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Posts Tagged ‘Socializing’

I’ve finally gotten at least the blog portion together at my new home, Webwallflower.com

I’m not sure how best to move readers over there, how to get SEO up, how to redirect links around the web, etc.  If anyone has any ideas, PLEASE let me know.

But if you came here looking for my weekly tech event updates, startup advice, event advice, or entrepreneurial stories, do please head over to http://webwallflower.com and check out the Upcoming Events and Blog sections there.

The rest of the site is still under repair, so bare with me.  🙂

Thanks Everyone!

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(View Discretion Advised:  This post is in fun.)

While next week will be packed with professional networking events, this week was one of parties and mixers, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, friendly conversation and new connections.  This meant a lot of interaction with men and booze, together, which can make for quite a variety of intriguing conversations.  Over the course of the week, four distinct characters began to make themselves known to me.

1)  The Don Juan. He’s flirting with you.  Its clear, he knows it’s clear, you know it’s clear, and he knows you know it’s clear.  But he’s good at it, and pleasant to the eye, and you’re flattered.  The conversation is flowing, a hand is laid on a shoulder, an easy smile is exchanged.  He doesn’t talk too much business; you both explore a few topics, and he shares as much as he listens.  He knows not to hover; he wraps up the conversation as easily as he began it in just the right amount of time.  He talks with those who are worth talking to, and not just the women.  He passes a look your way now and then, but is just as attentive to a half dozen others.  It’s fun, light-hearted, and not really meant to end in a date.   He’s out to make a girl smile, and he’s probably done it a few times tonight.  (Though don’t be completely surprised if he ends up with your number…or at least your twitter handle.)
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2)  The Desperado. This guy thinks he’s a Don Juan, or at least wants to be one, desperately.  Really what he wants is a date, and that is the key distinguishing feature.  The minute your primary goal is to get a date, you move from Don Juan to Desperado.  This guy stands a little too close for comfort, and doesn’t know when to move on.  He may even travel with you from one conversation to another, if you even begin to suggest interest what he’s saying (this can be as simple as continuing the conversation, smiling, or even maintaining eye contact.)  He only talks business, since this is a networking event and he isn’t comfortable switching topics.  And if you are able to make it clear you aren’t interested, watch as he immediately pursues the next girl in the room.  (And, I learn, don’t be surprised if he DOES hook up with someone.  There are female Desperadoes too…)
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3)  The Networker. This fine sir could care less about gender.  He’s talking business; and while that can mean personal stories and friendly interactions, he is sizing you up for your worth.  He’s learning what you do, and contemplating if you’re a good connection for him.  He’s sharing his story, and watching to see if you’re interested…in his business, not him.  He won’t tend to talk more than 10 or so minutes before finding a polite reason to step away, not before passing over a card if the conversation was positive.  He may follow-up, but strictly for a business deal or additional information.  Men can transition pretty easily from this to Don Juans or Desperados (depending on their personality and social skills), but it is a distinct category.
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4)  The Friend. It seems most men hate to be this, but I don’t see why.  While it may take the longest to get you laid, you usually get the deepest relationships.  But anyway, I wouldn’t dare mar this otherwise perfectly objective post with personal opinion.  The Friend is something a guy needs to earn; not so defined by his behavior as by his relationship to you.  Its the guy(s) at the event you can go to in order to escape any of the above: the awkward Networker, the pushy Desperado, the touchy Don Juan.  Its who you come with to feel confident, to know you have friends and aren’t alone.  You rarely talk business with the Friend; generally you gossip about who’s there, what your plans are later, how other friends are, etc.  If you even talk at all at the event.  You know you’ll go out with a much smaller group (or 1-on-1, but NOT a date) before or after, so you may not need to connect at all there.  You need feel no physical attraction to the Friend, but be forewarned: if you do, it can be likely to become something more.
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There was a 5th, The Taken, until I realized The Taken would act just like The Friend or The Networker – or The Don Juan or Desperado, depending on his partner and personal character – so he went away.
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Now of course my pool is small and distinct: the men who attend mixers and networking events in the tech industry.  I make no promises that you’ll meet these gents in a bar, or that they are the only types to expect.  But I bet you’ll find some pretty strong correlations any time you go out to a social event with some strangers around.  So men, think about this the next time you go out, judge your own actions, and make sure you are falling into the right groups for your desires.

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MESSAGE OF THIS POST:  Introverts make great Event Planners, if not the best!

First Post.  Well, might as well start with the inspiration for the blog’s name.

Most people are surprised when I tell them I am an introvert.  On the Myers-Briggs test, it is the only irresputable result (all others I’m close to the line.)  This means I require a lot of quiet time to recharge my batteries, I think before I act, and I don’t like to present my inner thoughts to the world.

I guess this explains why I’m terrible at regular blogging.  It also explains why I enjoy event planning as much as I do.

I’ve come to believe that not only can event planners be wallflowers, for some types of events they should be.  They can’t get too engrossed with other attendees; they have to be checking on the food, the demos, the sponsors, the door staff, the atmosphere, the general feeling of the attendees, and then back.  As the planner, I should also stand at the front door, greet the people I know, introduce myself to those I don’t, and avoid potentially long and/or awkward conversations.  By being introverted, I can stay focused on the responsibilities at hand, rather than get distracted by these discussions and acquaintances.

None of this is to say I don’t like people.  I love people.  It is the act of successfully bringing people together – facilitating business deals, partnerships, and investments – that keeps me in the business.  I love sitting down to a conversation over coffee, where both of us can stay focused and a valuable connection can be formed.  I just don’t know how to manage a conversation with 5 people at once, or worse, start one in a crowded room, where everyone seems to know someone.

And for those of you who read this and know me, you are probably thinking “Rubbish.  You’re always talking to half a dozen people at these events.  You are no Wallflower!”  Well trust me, 90% of the time, I started on the wall until someone came over to me.  In fact, watch next time and you’ll probably see I’m by a wall, pillar, or doorway: something to support me while I try to get my metaphysical footing on these treacherous roads.

So if you do catch me at one of my events, and I seem distracted or disoriented, you know why.  And regardless of how many times you’ve heard this before, this time it’s true: it’s not you, it’s me.

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