In last week’s blog ‘Creating a Great First Impression: Eye Contact, how to make it.’ we explored some tips to help with connecting with others in social situations. Here are some more in this week’s blog.
Conversations are a 2-way sharing
A conversation is a two-way sharing and involves give and take. It has taken me some time to get the whole give and take thing. I am quite good at giving to others whether it is material things, my time or attention or a listening ear. But I am not so good at receiving or giving others the opportunity to give to me. I think this is because I sometimes don’t feel worthy of the gift or that I want to be in control and a giving hog. How does this attitude help anyone? It doesn’t – it is selfish and denies others the pleasure in giving. We all know how good it feels to be able to give a gift, our time to help or to listen to someone. When we don’t allow others the opportunity to do this it is all about us and we are denying them this beautiful giving opportunity. I have done this when someone has kindly given me something and I have said unhelpful things like
Wow this just happened and I did not do so well. A friend just offered to drive me to a meeting. Without thinking I dismissed their kind offer and said, “No thanks, I can walk”. I saw the look of disappointment on their face, which alerted me to what I had just done, whoops. I then said “thank you so much, that would be great.” They looked happy and I had learnt a great lesson. When I got to the meeting a friend kindly offered to buy my coffee. A little more tuned in this time I responded “thanks so much that would be lovely”. I am still learning about how it is not helpful to deny others the opportunity to help and give to me! So happy to be sharing these blogs, it is such a great reminder for me. Thank you all.
This attitude of not allowing others to give to us is never helpful. In social situations while I understand that it is good to get my self-interest out of the way (and not go on and on about me) to be of benefit others, I can take it too far. When I tell myself I don’t matter and I need to make it all about the other person I am forgetting two things
Creating a Great First Impression
Tip 3. Be Curious, without judgment
We are all different and have many unique, interesting and sometimes unusual passions and talents. Often we do not get the opportunity to share these with others because no one ever asks about them. It is fun to share what lights us up with others and have them share with us too.
We miss many great opportunities to get to know people because we slap a label on them and don’t give them or ourselves the opportunity to share our passions. When we are curious about others, without judgment or criticism they feel safe to share their passions with us and we can share what brings us joy with them too.
I have found out some really interesting things I never knew about friends, both new and old, by doing this. Friends that love Latin dancing, mosaic, growing vegies, chooks, the Seekers, motor bike riding with their sons, the share market, knitting, bagpipes and writing. They might not be my ‘thing’, but it is great to share what lights them up and for me to share too. When we bring a non-judgmental, curiosity to our interactions with others we allow all to feel safe to share (remember it is a two 2 way give and take). Others have learnt some interesting things about me too, when I share and give them the opportunity to be curious non-judgmental listeners!
What fun we can have connecting to others. Who knows whom we will meet and what interesting things we will discover about them and ourselves too.
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