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How do you make social connections?

Seems like it is widely accepted today that the key to living a happy content life is to feel socially connected to others. People here in US (I live in the South) accomplish that by being part of a church congregation where they join others that share the same believes and values, they socialize together and make friends. Do you think they are all believers? or some feel comfortable pretending or not questioning the existence of God just to be able to be part of that social group? How do people in other countries (where the church has more of traditional religious role and not that much a social role), handle making social connections?

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    Simon K

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    Oct 9 2013: Since there are lots of methods that people can contact with others, I make a social connection through lots of methods. As I am a student, and there are lots of students in my school, it is easy to make friends.For example, I easily make relationships with others by talking or playing sports with other guys, or in club activities. Moreover, I am used to interact with others in computer games sometimes to cheer up or play with them later. Lastly, I interact with people in this TED! This website is really useful to interact with others, and I really appreciate with this fact. SNS such as facebook or twitter is not my type. However, I am willing to make it if it is needed.
    Do you think these social network services have more benefits than harm?
  • W T

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    Oct 9 2013: is one such page like the one I mention in my comment below:
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      Oct 9 2013: Thank you Mary~!!!:)
      I carelessly took the sentence with two separate parts. But they are one in fact. Now I better understand it and feel happy about her decision.

      Thank you all!
      • W T

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        Oct 9 2013: The way she worded her reply was using English expression that foreigners might not catch the subtlety of it so easily......I'm glad my humble explanation helped you to understand what she was trying to say.

        Many times I have to explain a lot of conversations to my kids......because they are also learning about the nuances of language. They will hear me laugh at something, or react a certain way and they don't understand me. So I have to explain how sometimes there are ways of saying things that you cannot take must read and/or listen to the entire context.

        I like it that you are not shy to ask when you do not understand something.....that is how your English will get better and better!!
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          Oct 9 2013: Thank you,Mary~
          I'm always quick at learning English and that was a miss which happened to my mind.:)
          Yes, I'm not shy when speaking English. Many people are good at grammar and writing while much weaker at speaking, but I'm not, mine are all in balance despite I haven't studied abroad or had relationship with foreigners.:)

          Thank you again, don't hesitate to point out the mistakes in my English~!
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    Oct 10 2013: When it comes to social connections, it is vital to know that you are the only one who thinks exactly the way you do. No two people can think exactly the same thought in detail. Even if you are part of the same church, the level of understanding of the scriptures will be different. So it is not about pretending.

    Questions are endless, so if someone wants to be in a society where his satisfaction and acceptance of other people is based on his or her perception of their correct answers to questions; i'd say that fellow is not ready for lasting social connections.
    People think they've got each other all figurd out and get married. Then a few years later they realize that they know so little about their spouse and they dont like the new things they can now see!

    No one is perfect. Not even in the church. Humility is important in human relationships. If someone is still after pleasing himself or herself, if someone has not made an effort to get rid of selfishness; such is not ready to make lasting social connections.
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    Oct 9 2013: I know in some low-density countries and places there aren't enough chances for people to be connected with each others. But in China, if you've prepared yourself in communicating with others, you won't feel lonely and will be able to get enough chances to talk to people and have fun with them. Especially for foreigners who can speak a little Chinese or know about Chinese culture are usually very popular here.
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      Oct 9 2013: I can imagine Yoka; I've been to India 3 times and it's the same. People are so open friendly and curios to talk to you (and luckily they speak english). ( It's a very nice experience, humanly connected dull moment.) I would love to go to China too, and it is on my list.
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        Oct 9 2013: Yes, I'm glad you have our China programmed in your travel itinerary, it's your experience of new social connections. And I personally think China will be better because it's safer for women. And if you're interested, welcome to my hometown--Shanghai(you'll be surprised at its dynamic power in life with cross-culture).
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          Oct 9 2013: I wouldn't even consider going to China and not visiting Shanghai :)
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        Oct 9 2013: “ I would love to go to China too, and it is on my list.”
        “I wouldn't even consider going to China and not visiting Shanghai :)”
        Sorry, you mean you wouldn't visit China or would do?:)
        • W T

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          Oct 9 2013: The expression "I wouldn't even consider _________and not _________" means that you MUST do both.....because doing the first without the second is kind of silly.


          "I wouldn't even consider visiting Hawaii and not going to the beach"

          "I wouldn't even consider visiting California and not going to Disneyland"

          "I wouldn't even consider going to the fair and not riding the merry-go-round"

          [Happy English expressions learning dear Yoka] ♥
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          Oct 9 2013: Anairda's preference suggests that she might do whatever she wants in that country, and experience that which she is most interested in?

          I do not believe the phrase means "you MUST do both".....I think I have a choice:>)

          Before going to Costa Rica, some folks said "you MUST go to the beaches"...."you cannot go to Costa Rica without exploring the beaches".

          The trip was planned around hiking to a volcano, staying at biological centers and exploring the jungle, exploring the rain forest, kayaking the rivers....etc...all of which seemed more enjoyable to me than basking on a beach:>)
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          Oct 9 2013: What I meant is that when I go to China I will definitely go to Shanghai.
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        Oct 9 2013: Thanks for clarification Anairda....that was my interpretation as well:>)
      • W T

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        Oct 9 2013: Yes, thank you for coming back. I tried to help her understand how the expression is used in the English language......Yoka enjoys learning new English language expressions, strategies and rules.
        Sometimes we have a good the other day someone spoke of airing dirty laundry, and she took it literally.....until they explained the expression to her.
        It's fun to help someone learn a new language who is an eager learner.
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    Oct 9 2013: Through interacting with people.
  • W T

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    Oct 9 2013: There are a lot of groups to be had around Florida for people of all walks of life.

