Making Friends: Tell Me Your Life in 30 Seconds
Do you like to play games? Do you like making friends? The next time you are out to eat, at a bar or at a party, ask this question of your server, bartender or potential new friend. Through persistent persuasion and reassurance that the game is harmless, most strangers relent. I inform my new acquaintance that when I tell them the name of the game they will understand the game and they will be expected to start playing immediately. “The name of the game is… Tell Me Your Life in 30 Seconds, GO!”
Sometimes coaching is required; “you were born in…?”
I have heard the craziest life stories as strangers start to spill their colorful past. Life stories of love, betrayal, sadness, pain and joy. Most people in order to comply with the 30 seconds hit just the major highlights of their life. After which I ask follow up questions to go a little deeper. How many siblings do you have, what are your dreams, etc.?
30 seconds… that is all it takes to demonstrate humanity, put down the “smart” phone, connect to another human being, and start making friends.
As I give 30 seconds of “being human” to a fellow human, I receive the best service from the server, great drinks from the bartender and a new friend at a party. All I had to do is care enough to listen and ask questions about their life.
Me and my business partner arranged a private plane trip to attend a business meeting in Milwaukee. Half way through Wyoming, bad weather forced us to return back to Salt Lake City. Last minute commercial airfare was not possible with our nearly maxed out credit cards. After much deliberation, we rented a car and started our non-stop 1,500 mile trek from Salt Lake to Milwaukee to attend our meeting the following day. Our return trip home included a stop to see historic Mt. Rushmore. We stood directly in front of the monument, not able to see it due to the fog that had parked itself upon the rocky mountain. We went to soak our sorrows at a local saloon.
Our server approached the table with a look on her face similar to how we felt just having traveled 2,000 miles to not be able to see Mt. Rushmore. My business partner said, “do that thing to her”. So when she returned for our order I asked, “Do you like to play games?” Her attitude reflected her facial expression and I was doubtful she would participate, but with a little persistence she relented to my social experiment. Sarah, a single mother of an 8 year old boy, waiting tables like most to pay for college, born and raised in South Dakota, returned with our beers, a smile on her face and a few questions of her own for her new found friends.
It’s just that easy: “Tell me your life in 30 seconds, GO!”