, once that comes now the focus is on getting the richest experience out of new places as quickly and effectively as possible. I quickly realized that the richness of an experience is directly correlated to the type of people I meet, the friendships I make, girls I date etc.
Sure you can take amazing shots for instagram by yourself (and you should) but almost all of your crazy interesting stories will involve people of some kind. So let’s dive into a little thought framework I’ve been using to meet and connect with people in cities where I don’t know anyone.
Now a small logistical note here, you need ot put yourself in a city center, where there just ARE lots of people. The more you can interact with the better, and the closer to your house means the more likely it’ll happen with increased frequency. Ok, onward.
In my experience there really are only a few different broad ‘types’ of people. And it doesn’t take much to be able to relate to all of them on some level.
The general formula for this is:
Understand which type of person this is and what really interests them.
2. Know just enough about that subject/have some experience in something related and ask them for more information/detail.
Most people lead completely one dimensional lives. Their job is all the do, or they only study, or they’re hostel bouncing travelers or whatever.
The important thing here is that we, being self reliant men are NOT one dimensional. We do a ton of different things and seek out different experiences. And because of this no matter what we do it’s likely we will never MASTER the thing that our one-dimensional acquaintance spends his entire life on. The bouncer at the college bar for example knows more about this town’s nightlife, crowd, and bar life than you ever will unless you also spend 5 nights a week working a door in town.
But, we don’t need to spend 5 nights a week working at a bar to understand the nightlife game and be able to relate to this guy on some level to make a connection and start a friendship.
By the way, this is a thought framework that mostly comes from Dale Carnegie’s how to win friends and influence people book. If you haven’t read it’s a several hundred page detailed manual on ‘influence’. The entire book can be summed up into one maxim and I’ll just save the time because i’m a nice guy.
“If you want to befriend someone, find out what’s important to them and be GENUINELY interested in that thing”
The only way to do this is to cultivate a habit of curiosity (works well for dating too). If we go back to the example of the bar staff, it’s not that after meeting a bouncer you need to decide to change careers to have an interest in his job, his experience/life.
So when I’m talking to someone like that, I truly am digging deep to find out more. I’m here in Austin now, when I chat up someone at a bar that is working I’m like a researching trying to find out everything I possibly can about Austin’s nightlife, what it’s like working here etc. etc. Having this frame also keeps the other person talking about themselves, which is key. The more someone shares with you the more they subconsciously ‘invest’ in the friendship. It builds some extra level of comfort, and comfort is the basis of all friendships my dear reader.
Once you adopt this frame of being curious, you’ll collect so much information from some many different kind of lives that eventually you’ll have a massive bank of information to call upon. When you talk to your bouncer in Austin, you’ll likely have befriended other bouncers across the world and you can share their experiences with your new friend as if they were your own. All the while you are becoming more experienced, my knowledgeable/cultured and overall a more interesting man.
Hope that helps gents, cheers.
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