On Having a Social Circle That Is Too Small

March 14, 2021

As an expatriate working and living in a foreign country, I've found that my social circle is quite small. While most of my friends reside in my home country and I communicate with them through my work, this limited network puts me at a disadvantage. For instance, I recently had to vacate my apartment due to an unexpected lease termination and found myself scrambling to find a new place. Without a broad social network to guide me, I ended up in a less-than-ideal living situation. It was then that I realized the importance of having a more extensive social network for practical advice, such as finding affordable housing.

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If I had a larger social circle, I could have approached this situation differently. Beyond my colleagues, I need to expand my connections by actively participating in various social activities. As an introvert, my default weekend activity is reading books at home, but I need to venture out and engage in public speaking clubs, sports, or cultural groups. The internet also offers an opportunity to connect with people I wouldn't ordinarily meet. Writing blog posts or hosting podcasts can help me understand perspectives different from my own and enable collaborative truth-seeking.

There are three main reasons why I plan to post regularly to address this issue. First, blogging allows me to connect with people outside of my immediate social circle, while also helping me articulate my thoughts better. Having already explored these thoughts in my blog posts, I can more effectively communicate with strangers. Second, I have valuable insights to share. The Feynman Technique, named after my favorite physicist Richard Feynman, posits that explaining something in simple terms helps to identify gaps in one's understanding. Blogging serves as a platform to apply this technique, enabling me to both solidify my own understanding and share knowledge with others. Finally, regular writing encourages self-reflection. Inspired by Jordan Peterson's "12 Rules for Life," participating in exercises like the ones on his self-authoring website can have a profound impact on my personal development and that of others who are outside my current social circle.

In conclusion, the limitations of a small social circle have become increasingly apparent to me. Actively working to expand this circle, whether through in-person interactions or online engagement, will not only improve my life practically but will also enrich it by opening up avenues for learning and personal growth.

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Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn