How to Make Friends

As actors on this stage of life, we wear many masks: the career persona, the you with friends, the family/home mask... We've become so good at the costume changes that we barely exist naked/bare/free anymore.

Today, I encourage you to take off all you masks and feel what its like to be you. You don't have to do anything to be you.

(When you're home) take off all you clothes, forget about the roles you played all day, the persona adjustments you made in presence of others. No matter if you wore the President mask today or the waiter mask, maybe even the banker, the barista, the designer or assistant mask; when we're naked, we're all the same.

I remind myself of this everyday, we're equals without masks. The trick is to keep your mask off and to help someone take off theirs in your presence: when this is achieved life is sooooo fun (like pre-school fun, like you can be as-silly-as-you-want-and-be-accepted fun)!

How do you stay naked in the presence of others when the first question then ask is 'what do you do'?

First, don't take this as a serious question: the other person just wants to hear you speak and watch your body interact with its words: if you're comfortable with what you're saying: you've made a friend, if you're squirmy and uncomfortable, the other person will be afraid to ask any more questions and your friendship opportunity will be missed.

If you really don't like what you do for a job and don't want to talk about it, divert the conversation somewhere else. So many times at the restaurant where I work I see people introduce themselves with a smile and then hang their heads as they answer this question, like "I work on Wall Street (sigh)", then they go on for about 20 minutes defending that sigh and that it might be a good thing that they work 90 hours a week. The other person tries to make them feel better, but the cards/phone numbers are never exchanged.

What is the proper response?

[relating] "I spend about 90 hours a week working on Wall Street, isn't it crazy that it's normal to spend most of your life doing something you don't really enjoy, to enjoy the other 10% of life!"

Or,

[revealing] "I spend about 90 hours a week working on Wall Street, since this is taking up most of my life, to make it more interesting I've created a little language with the numbers I see everyday, if I see a certain sequence of numbers it means..."

Now that's a conversation! Relate to the other person right away or reveal the naked you, you're guaranteed to at least have an interesting conversation and at best, you'll make a naked friend: right from the start, your friendship is sans masks and sans bull-shizer. It's always that simple!

With Naked Love, Alissa