Autumn has arrived, the veil between the worlds is getting thinner, and the darkness approaches. We have a transformative week before us. We are currently in the darkest phase of the monthly moon cycle, preparing for the New Moon in Libra on Wednesday. Lots of old feelings and issues could be coming up, so we can release them. Rest and give yourself time to reflect on how you’d like the upcoming Moon cycle to go. If you’d like a personal reading on how this Libra cycle will effect you, you can book a short reading with me here for $45.
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CURRENTLY: Sun at 4 Libra (in it’s fall, no Sun Magick now) Mercury RETROGRADE at 25 Libra Venus at 18 Scorpio (detriment, no Venus Magick now) Mars at 8 Libra (detriment, no Mars Magick now) Jupiter RETROGRADE at 23 Aquarius Saturn RETROGRADE at 7 Aquarius (rulership) Neptune RETROGRADE at 21 Pisces (rulership) Pluto RETROGRADE at 24 Capricorn North Node at 6 Gemini
NOTE: If you’d like these posts delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday evening, feel free to join my Patreon page here, it’s only $1 per post ($4 a month) and supports my writing! https://www.patreon.com/LizRose93
We begin this week with a balsamic, fallow Moon, building towards a New Moon in Libra on Wednesday, October 6th. Leading up to this New Moon, we have an opportunity to release our relationship blocks – especially romantic ones. The planets Venus (women) and Mars (men) are both in their detriments right now, which means they are unable to express their natures. Everyone is going through some new growth challenges. The dark of the Moon, leading up to a New Moon in Libra, is a time for self examination about what you are projecting onto your partner. Also, we are wrapping things up, finishing projects and adjusting to new conditions.
Mercury is stopped in the sky, and went retrograde at 25 Libra on Sunday. With six planets now retrograde, this is an appropriate time for looking back. Also, Saturn and Pluto are slowing down, preparing to go Direct next week, which can make everything feel very real, and put some of us in survival mode. Be patient and open to learning how to live a better life, because Saturn wants us to “level up”. If you have difficult work to do (that you’ve been putting off), or decision to make, now is the time.
Monday, September 27th: Moon in Gemini makes two big aspects today: square to Neptune and trine to Mars. We start the week with lots of chatty, social energy, but the square to Neptune can have us living in daydreams. Use the teamwork vibe of Mars in Libra to get things done.
Tuesday, September 28th: Moon in Cancer enters her 4th quarter, and we are in the dark of the Moon. This is a week of rest. No big aspects today, so take it easy and take care of your emotional needs. Moon in Cancer is in her rulership, and insights into our feelings can be very healing at the time.
Wednesday, September 29th: Moon in Cancer, and two BIG aspects: Venus trines Neptune in Pisces, and the Sun in Libra trines Saturn. The Venus trine makes us dreamy, creative and imaginative. Use your instincts. The Sun trine brings delight to hard work, and we can make solid progress with meaningful projects. It’s a great day. The Cancer Moon, could bring a need for solitude and reflection. Give yourself what you need.
Thursday, September 30th: Moon void-of-course in Cancer ALL DAY, until she enters Leo at 5:53pm Pacific. With a Cancer Moon void, do things that increase your feeling of security. No big risks today, and avoid getting into squabbles with people, because they will be hyper sensitive. Try to hang out at home and eat a good meal. There’s also a bunch of Moon aspects, but the big event today is Venus in Scorpio squaring Jupiter in Aquarius. There could be disillusionment with a relationship. Don’t make any big decisions until November though.
Friday, October 1st: Moon in Leo makes aspects with the Sun, Mars and an opposition with Uranus. We’ll all be feeling pretty good today, but expect eccentric, strange surprises with the opposition around 7:30pm. Great evening to see performances, or engage in heart-centered activities.
Saturday, October 2nd: Moon in Leo goes void-of-course at 4:43pm and stays void all evening. Before that, the Moon makes a ton of different aspects, including an opposition to Jupiter and a square to Venus. It’s a rapidly shifting day.
