During my college days, I moved several times, prompting me to attend different congregations for church (in my church, geographical boundaries determine which congregation – or “ward” – you’re supposed to attend). At the beginning of each semester, I would try to make new friends in my ward. As I left for church each Sunday morning, I always put a few pieces of candy in my bag so that I would have something to snack on.
One Sunday, a thought occurred to me while sitting in church: What if I sit by someone new and offer them a piece of candy? I thought it was brilliant. The first attempt went something like this:
Me: Hi, my name’s Katie!
Potential new friend #1: Oh, hi! I’m _______.
Me: It’s great to meet you! Would you like some Starburst?
Potential new friend #1: Oh, no thank you.
I tried again. The second attempt went something like this:
Me: Hi, I’m Katie!
Potential new friend #2: I’m __________.
Me: Oh, it’s so nice to meet you! Would you like some chocolate?
Potential new friend #2: I really shouldn’t, but thanks anyway.
I was devastated. It turned out that my brilliant new plan wasn’t so brilliant after all. Apparently it’s fairly easy for people to turn down candy, especially if they’re athletic or on a diet or not particularly hungry or think that candy doesn’t sound good in the morning…the list goes on.
A few weeks later, I had packed fruit snacks in my bag instead of candy. I decided to give fruit snacks a try. I offered them over and over again in the following weeks. And you know what? Not one person turned me down. I made a lot of new friends with very little effort and a great, casual icebreaker. Plus, we usually had a good laugh over the fact that a 20-something year old was carrying fruit snacks around in the first place.
You see, people who turn down candy don’t turn down fruit snacks, even though the sugar content is almost the same.
I have had even better luck with fruit snack brands like Black Forest, Mott’s, and Welch’s because they advertise that they contain real fruit, giving the appearance that they are healthier. Also, when trying to make new friends in the morning, fruit snacks simply sound better than candy. It’s a great way to meet new people!
There you have it, my Fruit Snack Theory. Give it a try!