Have you ever found yourself in a social situation and felt awkward trying to interact with different people? What is it about personalities that can be so challenging at times?
If you have felt left out of conversations or struggled to interact with different people, you are not alone!
Let’s look at the 3 best ways to interact with different people right now.
#1: Be genuinely interested in them.
This first tip comes straight from Dale Carnegie’s well-known book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Carnegie advises that the very first way to connect with others is to become genuinely interested in them.
For the introverts out there, here’s what that looks like. Keep asking questions and listening to others speak. And if you can’t think of what to ask them, use this acronym: FOR.
Family. Occupation. Recreation.
Most people love to talk about one of those 3 topics, so they are always great places to start!
#2: Smile and nod.
The easiest way to interact with different people is to smile and laugh
at them. Just kidding!
A smile is universal and can speak when words are not necessary. I have seen no better example of this than from time spent with my wife binge-watching one of our favorite TV shows The Amazing Race.
In case you don’t know, in this reality show, couples literally race all over the world competing in different physical and mental challenges trying to win the one million dollar prize at the end.
Because the contestants travel worldwide, cultural languages are often the greatest obstacle to success. However, what does translate in any language is an authentic smile and nod of the head.
A nod of the head shows respect and understanding while a smile shows happiness and likeability. In my opinion, the teams who compete the best on the show smile and nod the most.
#3: Become a good listener.
I will say listening is a challenge for me because I have trouble focusing. I am an introverted person (INFJ for the Myer’s Briggs fans out there), so my tendency is to feel the need to connect with others one-on-one.
However, in so doing, I often find that my communication tactics trip me up. For instance, have you ever been told to “look people in the eye” when you speak to them?
It’s a great thing to do that shows you are connected and zoned in on them. However, for me, it can become an obstacle because I will try so hard to look someone in the eye that I have no idea what they are saying.
Obviously, I’m working on my listening skills. But if you can become a good listener, you will interact with different people easily.
So, where are you when it comes to your social connections? Do you struggle to connect? Do you only hang around people just like you?
Challenge yourself this month and get to know someone who is different. You may end up making a dear friend.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. – James 1:19 NLT