Sunday, October 3rd: Moon in Virgo, and Mercury in Libra trines Jupiter in Aquarius around 5pm. Of course today is good for tidying up the house, running errands, and fixing anything broken. Toss stuff out and let things go – someone else can use it.
“Sometimes, even to live is an act of courage” – Seneca
Several years ago I bought a book on the philosophy of Epictetus – the ancient Greek philosopher that lived in 55 A.D. I was profoundly effected by his words of wisdom, but only recently I discovered he was also the founder of Stocism.
Let me tell you, Stoicism is totally what I’m in to these days.
Remember that Stoicism isn’t about judging other people. It’s not a moral philosophy you’re supposed to project and enforce onto the world. No, it’s a personal philosophy that’s designed to direct your behavior. This is what Marcus Aurelius meant when he said: “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”
Definition from Britannica: “Stoicism, a school of thought that flourished in Greek and Roman antiquity. It was one of the loftiest and most sublime philosophies in the record of Western civilization. In urging participation in human affairs, Stoics have always believed that the goal of all inquiry is to provide a mode of conduct characterized by tranquillity of mind and certainty of moral worth.”
CURRENTLY: Sun at 8 Virgo Mercury at 0 Libra Venus at 16 Libra (in rulership!! Do Venus Magick now) Mars at 19 Virgo Jupiter RETROGRADE at 25 Aquarius Saturn RETROGRADE at 8 Aquarius (rulership) Neptune RETROGRADE at 22 Pisces (rulership) Pluto RETROGRADE at 24 Capricorn North Node at 6 Gemini
NOTE: If you’d like these posts delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday evening, feel free to join my Patreon page here, it’s only $1 per post ($4 a month) and supports my writing! https://www.patreon.com/LizRose93
We begin this week with a balsamic, fallow Moon, building towards a New Moon at 16 Virgo next Monday, Labor Day, September 6th. Leading up to this New Moon, we have an opportunity to release our perfectionism, laziness, self criticism, procrastination, and cluttered houses (i.e. Sun in Virgo). We are wrapping things up, finishing projects and adjusting to new, uncertain conditions. Honestly, it’s a tough time for many people.
We are in a world of extremes, and it’s never seemed so pronounced as it does right now. The Western side of the country is on fire, while a huge, catastrophic hurricane sliced through and leveled the south. Mercury entered Libra Sunday night, which will hopefully create a way for us to listen to and help each other. This is a good position for partnerships, negotiation, and creative activity. This Venus-ruled Mercury placement can bring harmony to life. Celebrate art and love.
The Sun in Virgo is squaring the North and South Nodes of the Moon this week. Watch for sign posts directing you to your future. Mars in Virgo will oppose Neptune in Pisces, and trine Pluto in Capricorn this week, setting off the same aspect that Venus and Mercury encountered recently. Mars wants us to put our plans into ACTION.
Monday, August 30th: Moon in Gemini enters her 4th quarter, and we are in the dark of the Moon for the next several days. Don’t work too hard this week. The dark of the Moon is a time to rest and reflect. Moon trine Saturn puts our emotions in affinity with our ambitions, and smooths over any rough spots. Moon in Gemini encourages us to talk about it.
Tuesday, August 31st: Moon in Gemini goes void at 1:45pm Pacific for the rest of the day. She also makes five aspects, so ride the waves. The Moon goes through every sign, and aspects every planet EVERY month. The Moon ties the astrology together. Keep a low profile today with the void moon. Follow plans that have already been made.
Wednesday, September 1st: Moon in Cancer makes a few minor aspects. We might need solitude, since our sensitivities are at a monthly peak. Give yourself whatever you need today.
Thursday, September 2nd: Moon in Cancer loves a visit to a pool, lake, river, or ocean if you feel inclined. There’s a few Moon aspects, but the big event today is Mars opposing Neptune. We might experience resistance or disillusionment with the things we want to pursue. Mars is our Will, while Neptune blurs our vision so we can commune with the divine. Don’t give in to feeling lost today, explore your imagination and creativity instead.
