Social Rituals: A Day in the Life Sunday

As I pack my bag for a swim meet weekend I realize that if I play my technology, books and work projects right, I may not have to engage in any conversation I don't want to. I am not anti-social. I just don't do well in forced social situations.



I used to feel guilty about not getting excited about over the top celebrations, being utterly content with small gatherings of close friends and "settling" for a quiet dinner on my birthday. Surprise parties, vacation cruises and extravagant jewelry bought to mark a milestone are not important to me. Oh, I'll take them but they'll mean more to me if they are given out love, interest or desire and not simply because of a social ritual (click for link.)

I am not denouncing social rituals across the board. There are ones that reach out and grab me but there are others I can simply do without.

I love that my husband asked me to marry him in a rowboat on the Eibsee at the base of the Zugspitze (click for link) and had a ring to back it up. I love the markets, the lights, the festivities of Christmas Eve and waking up at home on Christmas morning. I love being beside my daughter each night until she falls asleep (or I fall asleep first). 

The ritual of hauling the clan from house to house on Thanksgiving to eat turkey or on December 25 to eat ham because the calendar says were are supposed to, I can do without. Who has time for family drama because you couldn't make it to a baby or wedding shower or mailed a birthday card out late?

Fortunately, this weekend's swim meet conversations are not forced and I enjoy them immensely. After 5 hours, however, I am ready to revert to my homebody ways and stick my nose in a book, my Google Reader or a round of Word with Friends. 

And I do.

3 Things They Didn't Tell You About Networking

From challenges to "get social" to chants of "it's not what you know, it's who you know," the message to connect is loud and clear. For some, networking is just another day in the neighborhood. For others, the call to network is met with a hearty, "No, thank you!"



Whether you are seeking a job, building a tribe (click to follow link), or entering a new community, it is important that you do not ignore the call to network. Taking the first step may have you mentally (or physically) bolting for the door, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Buyer beware when it comes to networking advice. Here are 3 things "they" didn't tell you about networking:

One connection is enough. One meaningful connection beats scanning the most business cards (as if this were a game). Seek out someone who shares the same interests as you, has accomplished something you'd like to learn more about or someone you have something you'd like to offer o them or assist them with.

You don't have to go if you don't want to. Long week, conflicting priorities, down time in short supply . . . whatever the reason, it's OK to decline an invitation. But don't let the opportunity pass you by. Is there another time to connect you can offer to the person or group? See #1 above.

Others are looking to connect with you. Chances are, someone has spotted you from across the room. You are on their short list of people to talk with at the event and they are headed your way. take that first step, meet them half-way and you're on. You can do this.

There is more then one way to network. Not everyone can walk in to a large social situation without some angst. You can create ways to network that are comfortable to you? Is it a morning meeting, a small group dinner, a volunteer gig? You decide. 

Everyone has a networking sweet spot. What's yours?