All My Friends Go to the Rave (And How to Help Your Producer Friends)

My first rave was the result of five or more of my coworkers at a bar all having tickets to one. I didn’t. I liked them enough to feel like even if the crowd wasn’t friendly and the music wasn’t good — haha — I’d still have a good enough time being around them. So I went. And that was that.

Cut to a year and a half later. I work at a different bar. None of my coworkers went to raves when I started there. But a lot of those former coworkers sure seem drawn to raves now, given that one now works at the city’s best dance music nightclub, and the other is my rave friend. By complete coincidence, these are also the two that I talked to the most.

In university, the conversion continued. I brought people with me to raves and they eventually started going on their own.

The reasons that any of them had for coming along don’t matter. Anything either of us said to explain would be a rationalization. What changed is how they felt about it. And that happened through social influence.

When a stranger shows you how they feel about something, you generally don’t care as much as a friend, who in turn you do not listen to as intently as a family member or a person of very high status. Liking is a very big factor in whether you will allow a person to influence you. We like our friends, we like our family (sometimes), and we like celebrities. They’re all influential.

I love raves. I am very vocal about it. I openly identify this way: “I love dance music.” But more than that, I am visually crazy about it. There is no form of embarrassment that causes me to shy away from anything dance music related. I’ve probably danced on the bus, and not on the way to a rave, either. Alone.

When a friend sees this, they recognize what it must feel like in my body for this reaction to occur. In fact, your brain is hardwired to recognize it because of mirror neurons. That’s science. Because I have such enthusiasm for it, other people get the notion that “Hey, I might like this too.”

So when your producer friends show you their tracks, be excited. Be supportive, tell them about the parts you like (being specific can add to the believability).

But you can do one better.

Talk about their work in front of other people. People they don’t know. You can use this as an opportunity to practice persuasion because you will feel good helping your friends out, and learn something at the same time. The key is to just open up your phone and play it, and show your enthusiasm for the good parts. Literally play the track and make excited faces. That’s more convincing than what most words could say.

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