The student says: How I found friends on the street and on buses

Debesylian stories

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?

(Because how else will you learn to communicate? Hmm?)

  • Hello, Antanas, I am very curious if you continue to maintain those relationships with new acquaintances?

    • Hi Tom! You know, time resources are very limited, so it is not really possible to maintain close relations with everyone. But it's always great to meet for coffee and talk with people who haven't become good friends, but who want to meet from time to time and have a fun (sometimes even meaningful! :D) evening 🙂

  • Hello Antanas, what should I do in such a case when I am an introvert (I like to communicate with people, but I listen to them more than I speak)? I can hook a person on the street, but after that I can't maintain that contact, communication, especially if that hooked person is also an introvert and doesn't talk too much. Do you have any advice for introverts? 🙂

    • I don't know what Antanas will answer, but this is how I deal with it: I just talk about what I want. And that's it. It would seem that what - what will the grandmother here on the bench in Freedom Avenue say something interesting about the psychology of people, but oh - it turns out she has something.

      Well, or sometimes you don't. But that's okay - the world isn't falling apart, because these are just conversations after all. Communication only. Just sharing thoughts.

      When talking about what is interesting or fun to you, you no longer need to think about how to maintain a conversation, because the questions will arise by themselves. 🙂

      Although, of course, maybe my advice is not the best for the whole beginner. I could go into that part in more detail in my article on how I learned to meet people myself. 🙂

    • Hi Lin!
      You know, it is said that the best conversationalist is the one who knows how to listen, so you are on the right track ;).
      I can give advice, but each person finds the best way and method to maintain that connection. Maybe if you couldn't keep up the communication, you didn't need to? And if you feel that you want to stay in touch with someone longer, just go ahead and do it. Start talking about what is relevant to you, maybe the interlocutor will be interested in it as well, and a discussion will arise from it. If, as you say, you are not afraid to get to know each other, you got a contact, you would like to meet again, but you feel discomfort when inviting again, or you have a preconceived idea that communication will be difficult - just try not to think about it. Ask yourself, Tom, what's the worst that could happen? A complete fail, an absolute disaster, if you go ahead and offer that person a coffee?” And then ask yourself another question, "What is the best that can happen?" If this chance meeting of ours will become a wonderful story of friendship? What else wonderful can happen?". You will see, the expectations of good will exceed the version of disaster several times, and this will inspire you 😉

    • Thank you very much for your answers 🙂 Good advice to both your Antanas and your Daniel 🙂
      New acquaintances, here I come!

  • As always, I really liked the article, ..really, what a good school of self-control, willpower development and the search for meaning...

    • Go ahead! You are one of the youngest readers of Debesyla, it's interesting how you will do, maybe the interview will be worth it! 🙂

  • Since I myself lack self-confidence and courage for such feats, I admire personalities like Antanas. Well done! 😉 Well, tips on how to learn to communicate would be useful to me, so Daniel, I will wait for your article with impatience. 🙂

  • Fun and cute article/interview 😉 Congratulations on completing, among other things, a cool challenge!
    But today I brush my teeth, so I will bite. Personally, the answers to the questions seem a bit the same to me. Kinda lacks depth in everything. Because it seems that a person is sharing, but there is a "missing part of the text". 🙂 I just wish there was more detail. The same tone sounds in the comments 🙁 "I can give advice, but everyone's case is different" and then it turns to talking about hypotheses. More good practice tips (!!!) 🙂
    I don't want to sound too angry because everything is fine. Don't take this to heart, it's just an opinion/note 🙂

    • Monika, you are the person who criticizes... And who knows how to criticize! 🙂

    • Thank you, Monika!
      Well, we can show you the way that is right for us. We can share methods, but if we do, it will only be a short-term inspiration to a person. You know, they say that change is easy, but maintaining change is difficult. And in order to maintain the changes, a person has to find the dream method that is most suitable for him. Then there will be inspiration for a long-term perspective, and not for one day, and the person will not need to be motivated additionally, because he will feel the pleasure himself ;). Of course, I will try to be more specific next time 🙂

  • You always think that I'm the only one here who is so timid and you always break your horns and armor 🙂 it's nice to hear that you are not alone. The best stories are heard as a person who has not had everything laid under his feet with his nails and ambitions achieves something unrealistic 🙂 such stories are the most inspiring change yourself. Thank you thank you for the article!

  • I, Antanas, am very curious to know what those magically self-motivating words and sentences were written in your notebook. 🙂 I myself really like people who communicate, who share their experiences, impressions, moods, etc., but... lately I don't have enough time to pay attention to my old friends... to call another mother living in Lithuania... I exchange communication with my children for reading a valuable book... Me the message "you become forever responsible for the one you make friends with" has been ingrained for a long time... but I'm really not against new acquaintances 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂

    • Hello Edita,
      Well, motivation is really like a flat tire - you inflate it, you drive for a while, and you have to inflate it again. There were no "magical" words like "you can", "every day is a new beginning" and other blah blah blah. The best motivator is the ultimate GOAL and REASONS why you want to finish what you are doing. That's why I wrote down WHY I want to finish the challenge, and whenever I fainted - that was the best motivation 😉

  • Great idea! I'm also all 100% for new acquaintances! And I've already tried this several times (of course I didn't set any challenges, I didn't make a strict plan and I didn't talk to everyone in a row - I choose people - I choose people who look interesting, mostly informal, because it is with them that I find a common connection, and one of the girls I chose became my most important friend ).

    And, using this opportunity, I suggest to all those who read and want to get to company.! Are we getting to know each other? ;] We can text at the beginning, because I like it :} 862904943

  • I'm also one of those people who don't go out of their comfort zone so easily, after all, you have to overcome the biggest obstacle - defeat YOURSELF!!! but maybe you ignore people and stay in your own world, because that's the safest way, because in the end no one will be able to reject you or criticize you, you won't appear to anyone and you'll be a neutral person to everyone :) I'm also always looking for new acquaintances. It doesn't have to turn into a big friendship, how many real friends do we have? A new acquaintance can just bring new colors to our everyday life, at least I get a lot of good ideas and awareness from people from whom you might not even expect it...:) Thanks for the article!:)

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