Let’s face it, if you’re a mom, especially in a new town, motherhood can be lonely sometimes. As women, we crave friendships with other women! We need that one-on-one adult conversation to keep us sane, validate us and to vent about the joys and challenges of parenting. The problem that many moms encounter though, is that making new mom friends is a lot like dating! It can be scary. There are real genuine fears involved. How do I start a conversation? What do I say? Will they like me? Will they want to hang out again?
Melody Jensen is a communications expert and shares a super easy and memorable “ice breaking” activity that can help ease some of those initial fears. Sometimes starting a conversation with any stranger can be an awkward situation, especially if you tend to be more of an introvert. This exercise is a visual you can store in your brain that can help in many social situations. It’s called “the stack method”. The point is to visualize things that will help you initiate a conversation, and then help the conversation flow smoothly.
First, visualize in your mind a house and raise it high in the sky.
Next, picture a member of your family in the doorway. They are cheerful and waving hello. They’re happy to see you!
Now, picture a chimney on the top of the house and coming out of it is a skiier. (stay with me)
The skiier is holding a chef in his/her arms….
And finally, the chef is holding a giant pizza above their head.
Got it? Now you have a stacked image of various objects in your head. And they have a purpose, I promise!
Remember the house? How it’s high in the sky? This reminds us to look up in social situations. We shouldn’t be looking down at our phones at the playground or on playdates. Looking up makes us more approachable and friendly, and opens opportunities to reach out to others around us.
The house reminds us to ask where a person is from. Other relatable questions could be: where do you live now? Do you love it? How long have you lived here?
Now, remember the family member smiling and waving in the doorway? This reminds us to smile and to be enthusiastic in social situations. Sometimes a smile can make all the difference. If we’re sitting looking indifferent, bored, or unenthusiastic it can come off as cold and aloof even if that’s not our intention. Make an active effort to smile. The family member in the door also helps us remember to ask questions like “who do you live with?” “how many are in your family?” “are you married?” “how long have you been married for?” “How old are your kids?” “do you get to see your parents very often?” etc…
The skiier represents interests. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? Have you read any good books lately, or seen any good movies? These are all great questions to ask when meeting new moms or potential friends.
The chef represents occupation. Do you work? What do you do? What does your husband do? What did you go to school for?
And finally, everyone loves a pizza right? The pizza helps remind us of two things: What are your favorite things? For example, your favorite place to vacation, your favorite food, your favorite restaurant in town…these are all great questions to ask. It also reminds us to compliment the person about your favorite thing you’ve noticed about them. You could say “you have a great smile” or “I love your hair” or “what a cute shirt, where did you get it?” Sincerely complimenting someone helps to make you unforgettable, because they will always remember it!
If you can remember this “stack method” of visualizing conversation starters, you no longer have to worry about what to say, or how to start conversations, and you will be well on your way to making new mom friends in social situations! This is also helpful to teach your family so that your children will know how to make new friends as well!
Check out the video version of this method HERE.
Melody Jensen is also the host of Momscast, a podcast series dedicated to uplifting moms and building a mom community around the world. Check it out!