Friday, September 3rd: Moon in Leo doesn’t make any aspects until a sextile with Mercury in the evening. It’s a quiet day astrologically, but the Moon in Leo insists we all have a good time. It’s a heart-filled day, so go out and have an adventure.
Saturday, September 4th: Moon in Leo. Mercury trine Saturn in the evening helps us communicate our truth. Our thinking can also get a reality check. Writers can make progress with editing and organizing their ideas. Whatever comes up, go ahead and talk about it or do some journaling. We are in the darkest phase of the monthly moon cycle so lots of old feelings and issues could be coming up, so we can release them.
Sunday, September 5th: Moon in Leo is void-of-course from 7:22am to 4:06pm Pacific, when she enters Virgo. We are in the New Moon in Virgo now, so of course today is good for tidying up the house, running errands, and fixing anything broken. Toss stuff out and let things go – someone else can use it. The big aspect today is Venus square Pluto. Relationships could have a crisis come up that will lead to a deeper understanding, or a breaking point. If you’re single, don’t take any risks. Pluto has a dark, unpredictable energy to it, so practice restraint.
CURRENTLY: Sun at 11 Leo (in rulership, very strong) Mercury at 14 Leo Venus at 15 Virgo (in detriment. No Venus Magick now) Mars at 3 Virgo Jupiter RETROGRADE at 29 Aquarius Saturn RETROGRADE at 10 Aquarius (rulership) Neptune RETROGRADE at 22 Pisces (rulership) Pluto RETROGRADE at 25 Capricorn North Node at 8 Gemini
Mars joined Venus in Virgo last week, and now we’re busy organizing our lives. In Virgo, Mars lets go of his armor and becomes a specialist who makes lists and gets things done. There is amazing focus available to us right now, as well as attention to detail. Virgo wants to be of service by providing a practical way of reaching our goals, without losing track of the details (or ourselves). Avoid nit-picking arguments and being overly critical of your efforts. Mars and Venus in Virgo can be cranky and irritable.
We begin this week with a balsamic, fallow Moon, building towards a New Moon at 16 Leo next Sunday. Leading up to this New Moon, we have an opportunity to release our laziness, procrastination, and fears of the future (i.e. Sun in Leo). And Sunday was a Sabbat, the ancient festival of Lammas! Lammas is the first harvest festival of the year, signifying the height of Summer and the turn towards Fall. Here are the Goddesses and Gods of Lammas:
Demeter/Ceres: Goddess of grains and the harvest, and mother to Persephone, who is about to return to the Underworld for the Fall and Winter. The change in weather is the grief of Demeter being separated from Persephone.
Cronus/Saturn: Greek god of the harvest and the first father of the universe. He is usually portrayed with a sickle in hand, and is considered a harvest God. He had his own holiday, called the Kronia, when the Greeks celebrated the harvest. It was held in the month of Hekatombaion, with equates roughly to July/August.
Hestia/Vesta: Goddess of Fire and the Hearth, she protects the homes of her worshippers.
Lugh: This is the Celtic God that gave Lammas, or Lughnasadh, it’s name! Lugh is the god of light, truth, oaths and the arts. Tradition says that Lugh created the festival of Lughnasadh in honor of his foster mother and earth goddess, Tailtiu.
Renenutet: Egyptian goddess of nourishment, the harvest, and fertility. Also goddess of the soul’s true name. Sometimes considered the wife of Sobek.
Sobek: Egyptian crocodile god, he was also the god of the Nile. In Egypt, the flooding of the Nile is the primary source of essential nutrients and minerals to the fields, so if the Nile does not flood or has a poor flood in a given year, it can cause a bad harvest. Sobek would be important around this time of year, as the people would want to thank him for a good harvest. Also a protective god and a creator god.
