That’s What Friends Are For

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I’m watching “When Harry Met Sally” as the rain pounds against my windows, for the third day in a row. The air is so wet and cool, I feel like I’m back in England…but it’s done a lot to get me in the spirit of Christmas. I love it! I’m finally starting to feel festive – ho!ho!ho! Oh, by the way – this movie totally stands up…it’s still fantastic. The back and forth between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is so absolutely delightful – even though I’ve seen this movie 264 times (at least), I still feel like I’m falling in love, too, as I watch this. Awesome! 🙂

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I came across this article recently, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! 🙂

How To Get People To Like You: 7 Ways From An FBI Behavior Expert

Meeting new people can be awkward. What should you say? How can you make a good impression? How do you keep a conversation going?
Research shows relationships are vital to happiness and networking is the key to getting jobs and building a fulfilling career.

Robin was head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program and has studied interpersonal relations for over 27 years. He’s an expert on how to make people like you.

1) The Most Important Thing To Do With Anyone You Meet

Robin’s #1 piece of advice: “Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.”
Ask questions. Listen. But don’t judge. Nobody — including you — likes to feel judged.

Studies show people get more pleasure from talking about themselves than they do from food or money:
Talking about ourselves—whether in a personal conversation or through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter—triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money…

2) Suspend Your Ego To Get People To Like You

Most of us are just dying to point out how other people are wrong. (Comment sections on the internet are fueled by this, aren’t they?)
And it kills rapport. Want to correct someone? Want to one-up them with your clever little story? Don’t do it.

Contradicting people doesn’t build relationships. Dale Carnegie said it many years ago — and modern neuroscience agrees.
When people hear things that contradict their beliefs, the logical part of their mind shuts down and their brain prepares to fight.

3) How To Be A Good Listener

We’ve all heard that listening skills are vital but nobody explains the right way to do it. What’s the secret?
Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what they’re saying right now.
Be curious and ask to hear more about what interests you.
What you do is this: as soon as you have that story or thought that you want to share, toss it. Consciously tell yourself, “I am not going to say it.”
All you should be doing is asking yourself, “What idea or thought that they mentioned do I find fascinating and want to explore?”
Research shows just asking people to tell you more makes you more likable and gets them to want to help you.

4) The Best Question To Ask People

Life can be tough for everyone: rich or poor, old or young. Everyone.
We all face challenges and we like to talk about them. So that’s what to ask about.

Questions are incredibly powerful. What’s one of the most potent ways to influence someone? Merely asking for advice.

5) How To Make Strangers Feel At Ease

First thing: tell them you only have a minute because you’re headed out the door.

Research shows just asking people if now is a good time makes them more likely to comply with requests:
The results showed that compliance rates were higher when the requester inquired about respondents’ availability and waited for a response than when he pursued his set speech without waiting and inquiring about respondents’ availability.
Nobody wants to feel trapped talking to some weirdo. People are more likely to help you than you think, but they need to feel safe and in control.

6) The Best Body Language For Building Rapport

Your words should be positive, free of ego and judgment — and your body language (“non-verbals”) needs to match.

From Dale Carnegie to peer-reviewed studies, everyone says smiles matter. (In fact, to increase their power, smile slower.)
It makes us happier too. Neuroscience research shows smiling gives the brain as much pleasure as 2000 bars of chocolate — or $25,000.

Depending on whose smile you see, the researchers found that one smile can be as pleasurable and stimulating as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate! …it took up to 16,000 pounds sterling in cash to generate the same level of brain stimulation as one smile! This is equivalent to about $25,000 per smile…

7) How To Deal With Someone You Don’t Trust
Don’t be hostile but be direct: ask them what they want. What are their goals in this interaction?

I watch for validation. If someone is trying to validate me and my thoughts and opinions, I am alert to it. I love doing that as well. So now I’m looking for intent. Are you there for me or are you there for you? If you are there strictly for your own gain and you’re not talking in terms of my priorities ever, that’s when I’m seeing someone is there to manipulate me.
Want to build a connection with someone? Focus on trust, not tricks. That’s how you earn respect. Trust is fragile. And mistrust is self-fulfilling.

Sum Up

Here are Robin’s tips:
The single most important thing is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.
Suspend your ego. Focus on them.
Really listen, don’t just wait to talk. Ask them questions; don’t try to come up with stories to impress.
Ask people about what’s been challenging them.
Establishing a time constraint early in the conversation can put strangers at ease.
Smile, chin down, blade your body, palms up, open and upward non-verbals.
If you think someone is trying to manipulate you, clarify goals. Don’t be hostile or aggressive, but ask them to be straight about what they want.
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I love this article, don’t you? I find that I feel so ridiculously awkward 99.7% of the time, and I feel like it’s nearly impossible for me to make connections with people, and I have no idea why. This never used to be a problem, but somehow as I’ve aged, it has become one. I just don’t get it. I think I’m interesting and kinda fun, but…this is not a popular opinion that is shared by many, sadly. Boo! Hiss! That’s kind of why I liked this article – maybe if I apply some of these tips, I will have more success with people. I’ve never thought that I was a person who monopolized conversations talking about myself, but…perhaps I’ve become one? (I bloody hope not – I loathe that quality in people) I try to be a good listener, but maybe I am not 110% present and engaged – this could actually be part of my problem. I’ve been thinking about presence lately, and trying to stop with the distractions that are always running rampant in my head. I like it when someone I am with looks at me, speaks to me, pays attention to me – and not their phone/the tv/whatever other distractions are going on around them. I am trying to learn to be present, to give those around me the same respect and attention that I want from them. This article from Zen Habits has some great suggestions on being present – they suggest a small regular practice of meditation (I downloaded some Gabby Bernstein meditations yesterday, I am SO trying this one this week!), work with others (on meditation, on whatever you are working on within yourself – three cheers for accountability partners), have mindfulness bells (set alarms on your phone/computer to remind you to pause and pay attention to what is going on around you), set an intention before an activity (I want to set intentions for my days as I begin them in the morning – how will you know if you’re where you’re supposed to be unless you know where it is that you want to go?), reflect daily (I’m such a fan of a few quiet moments at the end of the day – I really ought to get back to journaling, though), and finally, see everything as a teacher, meaning step out of the moment and see what you could possibly learn from these moments by being present. I’m not sure if these tips will do much, but…what harm is there in trying, eh? I’ve been working hard on cutting down on my technology consumption lately, and I’m finding that a) it has me feeling better, and b) I’m also becoming increasingly annoyed at how dependent those around me are on the technology in their lives – which is stupid. What other people do is none of my business, so why get worked up about it? Time for more zen….or perhaps Zinfandel? 😉

Xxx

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