10 ways to become nicer

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We all have different levels of social skills. Some people are naturally charismatic and are easily liked by others. Others may be outgoing but socially awkward, and some may be shy or introverts and find certain social interactions too distressing or ungrateful. In other words, being seen as likeable is more important to some people than to others.

Most importantly, our sympathy is not entirely up to us. It depends on the context, our roles and functions within the group, the people around us, what we have in common with them, their biases and ours, and a variety of other factors. Some people may never warm up to us no matter how friendly we are. They can be fiercely opposed to our lifestyles, culture or choices, offended in the wrong way by one or more of our characteristics, have grudges and resentments that we are not aware of, or simply be people. difficult whose minds cannot be changed. While it’s possible to increase our sympathy under general circumstances, it’s important to remember that we can’t please everyone all of the time.

That said, if you want people to respond to you more warmly and openly, or with more acceptance, there are things you can do to make yourself more sympathetic:

1. Be a better listener. People love to be heard, and there are no shortcuts here. To be a good listener you have to actually listen to what the other person is saying, instead of going through the great story you want to tell by the time they are done speaking) and you have to find ways to make it clear that you are. attentive. The nods, oh and ah, it can go a long way.

2. Be united. It might sound cool to laugh at a minor complaint when someone voices it (“I had to work all weekend.” “Well, that’s why you make a lot of money!” Ah , it sucks. “). If someone tells you about something they have accomplished, offer them sincere congratulations; if someone talks to you about something upsetting, offer them sincere sympathy. If someone tells you about an amazing experience, show them some excitement.

3. Follow-up. This is an opportunity that most people miss. If someone tells you they have an exam coming up, ask them how it went. If you know they went on vacation, ask them what it was like. If they have mentioned that their child is sick, ask how he is feeling. People notice when they gave you information and the follow-up the next time you see it or via text shows that you listened and cared enough to find out or comment on it late. Doing this can earn you important points of sympathy.

4. Find common ground. People connect with other people who are like them or have similar interests and opinions, so when you meet people you don’t know well or are first meeting, try to find common interests, hobbies, opinions, likes for movies, books, shows, music or fashion, vacation destinations, or anything else that can create a connective tissue between you.

5. Use body language. Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, smile, stand or sit with an open posture (p. For them. We tend to notice a person’s body language more subconsciously than consciously, but we write it down and it adds to our impressions of a person’s sympathy.

6. Put your phone away. Really just put it in your pocket or purse when talking to people. If you’re at the table, at least turn it over. Stealing glances at your phone – which is so hard not to do when it’s right next to you or in your hand – signals that you’re not fully listening (at best) or that you’re distracted and disinterested, which will not please you. you to the other person. So even if their phone is off, put yours away and be more present.

7. Don’t complain too much. Complaints have a social function because they can be a way to find common ground (“I hated this movie!” “Me too!”). But while a single complaint (or two) can offer the potential for common ground, sprinkling our dialogue with a litany of complaints and being too negative is a drag (“My boss is so boring and the subway is just awful these days so its not my fault i’m late plus i’m stuck out there and it’s crowded well you know how good people are rude in the heat… ”). If we want to sound more sympathetic, we have to try to present a slightly more positive outlook, even if our mood at that time is stark. The balance here is to be positive but genuine, so don’t play the part. Instead, try to discuss things that you can seem positive about even in a bad mood (“My nephew is such a delight”).

8. Don’t dominate the conversation. You might be a great storyteller and a fascinating conversation partner, but other people also want to spend time on stage. So pay attention to how much (for how long) you talk compared to other people in the conversation. People notice these imbalances and register them unfavorably, even though they seem to like your stories at the time.

9. Don’t brag. This includes the humblebrag. If the discussion is about the I Caught the Biggest Fish variety, by all means, don’t hesitate. other ways of letting people know how awesome you are often fails.

10. Keep disagreements to a minimum. One of the phrases people find most boring is, “Let me play devil’s advocate.” Unless you know someone very well, in which case your sympathy is not an issue, it is neither necessary nor productive to focus on the points of disagreement, no matter what convincing argument you may make. to be worth. If they liked a certain movie because it “really got me thinking,” don’t say, “Really? I thought it was crap. Say, “I wish they explored the topic of friendship in more depth,” or offer other constructive criticism. In other words, people like it when others agree with them, so don’t stress points of disagreement unless the issue is really important to you; even then, try to do it lightly.

Being friendly is about being nice, making people feel comfortable and welcome, and feeling accepted, understood and valued. Keep these guidelines in mind, and when in doubt about what to say, less is more.

Copyright 2020 Guy Winch

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LinkedIn image: Diego Cervo / Shutterstock


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