I love the idea of the tension of two ideas "everyone is my friend" and "everyone has other places to be" is really a yin yang-like negotiation. Great insight.

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Was just thinking how I'd like to be more charismatic and able/willing to connect with people more. It's nice to know that it's something one can hone with practice. Thanks for writing this Sasha, been really appreciating your posts of late.

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Oct 4, 2023Liked by Sasha Chapin

hey sasha,

absolutely loved the thoughts on connecting effortlessly (or seemingly so) with folks around the globe. your anecdotes about mingling with strangers and turning them into connections, if not friends, struck a resonant chord with me. i'm particularly drawn to the duality of "everyone is my new friend who i haven’t met yet" and "everyone will immediately want to stop talking to me". it's a curious blend of hopefulness and reality check, isn’t it?

your adventures, from bangkok to lima, also highlight this beautiful spontaneity in human connection, demonstrating a life that is rich with stories and shared experiences. there’s a sheer vulnerability and open-handedness in your interactions that i find both rare and deeply fascinating. the bit about matching tempo, volume, and style – it’s almost like a dance, yeah? moving in harmony with another’s rhythm, finding a shared beat in a conversation.

i wonder, have you always found this dance natural, or were there missteps along the way that shaped your current approach? and how do you navigate moments where it feels like the connection just isn’t sparking, despite best intentions and practices?

looking forward to your future writings and navigating through the past ones. your perspectives add a lovely layer of contemplation to my reading list.



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Oh boy were there missteps! I don't think I was tolerable to talk to, for most people, until the age of... 24? 25? I was Very bad at reading signals, and I was creditably extroverted, but also frequently exhausting, ranty, domineering...

The best thing for me was emotional work that helped get me out of my head and into my body and the room, that's when I started getting decent at this. I started learning to enjoy silence, to feel the rhythm of other people, etc. This started around 5 years ago now, I've learned a lot since then just because I realized how much I didn't know!

And yes, you really can't force a connection, nor should you! I think regarding separateness as not a problem, like not something that only happens when you've done things wrong, is helpful for me.

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In the interest of becoming more open...

This piece definitely struck a nerve with me. I'm tempted to loudly declare that I am going to try it out myself immediately!

But I understand myself well enough now to first take the time to process this, and try it out at the level of my mindset first.

I can say that your experience of the impact of martial arts on you is reflected in my life recently. I noticed that, once I started exercising more consistently, with some Pilates, my posture is improving and I walk around with more confidence & openness. More evidence that rigorous physical activity has both psychological and physical benefits (of course).

Thanks for sharing these gems with us. It is sure to change many lives for the better.

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I felt seen through this, especially the untested hypotheses aspect. I also often remember how people will likely be concerned with their own presentation rather than mine in a new conversation anyways, so why not be unafraid in conversational topics.

Competing in sports for several years also definitely makes a difference in body language and the “looseness” aspect.

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Open to experience, no expectations, and intuitive mirroring.

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It's amazing what can happen by just asking a simple question to a complete stranger. They think, "Wow, this person thinks I'm interesting." Yes, everyone is interesting if you give them a chance to share their stories. Great post, Sasha. I have a question for you: You described yourself as 'weird' early in this post. Care to elaborate?

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When I travel, there is some ease about me that makes me easy to connect as well and I’ve never really delved deeply into it, and what you’ve shared is spot on!

I don’t think I embody this whole “easy to connect” thing, but you have certainly gave me colour to when I easily connect with people. What an article!

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Good stuff here man, and good reminders. I have to remember to match other's energy. I feel as though much of my life I came off too strongly, and now compensate by being too withdrawn.

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