This note is the eighteenth letter in the 104-days-of-summer-vacation series. You can also follow the full twitter thread here, and leave any thoughts and comments that might come up!
I’m thinking about how I dislike networking. To me it feels like an unauthentic front for people to pursue their own selfish goals, perhaps due to the failures on the part of people who’ve ‘networked’ with me.
Conversations are beautiful, deep ways to share meaning with each other but networking boils it down to a transactional set of small-talk protocols. “How can I help you, but more importantly how can you help me?“.
This pre-conception is one of the reasons I keep to smaller social circles with high-touch and meaningful friendships. The downside, is that I fall out of touch with people who are very cool but I don’t have the bandwidth to form high-touch friendships with. After all, there is an upper limit to the number of quality friendships I can cognitively maintain.
Is there a way to be kind, and thoughtful with people without full friendships?
Serendipitously, I remembered something I’d seen in the rebootHQ discord server called Clay. Clay is a CRM designed to help people mindfully cultivate relationships, I think about it as a cognitive tool to increase the number of meaningful connections a person can juggle.
I set my account up a couple of days ago and I think it is a massive unlock for people who struggle with maintaining social relationships. Using Clay with the right mindset (being genuinely curious about the lives of amazing people who’ve crossed paths with me) is already helping me build meaningful relationships with people without the pressure of full friendships.
So if you’re someone who wants to make meaningful connections, hates small-talk networking, but can’t sustain any more friendships, here’s what works for me now.
- Find people who you’re genuinely curious about, it’s very important that you care about their journey. Filter out people who might just not be a good fit right now.
- Focus on what you can give rather than what you can take.
- Use Clay to help remember, and remind you to nurture these relationships that matter.
- Be intentional and thoughtful, the goal is to be kind and support the people you’ve crossed paths with.