I’ve lived in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia for just over two years and since then, meeting people wasn’t something I was pouring effort into (thanks pandemic). However, that’s all changing…

This blog is about an angle I’m taking to meet new people and why I’m doing it in the first place.

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When I look back on my childhood, I remember how much I hated meeting new people. There was just something about it that was uncomfortable. However, my dad always pushed me to look people in the eye, to give a firm handshake and to be interested in what they had to say. With enough (reluctant) practice, meeting new people became more comfortable and if we jump into the present moment, it’s now one of my favorite things. There are many reasons that I enjoy meeting new people but the three below stand out above the rest.

Meeting People Is Interesting

I love meeting new people because it’s interesting. As human beings, we are the stories that we tell ourselves. It amazes me to think that there are so many people in this world each with their own unique, deep and meaningful story and I will only know a small fraction of them (< 000001%). Every person is like a book I’ve never read and that’s reason enough to go out of my way to know people, hear stories and learn along the way.

Meeting People Creates Opportunities For Impact

I love meeting new people because each interaction is an opportunity to better understand and help people. I’ve told this story before, so I won’t repeat it here but the gist is this – we all struggle and you never know what someone else is going through. Sometimes a simple smile can change someone’s day and even save someone’s life. Meeting new people is a chance to know them, be there for them and to add value in any way that seems right. The more people that I meet, the more opportunities for positive impact that I’ll have.

Meeting People Means Meeting Friends

I love meeting people because every stranger is just a friend who I haven’t met yet (see quote below). One of the most important things in life are the relationships that we have with other people. Human connection is paramount when it comes to health and every connection opens opportunities/possibilities that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. I’ve experienced on multiple occasions how even serendipitous encounters have changed the course of my life in unbelievable ways. Meeting new people is a chance to open doors and explore possibilities that otherwise aren’t around.

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When she first heard of this idea, my wife thought I was crazy and asked “what kinds of people are going to agree to getting coffee with a stranger?” First, I obviously would. Second, I can tell you that the people who have taken me up have been outgoing, interesting and very pleasant. In the end, I’m doing this to expand life, absorb more and to make great connections along the way. If you’re reading this and want to grab coffee, reach out and let me know!

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”

William Butler Yeats

Go make some friends.

Joe Rinaldi

IG: @joearinaldi

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