In a small town, rhythms and lifestyle are so different compared to a small town. Time is of the essence, you have anonymity if you want it, and your actions are rarely judged. If a chance encounter with someone significant occurs in the city, you jump to take advantage of opportunity before it disappears forever.This is not customarily the case in a small town; in fact, it’s almost the opposite, jumping on an opportunity to meet someone might backfire from being perceived as too aggressive.
Here is a 10 rule guide to set you on the right path, even if you are the new guy.
1. Relax and Take Your Time
People living in small town
have their routine down. They have their friends, activities, and habits already defined. Be aware of this, making room for you means changing their routine, so give it time. Take it slow and be patient, social opportunities will come up without you pushing too hard.
2. Don’t Gossip
Gossiping is very common, everyone knows everything about one another. Gossip can be traded like currency, who slept with who, who is having business trouble, who said what at the last party. You will be challenged to not get involved, not to give your opinion, but do not perpetuate gossip. If you stay out of the gossip circle you are not in danger of creating a relationship based on gossip, (which never last) and even better, you will show you can be trusted. This is what leads to strong long term relationships with good people.
3. People Come Out of the Woodwork
Often the most intriguing people are not at the party. When someone has a good happy rhythm in a small town they often are not looking to be seen. They have found a magic formula and don’t need to socialize at parties to fill a void, these people can be very interesting and discovering them can be a real find.
4. You Are Not a Mind Reader
Try not to interpret everyone else’s actions as liking your or not liking you. Avoid this mind trap, it will lead to nothing but self-consciousness and being miserable. Let it go, don’t waste time worrying about what so and so said, or why so and so didn’t call you for their birthday. Stay busy and stay the course great opportunities are in front of you.
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5. Respect the Locals
Small towns were there before you got there and will be there when you leave. The residents who are there have a history, which can make them seem irrational at times. For example someone may hate someone else for something that happened 10 years ago, but they won’t let it go. Do not judge; respect the history even if they are not over it yet, chances are they never will be.
6. Understand the Game
Newcomers to small towns predictably look for acceptance. The quickest path to acceptance is to prove your dependability. So, sticking to your own business, and being authentic when social opportunities present themselves is the fastest route. No need to be a recluse, take advantage of every encounter you have, just don’t force it. Do not try get to know people quickly, this goes against the rhythm. You are new to them, and new is an unknown quantity. Once dependability has been established then progress can be made.
7. Stay Busy
Find things you love to do with or without people. Sometimes it is lonely, but if you have a passion that fills your time it will be a giant help as you slowly build up trust and friendship.
8. You Will See People You Know All the Time
You really don’t need to be a social butterfly to get to know people. In fact, limiting your exposure is a good idea. If it’s a small enough town, you will have unplanned interactions with people all the time, at the store, the gas station, parties, etc. Remember there is a finite amount of people, so friendship is a marathon, not a sprint. You may be able to build lasting relationships just from seeing the same person every morning at your favorite breakfast joint.
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9.Track Record Matters
Don’t treat people differently based on who you think is watching. This gets noticed in small places. Treat people the same no matter who is watching. Your track record will precede you, people talk. It’s up to you, do you want a positive track record or a negative one.
10. Be Mysterious and Unaffected
This is a great way to meet no one and be lonely in a city, but in small towns it can be an excellent strategy. People want to hang out with intriguing people; if they believe you don’t need them, they will come calling. If they think you have a needy personality they will avoid you like a leper. Walking this fine line is laborious, but knowing it exists is really the point.