Connecting Friends

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I have friend pockets.

Some people I know individually, alone and independent of knowing anyone else connected to either of us. We have no mutual friends. Some people I know as part of discrete groups, unconnected to other groups that include other friends.

If I had a huge party—not that I’d do so, typically—most people at the soiree wouldn’t know anyone else in attendance.

Although I stand by my earlier statement that nurturing friendships requires time spent one on one, I wish I had more interconnected friends. If I like someone and they like me—which I figure predicates friendship of any depth—most likely they’d like someone else I like and who also likes me.

Further, some activities, such as trips, game nights, cultural events, and concerts, feel more fun with a decently sized group. To shake together a decent gathering, you need to invite a large number of potential attendees who you believe would get along, and these invitees will more likely attend if they’ll know other people there.

The question: How?

My extroverted brother throws huge parties in which he invites everyone he knows—or so it feels. And the technique works—he has large groups of acquainted friends who get along well.

Yet as throwing a huge shindig likely won’t suddenly appeal to my introvert sensibilities, perhaps I should reinstate regular dinner parties. I haven’t done them in a while. At dinner parties, I always tried to invite friends who didn’t know each other—but should have. A small-group, informal setting seemed perfect for encouraging connections and felt manageable to me as emcee.

How do you connect your friends?