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To be a successful musician you have to network.

In today's world of social media it's still a great idea to go out and meet people face-to-face. I love meeting new people online and sharing our common experiences within the business of music. There's never been a greater time than now to mingle with other musicians around the world. But wouldn't it be better to meet in person while having a beer?  

In the article below, Leena Sowambur over at MTT tells us How to Talk To Strangers.

How To Talk To Strangers

BY: LEENA SOWAMBUR

Networking in the music business

You can't go it alone. You have to network.

Networking online or in person (eventually it is necessary to do in person) involves talking to complete random strangers. People you don’t know, people who might be untrustworthy, people who might have an agenda, people who might take from you, people who might steal from you, people who might harm you. We don’t like talking to strangers. Strangers are bad. Strangers will hurt you. Strangers have negative associations.

Yet we are all strangers to other people.

I’m not a shy person. I’m outgoing, chatty, and extroverted. I still don’t like talking to arbitrary unfamiliar, alien people. Why? I was always told not to talk to strangers as a child. As children our parents drum that rule into us, and it’s a good thing. We need to be aware of danger. However, we also need to be aware that the psychological tools that we needed to keep us safe as kids are not always appropriate in the varying situations we find ourselves in as adults.

I have a 3 year old niece, Laksha, who until recently was “shy”. Earlier this year we went on a huge family Caribbean cruise. My niece and I would take walks around the ship. In this environment, my adult self had no issue with greeting my fellow passengers even though they were all strangers. It was sunny, relaxed, and our spirits were high. I knew Laksha and I were safe on the ship and I was right in my own way. Laksha thought differently. She knew everyone was a stranger and therefore not to be trusted. Laksha was right in her own way. Passengers would frequently attempt to greet my beautiful little niece. Laksha avoided eye contact by hiding in my arms or rubbing her eyes. This was interpreted as shyness. Shyness in young children is a psychological defence mechanism against harm from strangers. The first part of the defense process is to be unapproachable. The next is to run away, scream, and cry for their parents. Following this, it is to defend themselves against other small children. My niece knew that I thought that these “strangers” were ok, but she needed the chance to make her own decisions and practice “sizing people up.” As adults, we make those decisions instantaneously - we’ve had more practice! Of course, following her many social experiences at such a young age, I’m proud to say that Laksha is now better than me at selecting and talking to new people!

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