On Meeting New Friends & Owning a Room...

In Salt Lake City for Alt Design Summit this week [so excited to be speaking on a panel again this year!] and you’re probably not surprised that making new friends is by FAR my favorite part of going to blogging events and conferences like this one - does that make me a social-media-butterfly?  ;)

I’m guessing there may be a few of you cringing at the thought of diving into a sea of people you hardly know, and hopefully today’s Pepper Letter will help keep you “afloat” with these five handy tips...


No. 1 -  Pretend like you're the host.  Walk in the door with the mindset that YOU are there to make sure everyone has a great time.  Not only will this keep your mind off of feeling jittery, but it is scientifically proven to transform you into a human-magnet.  (I hope I don’t regret slapping a “user warning” on this one…)
No. 2 -  Don't forget to don your super-hero cape.  I’ll bet you have a certain element of your personal style that you KNOW will make you feel great every time you leave the house (bold berry lips, sky high boots and breezy caftans are a few of mine) and these unfamiliar social situations are the perfect time to bust those out and let them do their job.  If nothing comes to mind when you read this, you MUST drop me a note and I will help you figure yours out immediately!

No. 3 -  Nail your intro, and never forget a compelling question.  Think about the way your favorite friends introduce you to someone new, and use the stand-out feature the next time you stick your hand out for a firm shake.  Including a quirky or little known fact will add a little something extra, and wrapping up with a clever question about the other person [Ex. What was the best thing that happened to you this week?] will assure them that you care to learn more. 

No. 4 -  Hugs hardly ever fail to welcome.  Uncross those arms and legs, put your smartphone to the side when you can and try offering a hug instead of a handshake!  Your body language says a lot about your mood, and the more open your stance, the more likely you are to be in the mood to connect.

No. 5 -  Bond over a memorable moment.  There’s nothing quite like a little camaraderie to bring people together… Haven’t you ever seen people rolling their eyes at each other in a long line?  Pick something positive or hilarious instead of resorting to a gripe, and that old dude trying to sing karaoke with the hotel lobby piano will have you giggling with your new pals faster than you can say “Living on a Prayer."

Bust out your brightest smile, lead with a warm heart & give ‘em a hug they can’t refuse.
— Jessie Pepper

Keep these little tidbits in mind the next time you find yourself feeling a bit more shy than sassy, and I’d love to hear if you have any of your own tricks for pulling yourself over those little bumps of bashfulness when they come!

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

P.S. I think you’re fabulous, and I know everyone else will too.

P.P.S. If you’re at Alt this week, you’d BETTER come and find me for a big squeeze!