Monday, August 2nd: Moon in Gemini makes a couple of tough squares with Jupiter and Mars. There’s also a big Saturn influence over the beginning of the week due to the Sun’s opposition with Saturn in the middle of the night. Today could be kinda tough, with all of us needing to come up with the hard, cold facts. With the Moon in Gemini, we will find the way through this with our quick minds and communications.
Tuesday, August 3rd: Moon in Gemini makes four nice aspects today – taking the edge off Mercury squaring Uranus in the early evening. This aspect can bring sudden changes and nervous energy. Conversations could take unexpected turns, and it might be difficult to reach understanding through the drama. Leave it for tomorrow. On the bright side, we had a revolutionary Venus trine Uranus in the middle of the night which can enhance our imaginations and relationships.
Wednesday, August 4th: Moon in Gemini goes void at 12:38pm, then moves into Cancer around 2:15pm Pacific. Bring on the hugs and food lol. Moon trines Jupiter around the same time, adding to the feelings of indulgence. Sun trine Chiron today brings lovely opportunities for healing to our old wounds, or healing through children.
Thursday, August 5th: Moon in Cancer sextiles Mars and Uranus, but other than that it’s a quiet day. We are in the darkest phase of the monthly moon cycle, preparing for rebirth this Sunday. Lots of old feelings and issues could be coming up, so we can release them. The Cancerian Moon loves a visit to a pool, lake, river, or the ocean.
Friday, August 6th: Moon in Cancer goes void of course at 3:12pm Pacific, and makes a couple nice aspects with Venus and Neptune. There’s an opposition with Pluto in the late afternoon which can bring up control issues. Then we have a biggie – Sun square Uranus – which can bring up that nervous, dramatic behavior. Take a different approach to issues from earlier in the week. Embrace liberation and independence.
Saturday, August 7th: Moon in Leo opposes Saturn in Aquarius today. We get a glimpse into the underlying tensions of 2021, so be present for what occurs today. Pay attention, the Universe is sending you messages. Also, walk carefully around people’s feelings, because Moon opposing Saturn can bring negativity, pessimism or reality checks. The New Moon is tomorrow morning!
Sunday, August 8th: New Moon in Leo at 6:50am Pacific squares Uranus. Today is fabulous for Sun Magick, since this New Moon occurs on a Sunday. It’s a rare event, allowing magicians to fully access the enormous power of the Sun. Just Do It! Today is the rebirth of creativity, romance, and all things artistic. Tarot card of the day is Strength – tame your inner lion with compassion and patience.
“I don’t think your life has to have a purpose, or you have to have a grand ambition; I think it’s okay to just wander through life finding interesting things until you die. I think this goes for art too; you can just make the kind of art you find interesting and you don’t have to plan some great arc to your literary career.
I think the traditional (Western, white) narrative arc has tricked way too many people into thinking their lives have to have one grand epiphany, some flash of great meaning and deep insight, when in reality most people experience these things in much smaller ways throughout life.
I think this also leads a lot of people to miss the stuff that actually makes them happy, because it’s mostly the small stuff. They spend their entire lives looking for a lightning strike and miss out on everything else.” —twitter.com/ambernoelle#ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm
CURRENTLY: Sun at 20 Taurus Mercury at 0 Gemini (rulership! Do Mercurial Magick now) Venus at 21 Gemini (neutral) Mars at 28 Aquarius (neutral) Jupiter at 27 Capricorn (fall, very weak) Saturn RETROGRADE at 1 Aquarius (rulership) Pluto RETROGRADE at 24 Capricorn Neptune at 20 Pisces (rulership, strong) North Node at 29 Gemini
This week sees the change from the earthy sign of Taurus, to the airy sign of Gemini. Our focus changes from the Spring flowers, green hillsides and self sufficiency of Taurus, to the chattiness of the Gemini mind. Mercury is fast in the skies right now, and entering it’s natural home of Gemini (rulership) today!
