Most of the time you stop yourself from participating by getting overly concerned about what other people think of you.
In other words you want them to like you and to approve of what you say.
You crave approval.
Here are three great ways to win approval:
1. Know what you are talking about
Thoroughly research your topic so that you can discuss any aspect of it with the people you are meeting.
When you know the subject matter inside out you will quite rightly have much more confidence in yourself.
As a result you will speak with confidence and authority and people will respond to you with respect.
The lack of adequate preparation is a big reason for not feeling comfortable enough to contribute to a conversation.
If you already know you could look foolish it makes sense not to say anything at all.
Turn this around by becoming an expert on your topic.
The same applies to small talk – stay informed by reading the news and keeping up to date with what is happening locally and nationally. Y
ou´ll soon have more than enough material to start and keep a conversation going.
2. Don´t expect to get approval
The irony of wanting approval is that the more you want it the less likely you are to get it.
And on the other hand when you dont care about being approved of – you are more likely to get it.
Make a game of it.
When you talk to people act as if you don´t want or need their approval.
Pretend there is no way to win their approval so there is no point in even trying to get it.
When you think in this way there is no point in worrying about being liked so all you can do is put your attention back on the conversation itself.
Your conversation skills will improve because your complete attention is back on the conversation and ironically people will approve of you more.
3. Understand how people decide if they will like you
People do not objectively assess you and what you say before deciding if they like and approve of you.
We all make emotionally charged decisions about who to like and why.
You might be liked for any number of reasons…
You might remind someone of an old friend, you might share a similar life philosophy or you might have the same fashion sense.
You could be disliked for a number of reasons…
Maybe you hold polar opposite views on politics, you don´t like dogs and the other person does or perhaps he dislikes people who are taller than he is.
Do you see the absurdity in all of this?
We are all irrational creatures. And we like or dislike each other for all sorts of silly reasons.
There is one principle worth remembering though…
People tend to approve of people like themselves.
In practical terms, this means you can and should look for commonality when you meet people.
Listen out for things you have in common and ask questions that will reveal commonality. And then point out how the two of you are similar…
– I am from the south side of the city too
– I like action movies as well
– Same here, I can never stick with a diet plan
– You´re not the only one who hates cabbage
The more you look for commonality the more you will find it.
Find things in common and point them out to the other person and he or she will warm to you.
Because we tend to like and trust people who are like us.
Now would be a very good time to review the special report that comes with my book – Conversation Fear and the Three Ways to Kill it.
That report shows you the most powerful ways to rid yourself of all the fears that hold you back from participating in conversations. It goes far beyond what we have covered here today.
Fear will stop you from being at your best whether it is the fear of rejection, saying the wrong thing, looking foolish or getting embarrassed.
Deal with them one at a time and you will transform the quality of your life and enjoy talking to people in a whole new way.
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