Making New Friends 101

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Making New Friends 101

Jesse Ostio using his phone before the bell rings for 6th period.

Jesse Ostio using his phone before the bell rings for 6th period.

Robert Morgan

Jesse Ostio using his phone before the bell rings for 6th period.

Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan

Jesse Ostio using his phone before the bell rings for 6th period.

Robert Morgan, Guest Writer

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Generation Z (born between 1995-2010) is the 1st generation to be raised on the smartphone. It was 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and now more than 83% of the population uses the device.

This phone usage has lead to mornings at Godinez where you can pass 30 students in the hall and every one of them is staring at their phone. They have many things in common with the student 5 feet away, however, they almost never verbally or audibly speak to each other.

The smartphone has taken away their initiative to meet new people. You and your phone live in a solitary world that can often lead to loneliness. It may seem less scary to just look at your phone rather than talking to a stranger right next to you.

Take a lesson from teacher Erin Sloan and talk to anybody. Instead of keeping your head down, make eye contact, smile, and say something to somebody. Principal Jesse Church has not been successful in life due to keeping his head down. He is a great example of confident networking.

Start with a compliment then go to a question. The easiest way to get to know a new person is to walk up to them and say, “those are cool shoes, where did you get them?” NOTICE the compliment followed by the question?

Shoe compliments work well for male or female…they all like their shoes that is why they chose them.

This gives them the feeling that you really care and that you have noticed them. Hopefully, this leads to an answer that is more than one word. If it falls flat and you only get oneword then be ready with plan B.

Plan B needs to come off naturally and can vary depending on the outward appearance of the other individual. The plan B to get a new friend: Boy-ask what game system they like to play or favorite sports team…For Girls: Ask if they have had or are going to have a quince, or ask where they got their backpack. Any question to get them talking about themselves is the correct
way to initiate a new relationship.

Everybody I know likes to talk about themselves, especially if it is something they care about.

Finally, don’t overdo it. If the conversation seems to be sputtering to an end, let it go and come up with an appropriate end greeting. You can always say hi tomorrow,  now that the ice is broken. It is not bad to rehearse these end of conversation greetings as they can be tough. “It was great talking to you…” or… make it sincere.

Follow these simple steps and you will soon be on your way to building a stronger network which someday can pay off with a new job, a new husband/wife, or just simply a new friend.

Guest writer Robert Morgan is a social science teacher, entrepreneur, fantasy football legend and of course, networker at Godinez Fundamental High School.