In Lithuania, you are nothing without acquaintances. And making acquaintances is almost impossible, because everything is only through relatives... At least that's what some people say.
This week's interviewer Antanas remembered these words. He decided to check – is it possible to start dating just on the street?
And yes, the action of this challenge takes place in Lithuania.
Antanas Bernatonis is a 17-year-old student who doesn't know if he's going to study, but he's about to start his own business and do something crazy and inspire his peers with his actions.
Let's hear what he has to say about his challenge.
👋 Hello, Anton. Who are you?
I am Antanas Bernatonis, a young, happy, self-confident person. I was born in Austria, which is probably why I love mountains so much. And mountains symbolize adventure, so there is no shortage of them in my life either.
I like different challenges, I don't like to sit still, so I constantly participate in various events, exhibitions and elsewhere. I'm working right now with solar energy in the Sunny Valley.
👋 What challenge did you take on?
I set the challenge as follows: For 3 months in a row, meet at least 3 people every week. Rules: the acquaintance is counted if I am the first to approach, talk to the person and get his contacts.
I was determined that if I accomplished this, I would reward myself with a treat every week. If not, no delicacies and next week I have to look for twice as many acquaintances.
👋 And why did you choose this challenge?
This challenge brings a lot of benefits: I can get out of my comfort zone and not be closed in my little comfortable world, I have to participate, climb over myself. You also learn to start a conversation, to listen to people, and when you get into unpleasant situations, to get out of them and improvise.
The dating itself is also amazing. Some cry that if they want to achieve something or find a job, it is only through acquaintances...
...While others are crying - you can use it, because the more acquaintances, the more opportunities open up in different areas and you can choose which one to develop further.
The people themselves are also very different, so you get new experiences, new knowledge from experts in different fields. By learning how to maneuver topics to keep the interviewer interested, you begin to recognize recurring personality traits.
When a stranger approaches you, everyone reacts differently, but some things are repeated. You recognize those things and use them to build mutual trust and enjoy communication.
👋 Was it difficult?
When I started the challenge, of course it was difficult. Approaching a person for no reason seemed scary, strange, I didn't know how he might react. And anyway, I felt discomfort. Therefore, the subconscious mind started looking for excuses why not to do it, so for the second week I did not find 3 acquaintances.
I thought about maybe ending the challenge, but then I got a hold of myself and told myself that I would see it through to the end.
I began to speak, I began to walk, and I saw that most people are good and happily starts to communicate. I took courage, felt pleasure and started making acquaintances wherever I could.
I got to know a lot of different people: starting from entrepreneurs in cafes and seminars, ending with a pedophile on the bus, who later stalked me in virtual space for several months.
And so after 3 and a little months I was acquainted with 134 people.
👋 What bothered you the most?
The biggest obstacle to achieving the goal was the brain. The more I thought about approaching, the scarier it became. Later I realized that I needed to act not by thinking but by improvising, and the obstacle partially moved aside.
After the first week of the challenge, I noted in my notes why I took on this challenge. When the going got tough and I wanted to quit, I would open my notes, read why I had to finish it, and keep going. I do this with most challenges - helps a lot.
👋 What did you learn?
During the challenge, I realized that all the people are friendly. No one wishes you bad, after all, it's nice for you too when a smiling person approaches you and talks to you.
I also became convinced that acquaintances are very important: we can learn a lot, more opportunities open up. And anyway, it's fun to meet and talk while walking around the city.
Sometimes you still want to not approach the person, sit in your comfort zone, but once you start, it's much easier to approach and talk to them. You feel better when you realize that you have made another wonderful acquaintance that can change your life.
👋 Do you have any advice for people who want to overtake you?
If someone decides to repeat the challenge, I suggest raising the bar: not three people a week, and every day a new acquaintance.
Also, here's a practical tip: when you approach a person, it's best to start the conversation with a compliment, for example telling the man "You're wearing a great jacket!" Where can I buy one?".
This way, the person will immediately have a better attitude towards you. It's true, it's just important to be honest.
👋 Thank you, Anton!
You see, I thought so, that in Lithuania it is also easy to meet people just on the street! If you want these acquaintances!
I later repeated this challenge: In the Czech Republic, I tried to meet 100 new people in one month. I believe you can take on a similar challenge! What if you compliment at least one stranger a week?