Make the other person feel important.
Of course this seems simple- make the other person feel good.
How does one do this, however? In today's world when you say something nice to someone or do something nice for someone people generally feel that you have a hidden agenda.
Rightfully so. Many people do.
A trick I have used to connect with women in passing is when I take my roommate's dog for a walk- the absolutely cutest Japanese Chin in the world- we garner a lot of attention. People will ask about the dog and offer surface level talk about the dog perhaps.
Winston (The dog's name) loves most people. He is super friendly and loves to reach his front paws up and rest them on peoples’ upper thigh so they will pet him in return.
Now here is the trick…
When he does that, I tell people, “Wow, you must be a good person. He has a keen sense of peoples’ energies and some people he won't even go up to. Again, you're giving off a good energy and you must be a good person.”
Everyone likes hearing they're a good person. Everyone likes someone else reaffirming the belief they hold within themselves.
Of course, it is true, Winston doesn't go up to everyone and I buy into his judgement of the bad people (for better or worse).
This completely has people let their guard down and I can get them to open up.
Make people feel good and conversational doors will open up.
Be interested in what the other person is interested in.
People love to talk about themselves. They love to feel like they are experts in their field, they like to feel they are special, they like to feel they are important.
Getting people to like you and open up to you is a result of your sincere interest in them and what they are interested in.
I live in Los Angeles.
There are plenty of people doing interesting things. Perhaps I'm spoiled with being able to practice this skill.
It seems like everyday I meet a new person who has a new hustle.
There are actors out here. I ask them about why they pursue acting and what it means to them.
There are writers our here. I ask them where they draw their material from and the trials of hearing that your work isn't “good.”
There are musicians out here. I ask them where they learned to perform and write music what kind of spiritual connection (if any) they get from the art.
Unfortunately, I feel that many people are in jobs that they aren't necessarily passionate about.
That is a prime tool to use to your advantage in becoming the prime conversationalist of the room!
Say you are confronted with a stranger at your most recent cocktail party.
This individual tells you her name is Jennifer and she is a friend of a friend of the host.
Like most people, you can ask her what she does for a living.
Me: “Nice to meet you Jennifer. So what do you do?”
Jennifer: “Like for work? I'm an accountant.”
Me: “Nice. In all honesty, I'm terrible with accounting, I couldn't do it. Are you passionate about accounting?”
Jennifer: “Not really, I was pressured into it by my parents as being a 'safe’ job.”
Me: “I know how that is. That's too bad. So what are you passionate about?”
Jennifer: “Haha, it's funny you ask, I haven't been asked that in a while. I love dogs. I grew up with dogs- German Shorthaired Pointers to be exact. Two of them. Rocky and Bullwinkle. They were everything to me growing up.”
Me: “That's so rad. I had one too growing up. Why do you like dogs so much?”
Jennifer: “This is so weird that I'm telling you this… When I was a little girl, I felt like they were the only one's that understood me. I was an only child growing up and didn't have too many friends. We did everything together me and those dogs. I loved them so much. If I could, I would breed them. That's like the dream.”
Look how much information has been gathered from a simple sequence of even simpler questions:
“What are you passionate about?”
“Why are you passionate about it?”
The conversation can go anywhere from there!
Using the phrase “I don't know enough on that subject to form a valid opinion.”
Nobody likes a “know-it-all.”
Humility helps gravitate people towards you.
How many times have you heard your friend or perhaps and acquaintance talking about a story which involved primarily themselves and an event that neither you nor any of the other people in the circle were at.
The conversation always ends in silence and awkward smiles.
People like when people admit that they don't know everything. Arrogance is like using the north end of a magnet to attract another north end.
When a topic comes up and people ask you for your opinion and you just plain and simple don't have one, I tend to say, “I don't know enough on that particular subject (you can fill in person as well) for form a valid opinion.”
You'd be amazed by peoples’ reactions to that line.
You can see it in their faces.
Many people look at you with that, “Hot damn. Homie doesn't know and he's okay with that. It's okay if I don't know as well.”
Refrain from blatant criticism.
This may be hard. Especially with really difficult people. Truth is, however, if they are ungodly difficult, who really needs them anyway?
However, when performing the dance of social interaction, try as best you can from blatant and open criticism of people- especially in public.
No one likes to be made to feel inferior.
Want people to gravitate towards you in social interactions? Make everyone feel BIG.
“A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.” -Thomas Carlyle.
When you criticize, you are stone-cold telling people they are wrong. Whether that is factually or within your opinion.
Instead, offer up perhaps a different route in their thought process. Try and educate instead of merely shutting them down. This goes hand in hand with the first skill- make people feel important.
You help achieving their perceived importance by refraining from criticism.
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