    Local libraries have Book clubs that meet regularly.
    There are also groups for Foodies, bird watchers, nature hikers, amateur gardeners....etc.

    If you google "Meet-Ups" and then type your area of town, you might find a group that interest you.

    Also taking classes is a great way of meeting people.
    For example, there is an Indian lady in my community that offers Indian cooking classes in her home. She keeps the size of the class down to 6 individuals. It's a great way to meet people, and to learn about another culture and it's food.
    There are botanical gardens and museums that need volunteers......this is an awesome way to meet people.
    There are knitting classes held at yarn stores, and art classes held at adult centers.
    I could go on and on and on.........just don't stay home.........get out and meet people!!

    And don't be afraid to take the initiative........Florida is a great state for meeting all kinds of people from all walks of life because of the tourism.
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      Oct 9 2013: Thank you Mary, a lot of good suggestions and yes I made some friends taking art classes. I don't stay in the house and I am quite busy volunteering for the council on aging and for the high school band, I work out a lot and I spend a lot of time reading. There were some big changes in my life due to divorce and it seems like a lot of the relations I had were fly by night and loosing some left a void. I am not a hoarder when it comes to friends. I prefer a few good friends to a lot of superficial. The reason I brought up the socializing trough church is because I got invited by people to their churches but I really feel out of place and like a fraud while others seem to enjoy and bond in that environment and it makes me wonder if churches here in US aren't more social institutions than worshiping places.
      • W T

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        Oct 9 2013: Well, now that you gave further explanations....I will share this.

        I know many who attend church for the social aspects. Their lives do not reflect that they truly live by what the church is teaching..........or perhaps I should say what the Bible is teaching.

        I think it is not true of all churches. But it is true of some people at some churches.

        I think it is honest of you to stay away if you are not inclined to the actual worship aspect of the church gatherings.

        That being said.......some churches host concerts and activities which are not necessarily of spiritual nature, but they invite the community to attend (usually for free).

        I think it depends on the individual preferences.

        I also think it is good to keep an open mind, and if you are curious as to what goes on in the church, visit different ones and see for yourself.

        I attend a congregation, but my friends are people from outside the congregation. Same faith, different congregations. My attendance to worship services are just worship. To learn and draw close to God. I do not view it as a social place. We do not host activities of a social nature at the place of worship. When we have social activities we do so away from the private homes, and banquet halls, and parks.
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        Oct 9 2013: Anairda,
        I was wondering why you asked this question, because in reading all your comments, you seem like a very intelligent, resourceful, friendly, lovely person.

        Perhaps you have revealed the reason for the question......divorce....a huge change in your life! When I divorced 20+ years ago, I felt like I was wandering a bit, because some friends choose sides, and one or the other of the couple is dropped from the invitation lists. My husband and I were very social as a couple, so the void was obvious for me.

        I don't really think the friendships were "fly by night". I think people sometimes have difficulty accepting a single person after many years of knowing them as part of a couple. People sometimes don't know how to deal with the change, so it may feel more comfortable for them to simply NOT deal with it. There are many dynamics involved with human relations, as I'm sure you know. There were a couple old "couple" friends I continued to interact with, and I also built a new group of takes time. I'm glad you came to TED.....seems like you have a LOT to offer....welcome:>)

        It seems like you are doing all the things that may contribute to creating new friendships....explore various possibilities with an open heart and mind:>)
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          Oct 9 2013: Dear Colleen, I see your point. I understand the meaning is if she comes to China, she will definitely visit Shanghai. And with the former sentence:“ I would love to go to China too, and it is on my list,” Mary was also right. Thank you very much for helping me.
      • W T

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        Oct 9 2013: I'm glad Colleen mentioned the point on divorce and the many dynamics involved with human relations. I wanted to say something, but I just lacked the words......
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        Oct 9 2013: You are welcome Yoka:>) As with many things in our world, it is often a matter of perception and interpretation:>)
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      Oct 8 2013: Yes, it is new. I live in a small town in Florida. What you describe sounds to me like going to a 'social' at the end of the day at a professional conference. I feel out of place here where I am and the possibilities are limited. Most of the people you meet already have their own circles of friends and don't seem to be interested in including others. I live on a short street of 14 houses (been here for quite a while) and about half of my neighbors I would not even recognize if I saw them out of context at a store. We don't rub much shoulders here, we get into our cars drive to a place store , work...At the work place seems to be about the same...some people might develop some friendships but for the most part people go home to their families, churches, personal friends.
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    Oct 8 2013: .

    Any way will do if it satisfies the need of our SYMBIOSIS.
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    Oct 8 2013: In China, I think people make social connections through work or study, public media, internet and phones.
  • Oct 7 2013: A church is just one way of making social connections.

    A place of work, a common hobby or sports interest, family friends, fraternal clubs, social clubs, recreational activities, educational activities, and many, many other activities promote social connections.
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    Oct 7 2013: Connection happens when you get:

    concrete help, such as having a friend pick your kids up from school
    emotional support, like hearing someone say, "I'm really sorry you're having such a tough time"
    perspective, like being reminded that even the moodiest teenagers grow up
    advice, such as a suggestion to plan a weekly date with your wife
    validation, like learning that other folks love reading train schedules too