Also, two of the key planets involved at the “Covid point” of 24 Capricorn are going retrograde or backwards this week. This is the corner of the sky where the Saturn-Pluto conjunction happened on January 12th that spawned the huge transformations taking place on the planet right now. We will spend the next several months going over ground we’ve already covered, so be prepared for that spiritual processing. I think we could have a resurgence of virus cases over the summer, so take care of yourself!
Monday, May 11th: Moon in Capricorn connecting with Pluto and Jupiter at 24 Capricorn (the Covid 19 point). When the Moon arrives there each month, our emotions can come up strongly in the form of great fear and sadness. We open up and process how these changes are effecting our lives. Nurture yourself today and ride the waves of feelings. Positive change can be yours if you put in the hard work. Mercury into Gemini.
Tuesday, May 12: Moon in Aquarius. Mercury trines Moon AND Saturn today = serious and productive conversations. Also, Venus retrograde in Gemini near midnight. Venus will be twirling around in Gemini – backwards and then forwards – until August 7th. Look back to 2012 to see how this could effect you, your relationships and your money. Gemini is cerebral, so it will be a chatty summer, especially over the internet. Issues around partnerships of all kinds could arise, both positive and negative.
Wednesday, May 13th: Moon in Aquarius. Mars entered Pisces in the middle of the night, which adds to the confusion. We need to connect with our spiritual side and be a channel for Divine Will. What do you need to surrender to? What will you sacrifice to reach your highest goals?
Thursday, May 14th: Moon void-of-course all day, then entering Pisces conjuncting Mars in Pisces. Take a deep dive into your Soul. What do you need to do differently in order to connect with your true purpose? What is your evolutionary intention? Also Jupiter retrograde in Capricorn today.
Friday, May 15th: Moon in Pisces. Today is a respite from all of the crazy changes! Take time to enjoy life and focus on your blessings.
Saturday, May 16th – Moon in Aries. Black Moon Lilith conjunct Chiron in Aries, and squaring the “Covid point”. We want our power back from this loss of control we’re all feeling. The only way to really do this, is to withdraw and get quiet – meditate and contemplate your Soul’s desire for this lifetime.
Sunday, May 17th – Moon in Aries squaring 24 Pluto (Covid point). Pluto presides over this year, bringing endings, death, deep transformation and catharsis. With Aries (the Self) involved, we ask ourselves “who am I now? Who am I without the job? The money I’m used to? My relationship? Without the future I had planned??” The answers will come, and will lead each of us to a more deeply satisfying life. I really mean that! The first step is practicing mindfulness, and learning how to listen to your inner voice.
Kiwi-born poet, Tom Foolery has racked up over 24 million views on social media with his ode to a post-COVID world. Video by Will Trafford. Tomos Roberts – aka Tom Foolery – thinks Earth could be a better place after the coronavirus pandemic, expressing his thoughts in a bedtime story, looking back on the world.
“And so when we found the cure, and were allowed to go outside; we all preferred the world we found to the one we’d left behind.”
Here’s some comforting thoughts for you. So many people are stressed over the change that’s currently sweeping the world, and the massive effect it’s having on people’s money and social life. This wonderful bedtime story gives a long view perspective of what the world is going through. Take 4 minutes to watch it. I found it really comforting 🙂 I hope it gives everyone a brief respite from stress, and I’m sending huge love and hugs to the world. We can get through this.
Inevitably, there are times of stress in our lives. Sometimes, the stress is outside or around us. We’re feeling balanced, but our circumstances are stressful. Sometimes, the stress is within; we feel out of balance.
When the stress is external and internal, we experience our most difficult times.
During stressful times, we can rely more heavily on our support systems. Our friends and groups can help us feel more balanced and peaceful in spite of our stressful conditions.
Affirming that the events taking place are a temporarily uncomfortable part of a good, solid plan can help. We can assure ourselves that we will get through. We won’t be destroyed. We won’t crumple or go under.
It helps to go back to the basics to focus on detachment, dealing with feelings, and taking life one day at a time.
