This site is supposed to be the epitome of what a lifestyle site or channel should be. What does that mean? That means that we are venturing to bring great stuff to every part of your life. Whether that’s to the way you consume media, your ipad case, or the way you have conversations. We stand on the lookout, hoping to cover your blind spots. So what have you been missing, I mean with the way you interact with others? (get ready for a text heavy, but worthwhile post.) Make sure to Vox it! for future reference. Ask yourself this, would you like to make deeper connections to everyone you talk to? Would you like be able to be that person that can just talk to anyone in the room like you go way back? If you answered yes start here. If you answered no, start here anyway, because after reading you’ll realize the importance. This is huge for your life.
The Importance of people in your life
The people in your life can very well be the most important thing in your life. Whether that is from your boss who gave you that promotion you needed, your best friend who helped you through a rough time of your life, or your spouse or significant other who you’ve decided to live your life alongside. Think about it, even from a business standpoint it has been said for a while that “it is not what you know, but who you know.” So the ability to make initial connections with people, and then continually grow those into great relationships appropriate to your needs can be exactly what you need to get to any destination in your life. This also loosely translates to the idea of being able to get into the right environment. Real quick: In the movie from the 80’s “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd 2 super rich investors had a bet. The question was “Is it heredity or environment that determines a person’s level of success?” Long story short, they took the snooty rich boy, and the homeless beggar and found a way to place them in each other’s roles. What happened? Well, let’s just say that the environment was the most important thing. Which in most cases, is very true. Having the right people around you creates the right environment for you. In order to create that ideal environment, you must have the skill of making connections.
First and Foremost: Making the connection.
That first, great conversation is what can spur that beneficial relationship between you and another person. You’ve got to be able to have a great conversation with them. After crosschecking quite a few different resources, here is the list of truths and things you need to do to have great conversations with people.
1. Make the Conversation about THEM not about YOU
This has been said very many times before, and will continue to be said. The importance here is to not just let it be said, but listen to it, take it into account, act on it. Find things to relate to them on, and put them in a position to talk about it. Listen intently and let them finish. Do not be quick to blurt out the next thing that you have to say. Even children can sense when you are not engaged in what they are telling you. Don’t think that you can ever make a great connection with someone without making them feel like they have first been heard, and are important.
2. Understanding that “Ego” thing
It’s not as complicated as many people think. Let’s put it really simple here
Nobody Ever likes to feel stupid.
Everyone Always likes to feel smart.
It’s really just about as simple as that. Whenever you hear the term “stroking their ego”, or “kissing up” and all of the other terms associated with that, this is really all that it means. The good news is, you don’t have to engage in all of the games, and cheap tricks many people use (or attempt to use) to get all of the benefits of playing this card correctly. Even better news is that you get to always be yourself in the process. Building upon the first point in this list (about them, not about you) use these tools to make sure that you don’t step on the toes of the person you are in a conversation with. Remember, it comes back to importance. Do you value their thoughts? Are they important enough to you that make them feel comfortable enough to speak about something that they wouldn’t necessarily say to just anyone. The second you stop trying to gain their approval and start focusing on listening to them and being engaged, is when you’ll start really making a deeper connection.
Back up a minute and lets talk about the thing that ruins conversations before they even start. Fear. The origin of social anxiety. What is there to fear though?
Saying the wrong thing What if they won’t like you. What if they turn out to be a jerk to me. What if they don’t want to talk right now? These few things boil down to just one larger thing. Rejection. Yep. Think about it. That’s what it is. Okay, but what else is there to fear?
What if I really disagree with what they say and it makes me angry? They don’t look like I’d like to talk to them. What if they touch me? I don’t like being touched. All of these things can very likely start to go off when contemplating whether to talk to some one you have never spoken to before. These are just the things that our lovely human brains start to do from time to time. But what do these few things really boil down to? It is the fear of discomfort. So when you are out there, and you really have the choice of speaking to people or not speaking to people just remember that you don’t have much to lose. In comparison to the fact that you might create a life changing relationship, fear of rejection and discomfort don’t really seem all that big. If conversations go south, these things can easily be shrugged off with the right mindset. And once you start putting these things into practice after 2-3 times it just gets easier and easier until one day, you just don’t have anything to worry about. In the words of Franklin Roosevelt “The only thing to Fear, is Fear itself” meaning that being fearful in situations like this is actually counter intuitive. The only thing that is causing your fear, is your lack of experience in the situation. The only thing that’s stopping you from getting experience in the situation is your fear. See the connection? Stop fearing and start doing and watch as your life starts steadily improving.
Part 2: What you’re bringing to the Conversation
If you are able to fully understand and taking steps to master all of the things mentioned above, you are already doing very well. But as students of the art of relationships start understanding the basics, they can often run into a roadblock. They will enter conversations understanding that they should focus mainly on the other person, make them feel important, relate to them, and listen but one thing that they can be very unprepared for is when the other person turns it around on them. “Well, tell me about you?” It’s like you’re learning social Kung Fu. And you’re ready enough to start using it on other people, but what happens when you run into someone who’s going to use it on you? Often times the people worth getting to know will have good social skills themselves, especially if they are extroverted. But one of the hardest things to do is appropriately talk about yourself. Coming out in the next post of this guide.
Thanks for reading
Researched and cross referenced things from: Forbes, The art of Manliness, Psych Central, Uncommon Help. Use these for deeper research into some of the topics covered and more.
Cover Photo Credit: Kris Krug
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