Having personal relationships with colleagues and peers leads to a more balanced life, and co-workers, neighbors, friends and family are also there for us when life gets us down.
If connecting with people is challenging for you, these tips may help when meeting someone new:
- It’s okay to be shy, just take a deep breath and look them in the eye when speaking.
- Speak clearly – it’s difficult and frustrating to converse with someone who mumbles.
- Try to find something in common to talk about. Weather, sports, and movies are always a safe bet, but you might want to stay away from politics.
- You might not think you are interesting, but others probably do, so relax and talk about your interests. You may find some common ground.
- It’s okay to ask personal questions about their family, but you don’t want to be too invasive. It’s generally safe to ask them where they grew
up,if they have a large family, and if they like to travel.
- Stay positive. It’s hard to connect with people who are negative thinkers or emotionally draining, so keep the conversation light and fun.
- Watch out for body language cues. Someone who doesn’t focus on your conversation, answers in one or two-word answers or doesn’t engage is probably not interested in talking at that time. Don’t take it personally (anything could be going on in their life to cause this) but you may not want to invest time in them at that moment.
Relationships with friends and family are sometimes also a challenge, so a few reminders:
- Try not to blow something out of proportion.
- Don’t assume the worst; always give people the benefit of the doubt.
- Holding on to old grudges is pointless and soul sucking. Let it go.
- Consider the source and their circumstances before reacting negatively.
- Sometimes we have to admit our faults – don’t let that get in the way of a relationship with a loved one.
- Ownership of your own life is imperative for a healthy relationship and happiness.
- It’s okay to ask for help – that’s what family and friends are there for!