The Dam Breakthrough

Other articles from "Get a Social Life From Scratch" series.

My Dear Reader,

Please accept my apologies; but, this is the last article in the “Getting a Social Life from Scratch” series. And, in this article, we talk about the so-called dam breakthrough (my definition). What’s the dam breakthrough? It’s an event when everything begins falling into place for you. The article will also touch upon finding balance in your new rhythm of life – a life filled with friends and plenty of social events. 

Maybe there was something I missed – a topic I failed to cover in this series, some piece of advice I have yet to give or some personal experience I have not yet shared with you; something that could assist you in your life. 

Although this is the series’ last article on how you can get a social life, it is, by no means, the end of articles for the website. You can rest assured that more articles on how to handle various social issues will follow. Remember, I said – at the beginning of the series – I would keep the site up and running until 2020, perhaps even further.

A Look At The Dam Breakthrough

Synergy… it’s a term in the field of personal development, which describes the period in your life where every attempt you’ve made toward your development goals is forced together to produce strong results in various areas of your life.  

I prefer the term Dam Breakthrough – partly because I invented it – and mostly because it reflects the event we’ve been talking about far better than synergy. Dam Breakthrough is much more vivid and figurative. Keep in mind I do not mean any kind of destructive factor event. 

What is the dam breakthrough and how does it happen?

Let’s begin with the basics. A dam is built on a river – a wall that separates a river. The water before the dam is high, deep and intense. The water after the dam is considered much calmer.

A breakthrough is what happens when the wall cannot take any more – the amount of water is too much for the weak wall. It comes crumbling down and the water runs with unseen force and power forward. The small stream now becomes a powerful river. 

When it comes to your social life, it may resemble the second part of the river. It’s not deep or strong. In fact, your social life may be struggling to stay alive.  When you work on your social life, what you’re doing is causing more water to build up in the already powerful and deep part until it breaks the dam. The overall progress is typically unseen, with the water level growing slowly. However, when it reaches the power level that it can smash thrown the dam… that’s when the breakthrough happens!

This same scenario applies to your life. You may put forth a significant amount of effort into developing your social life that includes but is not limited to: 

- Improve your communication-building skills

- Struggle with shyness and social anxiety

- Attempt to make friends

- Attempt to go out

- Attempt to date

At the same time, the progress you make may be unnoticeable for you. You could actually become discouraged by the lack of visible results. Don’t become discouraged because there is more going on behind the scenes than you know, and you don’t want to lose faith now.

And then, it just one moment, it happens! You start meeting new folks, making friends and getting a social life.  You start getting invites for a Friday/Saturday get together. That cell phone address book gets longer and longer. 

What happens with your social life when the dam finally breaks? Figuratively speaking, your social life is no longer a shallow stream but a raging water. 

I won’t say I didn’t experience it firsthand myself. I do remember coming home from a night out with friends at 4 a.m. and getting into my bed feeling tired and happy. It’s that moment you feel happiest that you realize that you’re finally… happy!

And, I still remember that moment of true happiness! I want the same happiness for you. It’s why I’ve created this website – why so much effort was put into the articles I wrote. I had just one purpose… to ensure you have total moments of complete happiness too. You deserve to be happy and you will have those moments.

How To Obtain A Balance

There’s no doubt I love to be alone. I’m an introvert so I like being alone; it’s important to me. It doesn’t matter how much I love someone, I still need my alone time. My friends are the best friends in the world; but still, I have to have time to myself every now and then. It’s just my way to recharge. 

When you start living the high life, you’re going to feel tired. Exhaustion is predictable and you’ll want to take a time out from time to time. 

You may take a look at your now booming social life and consider it a second job. It may seem like you have to do it all – meet with friends, hang out, go to bars, etc. 

You don’t have to be scared of it. It’s completely natural! You may be tired of socializing that you want to abandon the longed for, fought hard connections you made. Don’t do that! When the time has come, just readjust your rhythm of socializing. Transition yourself from building to maintaining the relationships. 

It’s so much easier to maintain something than building it from scratch. Regular maintenance of a home is easier than leaving it to completely breakdown to the point that you cannot fix it and need to look for another home.  Regular maintenance on a vehicle is easier and less expensive than driving it until your engine seizing and you have to purchase another vehicle. 

Both situations can be applied to human relationships. Once built, you can keep maintaining them without having to put in the effort of rebuilding them. 

How can you obtain the balance between social and your time without losing friends? Here are four things you can do to reduce the speed of your social life to a comfortable level and maintain those relationships you have built.

1 – Be Authentic

Basically, you need to be true. First be true to yourself, meaning if you get a part invite and feel too tired to go, politely decline and explain to the inviter that you’re tired and just need to take a break from the day. 

Sure, you don’t want to miss out on the chance for a budding social circle but it’s really okay to reject invites every now and then.  Be sure you don’t confuse laziness and fatigue.

2 – Don’t Miss Out On Important Events

You should never miss out on events that are important to your friends – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc. Even if you feel out of it and don’t want to go, put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if they didn’t show up to your special event?  Exactly! Perk up and go!

3 – Have Your Own Event

Put together your own event. If a friend has friends who would like to meet you, consider creating your own event to invite them over. Apologize for not meeting them sooner and ask them to come hang with you.

4 – Common Sense

It doesn’t matter what recommendation you find here or on the Internet, be sure to execute your common sense. If you think you’re doing something wrong in terms of building and maintaining relationships, alter the behavior just a little in one direction or another.

Before this entire series is over, here’s one thing to keep in mind:

Solitude is precious!

It may be difficult for you to believe when you’ve spent years along. However, once you start socializing all the time, you’re going to understand and crave some alone time.  Along with the gift of socializing, we also are given a gift of solitude.  For a long time, I thought loneliness was a curse. But, today, I am truly grateful for it. It gives me moments – happy moments - in my life that allows me to focus on my inner self. I can spend time on my own, doing what I want to do with nothing to distract me. 

Of course, the most difficult part is coming up with the balance between solitude and socialization.  So, when you reach it, hold on to this new rhythm of your life. After all, it’s something that can be considered as one of the biggest successes in your lifetime. Good luck!

March 30th, 2013