Our most important focus during times of stress is taking care of ourselves. We are better able to cope with the most irregular circumstances; we are better able to be there for others, if we’re caring for ourselves. We can ask ourselves regularly: What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? What might help us feel better or more comfortable?
Self-care may not come as easily during times of stress. Self-neglect may feel more comfortable. But taking care of us always works.
Today, I will remember that there is no situation that can’t be benefited by taking care of myself.”
This is the most important thing a person an learn in their lifetime, and if you were never taught, you can learn it. Mastering this will make your life much better – in every possible way. If you struggle financially, or with loneliness, this could be part of it.
“It’s a shame so few of us are taught the basics of how to interact constructively with each other. If you never were, we’re here to help.
Learning social skills can be difficult if you weren’t exposed to traditional group dynamics as a child, if you struggle with a mental illness like anxiety or depression, or even if you just didn’t have a lot of positive role models when you were growing up. Young people tend to learn how to manage their own emotions, recognize those of other people and manage them both effectively by socializing. If these weren’t skills you developed growing up, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
The social foundation: emotional intelligence
Before we get to specific social situations, we should discuss the concept of emotional intelligence (or E.I.). Put very simply, E.I. is your ability to acknowledge your own emotions, recognize emotions in others and use that information to guide your behavior. This is a relatively new area of study in the field of psychology, and developing your own E.I. can help you understand and improve your social interactions.
There are several models of emotional intelligence, but for our purposes, we’ll look at the author Daniel Goleman. He outlines five general categories of E.I. that complement and support one another.
Self-awareness: This simply means being able to identify your own emotions and how they work. Are you anxious in loud environments? Do you get angry when people talk over you? If you know these things about yourself, then you’re practicing self-awareness. This can be more difficult than it sounds, but simply being aware of yourself is all it takes for this step.
Self-regulation: Taking it a step further, self-regulation deals with your ability not just to know your emotions, but manage them. Sometimes that might mean handling them as they come up. If you get angry, knowing how to calm yourself down is important. However, it can also deal with managing the emotions you will face. If you know that stalking your ex’s Facebook is just going to make you feel bad, self-regulation would help you go do something to better your own life instead.
Motivation: External factors like money, status, or pain are powerful motivators. But in Goleman’s model, internal motivation is a key component. This means that you know how to manage your own motivation and create or continue projects because you choose to, not because something outside yourself demands it.
Empathy: It’s just as important to be aware of the emotions of others. This might mean developing the skills to recognize how people are expressing themselves — can you tell the difference between someone who’s comfortable versus someone who’s anxious? — but it also means understanding how other people may respond to the circumstances they’re in.
Socialization: This area deals with your ability to steer your relationships and navigate social situations. It doesn’t mean controlling others, but understanding how to get where you want to be with other people. That might mean conveying your ideas to co-workers, managing a team, or dealing with a conflict in a relationship.
Every social situation is different and there isn’t always a “correct” way to handle any of them. However, when viewed through the lens of these core competencies, most social situations become a lot more manageable. We’ll go over some common scenarios even adults might struggle with, but keep in mind how these principles can apply in all situations.
Constructively confront someone
Confronting someone when you have a problem with that person can be scary. If you’re the type to avoid conflict, you might rationalize it away by saying you want to keep the peace, or you don’t want to upset anyone. However, this can be a way of avoiding your own feelings. If there wasn’t something bothering you, there would be nothing to confront anyone about.
Dr. Ryan Howes, a clinical psychologist, explained to Psychology Today that it’s our own fears that keep us from confronting others. Our fear that we’ll lose something we have, that we’ll hurt someone we care about, or that it will hurt but accomplish nothing. One of the first steps to constructively confronting someone is to recognize that fear in yourself and identify the real issues that led to the conflict in the first place. If you’re annoyed that your partner forgot your birthday, for example, ignoring how you feel about it won’t resolve the conflict.
