This is a guest post by Max Nachamkin from Inner Gladiator.
But with this sense of connectedness, we tend to escape what’s in front of us every day. Here in Philadelphia, I can’t even count the number of people I see who are texting on the way to class, instead of looking around and talking to people they know.
Technology was invented to help solve the problem of being so far apart, but now that we’ve incorporated it so much in our lives, it’s gotten to the point of a social addiction, where personal communication is left to a minimum.
What does this mean?
Social networking is an illusion for most people — they think that they are talking to many people, when they are in fact talking very few, and on a superficial level.
Conversations become meaningless and small-talk becomes the daily routine. Personal relationships suffer as a consequence.
It feels depressing even writing this…
… But it’s not all bad, and there’s amazing news too:
Personal communication and connection is valued even MORE today than it has ever been. And when you do it right, the value you give to the world is fucking strong. Look back to a time when you met someone at a party and instantly connected with them.
It felt awesome, right? When this happens to me, I feel like the party was great – even if it sucked – just because I met one person that I liked, and that liked me in return.
Or think about when you’re out in public and have a positive conversation with a stranger. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something strong when you connect with people you don’t know, especially when you do it quickly.
When it comes down to it, rapidly connecting with a fellow human being is the ultimate value.
They leave the interaction feeling great about themselves, about what they do, and about who they are. You’re giving them love. You’re giving them your full attention, and every time you do this, your value increases as a person.
People are distracted by so many other things that when you give them your focus, they realize what they’ve been missing.
And the best part: you begin to love to make people feel good, and the cycle repeats.
A huge part of social dynamics is to influence people to help you achieve your goals (and help them with theirs to create that win-win relationship). By leading your interactions with people and by using these techniques I’m about to show you, you’ll not only help people feel better about themselves, but you’ll also make it easier to ask for help when you need it.
When people like you, they’re more likely to help you. It’s common sense, but yet so easy to forget about.
And you know what? They will feel even better for helping you.
When you don’t ask someone for help when you need it, you’re denying them the chance to be helpful. And why would you want that? I always say the best feeling in the world is to feel important, and over time, I still haven’t found anything better.
Regardless, these simple techniques will work for friends of friends that you’re meeting or not-so-random strangers on the street. Once you get practice in with these techniques, you’ll both feel good about having come out of the interaction of meeting each other, and you’ll start to build those win-win relationships you’re looking for.
Body language is crucial. When you communicate the right message in your interactions on a physical level, people will start to ‘get it’ on a subconscious level. By doing the right things, you’ll make people feel comfortable. Without comfort, you’ll weird them out or give them the wrong impression.
Second: Tilt your head down and a little to the side. You’ll seem more intrigued and non-threatening. Ever seen someone walk around with their head held up a little too high? It makes you feel like they seem better than you, and it’s annoying. Remember to keep your head slightly down and tilted to the side.
Third: Mirror body language.
For example, if you’re at a library, and a cute girl is looking for a book, you better be looking like you’re looking for a book too. If you just go straight up to her while she’s looking in a different direction, you’ll seem extremely threatening. Yes, you could still meet her, but when you’re body language mirrors hers, her subconscious will tell her that you’re not threatening her environment and it will be easier to connect with her.
Same thing goes with meeting an important person at a business meeting or a stranger on the street.
Creating a time constraint
Give the other person a clue that this conversation isn’t going to last forever. A simple, “Hey.. I gotta run in a second to catch a train, but…”
People like to feel secure. By doing this, you’ll make them feel even more comfortable when you’re meeting them. If you’re already at a meeting or a party, it’s already assumed, so you don’t have to worry about this one. But if you’re talking to someone in a public place and your interaction doesn’t have an end date, this technique is extremely helpful.
Again, without comfort, it’s much harder to connect.
Focusing all on them
Since your goal when going into an interaction is to make the other person feel good about themselves, you have to switch the focus to them whenever you can. You want to get them talking about themselves. When someone talks about themselves, they feel comfortable and important. They feel perfect in that moment.
You’ll know when you get it right because they will want to keep talking and talking and talking (and talking) about something they’re passionate about.
Now, don’t go approaching someone random on the street and asking everything about them.
But if you want to meet someone, then go say what’s up. You don’t need any canned lines or an excuse.
In the case of meeting a stranger, though, it’s efficient to focus on some third-party item. If you’re at a bookstore…first, make sure your body language is correct, then make a comment about how crowded it is or that you can’t seem to find the book you’re looking for. You’ll get a small reaction, but then you can ask for help on finding a new book, and then start asking questions about them.
Make them feel comfortable, then focus on getting to know them.
By doing this, you’re making them feel good about themselves. Too many people go throughout the day feeling like shit or that they aren’t good enough…and by giving your full attention to someone, you are giving them the most important gift in the world. You’ll make their day.
Once they start to open up, listen. This isn’t unconventional wisdom here.
Listen to what they have to say and step inside their head for a minute. If they are saying stuff that you don’t like, that’s okay. Your goal isn’t to prove that you are right and that they are wrong — you are simply just trying to figure out what this person is like.
Fill in the conversation gaps with “how? why? when? with? who?”. Give a non-verbal agreement by nodding your head and being legitimately interested. Better yet, actually get interested in what they have to say.
This is the best part: it’s not uncommon for someone to come out of an interaction feeling awesome. They’ll love you for just having listened. They won’t straight up tell you this, but you can tell in the way they’re acting that you know it’s true. They are smiling, happy, and feeling accepted.
But sometimes, they will feel guilty because they realized you haven’t said a word. You kept putting the focus on them, and they only realized it after the fact because they were having such an awesome time talking about what they love.
Wait a second…you wanted to go meet someone and now they feel guilty that they don’t know you? Fuck yeah!
In those cases, share some things about yourself to put them at ease. As long as you don’t go on to some long tangent or rant, it’s all good. Just share some things about your life and put the focus back on them.
When you build rapid rapport with someone, your goal is to understand them quickly. You want to learn everything you can about this person, and by doing so; you’ll make the person feel amazing. They’ll love you for it, and you’ll begin to appreciate your ability to brighten up other people’s days.
By connecting with more people, you’ll find more people that you enjoy being around. You’ll start to find the people you want in your life, and you’ll find people that you care for, and will care for you in return.
If you think about it, chances are that you know someone who uses these techniques to give value to other people. These people understand how social dynamics works. They “get it”.
If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s to start focusing on understanding other people. Get to know what they want from life, and figure out how you can help them get it. By helping other people get what they want, you add value to their life significantly. And when you add value to their lives, they’ll be more inclined to help you with your goals when you really need their help.
By learning about someone quickly and efficiently, you will begin to form more win-win relationships and develop the kingpin lifestyle you want.
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