Why Bars and Parties are Terrible for Connecting and What to do Instead

Look at this email I just got:

“Many times I try to have more personal conversations in bars and at parties but people don’t want to talk about more personal things.

I asked someone what they did, whether they loved their job and what they would do if they could do anything.

They just said, “I don’t know, still thinking about it”. People don’t want to have deep and meaningful personal conversations in bars and parties, they just want to keep it light and have a laugh.”

This experience is spot on why loud bars and parties are so bad for connecting with people and getting to know someone.

You see, those places have the wrong energy level for bonding. Most people there will expect you to be fun and easy-going. To get to know someone, we need a calmer environment.

If you follow me you know how important it is to turn the conversation into personal mode to connect with someone.

But that doesn’t work in high-energy environments like a nightclub or a party.

It can even be a mood-killer to have a “real” conversation with someone or to drag them away from the action to have a deep talk.

So what’s even the point of bars and parties?

Well, to a) have fun with your existing friends and b) make new acquaintances.

Personally, I almost never go to bars and parties.

Here are, according to me, the best moments in life to get to know someone:

  • Breaks at work or in school
  • Places where people share your interests
  • By the end of dinners and calmer meetups where it’s natural to form 1-on-1 conversations
  • Traveling somewhere together
  • Join someone to an event
  • Join someone to do an activity related to a mutual interest

Use those moments to turn the conversation into personal mode if you want to connect with someone.

Where did you have your latest conversation where you got to know someone? Let me know in the comments!

David Morin is the founder of SocialPro. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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