Once you’re ready, Gregg Walker, a professor at Oregon State University, recommends having the conversation when there’s time to discuss the issue, focusing on “I” statements like “I feel hurt that we didn’t do anything for my birthday,” and describing behavior and your reaction to it, rather than hurling accusations. Healthy confrontations require a fair amount of awareness of your own emotions, so this is a good time to practice that skill.
Speak up and be heard in a group
Whether it’s a meeting or a party, any time you get more than a couple of people together in a group, it can become difficult (if not impossible) to get a word in edgewise. While most tricks on how to combat this involve managing how you talk — pausing in the middle of a sentence rather than the end, or finishing your sentence even if someone tries to interrupt — an often overlooked issue is managing how you react to being talked over.
It would be great if everyone was polite and let you finish or paused to ask what you’re thinking. This doesn’t always happen. If someone interrupts you and you become annoyed, that can kill your motivation to speak up again. Or you might become visibly agitated and demand to be heard, which can be off putting and make people less likely to want to listen to what you have to say.
Instead, Chris Macleod, counselor and author of “The Social Skills Guidebook,” suggests accepting that group conversations are a “vortex of noise and chaos” and going with the flow. Don’t spend all your time trying to fit in that one thing you badly wanted to say. Instead, go with the flow of the conversation and look for new opportunities to jump in. When you do, speak loudly and with confidence. More practical tricks like keeping your stories short or framing a complaint as a story can smooth over the experience, but regulating your own frustration and annoyance is the foundation these tricks build on.
Make (and keep) new friends as an adult
When you’re young, making friends can be relatively easy. School often means that there’s a group of people you’re required to hang out with who are your age. You may share some interests, and you’ll see one another almost every day. As an adult, it can be harder. Everyone’s busy, everyone’s tired, and time feels in short supply. Or so it seems. What really may be lacking is motivation.
As Vox explains, one of the most important keys to developing a new friendship is, well, showing up. You both say, “We should hang out sometime!” but for some reason you never do. Why? Sure, you have things going on, but you still managed to binge watch the latest “Stranger Things.” There’s nothing wrong with a little “me” time, but it’s also O.K. to spend some of it reaching out to someone new.
When making new friends, you have to start with some internal motivation. Decide for yourself that you’re going to make friends and then put yourself in situations where that can happen. Take a class, join a club, or just talk to people you know but aren’t friends with yet. More important, follow up. If you find someone you want to be friends with — and especially if there are indications that person wants to be friends with you, too — put it on the very top of your to-do list to follow up. You’ll be surprised how easy it is when you do it on purpose.
Strike up a conversation with someone new
Talking to a stranger for the first time — whether it’s at a party, a work event, or just on the street — can be complicated. You never know less about someone than when you first meet them. That’s also something you can use to your advantage. People like to talk about themselves. So much so that, according to research from Harvard University, people will sometimes even give up money to be able to talk about themselves.
You might feel awkward or uncomfortable when you’re out on your own, but practicing a little empathy can reveal a powerful truth: So does everyone else. Research from the University of Chicago found that less than 47 percent of its participants believed a stranger would be willing to talk with them. In reality, every attempt was successful. Most of us are willing to have a conversation, we just don’t always want to be the one to make the first move.
However, not everyone is open to a conversation with strangers all the time. An easy way to check is to pay attention to what they’re doing at the time. Are they wearing headphones? Do they seem in a hurry? Are they at their job and only making conversation as part of their duties? If so, you might try again later (or with someone else). If they’re not busy, start by saying hello or opening with a compliment. From there you can keep the conversation going with the “insight and question” method. Simply offer an observation or insight, follow it up with a question, and let the conversation flow naturally.
These are far from the only social situations you might find yourself struggling with, but the principles that can be applied are nearly universal. Acknowledge your own emotional state and manage your needs and feelings in a constructive way. Take the initiative to pursue the social outcomes you want, and empathize with others who are dealing with the same struggles you are. With practice, the rest of the complex nuances of social interaction will flow a lot more naturally.