Be Authentic When You Meet Others

Many people think that whenever they meet someone new, they have to put on a false front, or pretend to be someone they’re not. Actually, being your real self will work better if you really want to connect with other people.

One of the most common reasons that people have difficulty making conversation with someone they don’t know very well is because they put too much pressure on themselves to put on a great performance.

Because of this sense of pressure, they try too hard to be impressive, to talk a lot, and to brag about their accomplishments. They won’t spend any time listening to and getting to know the person they are with. They often put on a fake performance.

Instead of impressing the other person however, this kind of self centered behavior is likely to irritate and annoy others.

Here’s a very important lesson to learn about making conversation with new people: Insisting to yourself that you have to be brilliant and dazzling in all your conversations will not win you new friends. It will not even improve your conversational performance.

When you think to yourself that you have to perform perfectly in all your conversations, and put up a false front, you will actually make your performance worse! You will become too nervous and awkward, and you’ll be too focused on your own performance. You won’t be focused on getting to know the new person you’ve just met.

New people that you meet are not looking for brilliant conversation. What they are looking for is someone who will be comfortable to be with, and fun to talk to. But most of all they are looking for someone who seems interested in them!

If you really want to impress the person you are meeting, it’s more important to be a good listener than to be a great talker.

Ask the other person a few basic questions and offer a little bit of information about yourself, your likes or dislikes, or your opinion on some neutral topic. Notice whether the other person lights up with interest about any topics you mention.

This can give you new interesting areas for both of you to discuss. Try to find out who they are, and what is interesting to them.

Even if it seems somewhat difficult and awkward for you in the beginning, develop the habit of introducing yourself to others as soon as you meet them, or very early in the conversation. Otherwise you could spend hours talking and neither of you will have any idea of what your conversation partner’s name is.

So remember: Show interest in other people. Smile. Listen. Look at the person you’re talking with.

Whenever you start talking to new people, don’t strive for great dialogue, or the perfect opening lines. Just get started, and keep on talking. Focus more on finding out what is interesting about the other person than on talking about what is interesting about you.

Let other people get to know the real you, instead of a fake you.

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