When I was little, my family moved around a lot. This meant that for a good couple of years, I was never fully settled down in one single school, or even a certain house ; as soon as I got comfortable somewhere, we would pack our bags and poof! move to the next location. The result of this eventful childhood is an array of friends in different towns and more importantly, a flexible personality with a talent to socialise with (almost) anyone.
Forget office culture, playgrounds can be a rough place. In Girl World, things are slightly more intense when it comes to deciphering the social hierarchy (yes, there is a heirachy) within any new social situation. Of course, if you happen to look, dress and speak differently to everyone it is an even bigger challenge. In such scenarios, one must act fast and develop the necessary tricks to settle down in new places as fast as possible.Funny enough the tactics used by 5 year old Noura are still the same ones I use at 22; the context, language and people may be different but the essential principles are exactly the same. I suppose that ideology can be applied to a lot of things … right?
Spot 3 things you like about them as they speak to you.
Want someone to like you?
Listen to them.
Let them lead the conversation.
Focus on their eyes because their eyes will light up when they talk about their favourite topics.
Want to relate to them?
Subtly mimic their body language.
Listen to understand not to respond.
Appreciate their uniqueness.
I often get asked how I am able to maintain so many different meaningful friendships with so many people. Apart from the fact that I love meeting new people and it’s practically a hobby for me to learn about human nature – I would say, the secret is not being judgemental. When you approach someone with the intention to understand them, when you’re curious about their journey and their decisions rather than the extent of their moral compass, people can really surprise you. Have standards. Values are important and frankly, much needed in human interaction. The values you use to measure the quality of potential friendships, should be based on meaningful principles that reach right to the core of your beliefs rather than hit across a bunch of general issues that you feed your ego.
In General: Be a good person, love life and genuinely try to get to know people for the humans they are rather than what you think they should be. People will tend to surprise you.