Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Fulfillment Project Dinner Party

I haven't touched on the social aspect of The Fulfillment Project yet, but given that the holiday season, with its many, many parties, is upon us, it feels appropriate.

Life isn't complete without friends!
An important part of making my pretty good life even better is extending myself socially. If you haven't already guessed, I like to talk to people.

But lately, I've noticed that I stick mostly to my established friends. I don't make much of an effort to meet new people. The Fulfillment Project has made me wonder whether making a new friend or two isn't an important component of making my pretty good life even better.

The only obstacle to this goal is that grown ups don't make friends the way kids do. We don't look at each other in coffee shops and say, "Wanta be friends? Okay, let's play." We're a little more cautious. Which means acquiring and investing in new friends can be a time-consuming project. I have to make time and space for new people in my life. After I've made that time and space, I have to hope we are a fit. It's like dating without the physical component.

I was discussing this issue with some of my friends at lunch the other day when someone hit on a brilliant idea.

"You should do a speed-friending dinner party," she suggested. "Invite all the people you think are interesting but don't know very well, then spend three minutes talking to each other. If both people want to continue, than that person goes into the dinner party pool."


Like speed dating, but for friends.
I promise I won't make people compete for seats at my dinner table (after all, who would subject themselves to that) but I love the efficiency of the idea. It seems like the world is ripe for speed-friending. I can already envision women meeting in a church basement and whipping out their iphones to schedule lunch dates with compatibility matches. For that matter, men could be included too. Women aren't the only ones who stand to benefit from expanding their social circle.

Any ambitious souls want to organize one in Portland? Going once...going twice....what, no takers? I guess I'll just have to do it the old fashioned way.  


Dianne K. Salerni said...

I've heard of speed-dating, and after completing 50+ teacher-parent conferencing at 7.5 minutes each, I know what that's like. Never heard of speed-friending before!

My husband and I have also commented that we would like to meet more people and expand our circle of friends. However, we are both rather shy.

Nevertheless, we recently accepted an invitation to a Christmas party thrown by people we don't know really well, and we've made up our minds to try and get around and talk to everyone there. Not too bad a goal for two introverts.

We'll see how we do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never heard of speed friending! But you're right, it's more difficult when we are older to make friends.

Johanna Garth said...

Speed dating has been around but speed-friending is my own creation!

Diane, I totally understand about having to work at going to a party where you don't know the people as well.

Alex, yes! Why is that?

T. L. Cooper said...

I've also been wondering why it seems harder to make new friends as we get older... I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately. I've not reached any satisfactory conclusions yet. Everything I come up with feels like an excuse rather than a true reason...
I find it easy to make acquaintances. It's moving from there to friendship where things break down for me.

The Bookworm said...

youre so right: 'acquiring and investing in new friends can be a time-consuming project'<-thats very true. And it is harder to make friends as we get older. I think maybe because life is so busy already, its hard to make time for new friends.
I do like the idea of a speed-friending dinner party :)