When we talk to other people, very often we can’t pick up on the underlying reasons for our own behaviour. But if you observe someone else, you can often find out many interesting explanations for our own actions. And from this, it’s possible to find ways to feel more comfortable during socialising and communicate better with others.
Here are 15 unusual tips to help you achieve just that.
1. If you have to work a lot with the general public, put a mirror behind you. Many people will be more polite to you, since they don’t feel comfortable seeing themselves being angry and rude.
2. If you’re in a group meeting and expect someone to take you to task, sit right next to them. They’ll lose the pack mentality that makes them feel safe to attack you. At the very least, they’ll mitigate their meanness.
3. Once you’ve laid out your views in any debate or argument, don’t say anything else. Give your opponent time to think about what you’ve said and formulate a proper answer.
4. The order in which you put your ideas forward are important for prevailing in any argument or discussion. Start by offering a strong argument you feel very confident in, then one which is weaker. Your final idea should as a rule be the most convincing one you have to offer.
5. If someone tries to make you mad, don’t be provoked and try to stay calm at all costs. This will embarass your opponent and force them to play by your rules rather than theirs.
6. Try to avoid using the word ’you’ in an argument. This always sounds accusatory and will hardly help keep the situation under control. Stick to phrases like ’I think’ or ’It seems to me’. This a good way to try to begin to reach consensus.
7. Try to notice someone’s eye colour when you meet them. People like you more for the slightly increased eye contact.
8. Try to let a child make certain simple decisions entirely on his or her own. For example, what clothes he or she wants to wear for the day. It will make them feel that they are in control of the situation and give rise to fewer conflicts and tantrums.
9. Always try to conduct a first meeting with someone in a place where you’re likely to feel a lot of positive emotions. Your impressions will be much more positive, and you’ll feel more relaxed and sociable accordingly.
10. If you express genuine enthusiasm and interest when you meet people, they will ultimately start to feel and react the same way. This always works given a little time and effort.
11. If you get into an argument, try to only use arguments which you know are confirmed facts, rather than lose your temper and employ invective or tenous ideas which you aren’t sure are true. You won’t end up feeling stupid, which will only make you angrier.
12. If you ask someone a question and they only give you a partial answer, maintain eye-contact and stay silent. The person answering will usually assume that the original answer wasn’t good enough, and they’ll keep talking.
13. Learn to pose ’open’ questions as well as ’closed’ ones (the latter being those which you can answer only ’yes’ or ’no’ to). Open questions require a more sophisticated and better articulated answer. You can better steer the direction of a conversation — should that be your goal — if you know how to use a combination of both open and closed questions.
14. After getting acquainted with a new person, start addressing them by their name, even if you’re not sure if you’ll ever see them again after this meeting. This helps to form a more friendly and trusting relationship right from the start.
15. When a group of people laughs, people instinctively look toward the group members they feel closest to (or want to feel closest to).