Last night I was at a wedding with a couple of friends. During dinner, Friend #1 mentioned that there were two other guests she knew, but hadn’t seen in years. She was deciding whether to say hello, but wasn’t sure if they’d remember her. Or if she even had the energy to do the whole catch-up small talk.
Friender that I am, of course I said she must say hello. If you remember them, they probably remember you, I told her. And if they don’t, just say “Hi, I’m Friend #1. We used to work together. So good to see you again!” See? Easy peasy.
Friend #2, after listening to this conversation, summed everything up perfectly. “The big thing I took from your book,” she said, “is that everyone’s waiting for the other person to reach out.”
She is exactly right. That’s the big lesson. It’s not that an old coworker pal thinks it’s weird if you remember her. It’s not that your new potential friend doesn’t want to have a friend date with you. It’s that everyone is waiting for someone else to make the move. To do the work. To take a chance.
So remember, if you want to see someone, extend an invitation. If you want to talk, say hello. If you want to know their name, introduce yourself. I promise, no one is analyzing your “friend-making tactics” nearly as much as you are.
Friends back east: Stay home! Stay safe!