Interpersonal communication, the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages (AKA face-to-face communication) is vital to our growth and success in any type of relationship.
Is it as some say, “a lost art”? No. It’s basic instinct we need to reconnect with. Just take one trip to a mall or sit in the airport and observe and its not hard to see, as a society, we seem to be regressing in the way we communicate with one another in person. It’s the head down, buried in your device, repercussions of living in this day and age.
…And, it could be killing your love life, your friendships and your chances at success. Time to get back to basics with three simple things.
Look a person in the eye when you talk to them. Yea, duh right? But we aren’t doing this as a society. We’ve become so accustomed to living in virtual relationships and communicating with emojis that we’ve taken that focus away when speaking face to face. It’s one of the oldest rules in the book. Your dad probably told you 100 times “Look at me when I’m talking to you”. If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s OK, do it anyway, it gets easier.
Use the other person’s name when speaking to them. They say the sweetest sound in the world is that of your own name, it brings comfort and familiarity. And when you repeat somebody’s name to them over the course of a conversation, it’s like placing a warm blanket over cold feet in the middle of the night. It gives them that warm tingly feeling.
Ask follow up questions. Nobody likes a conversation hog, the me..me..me person who can’t wait for you to finish your sentence about your weekend so they can tell you their “better” story about how theirs went. Wanna win the favor of other people, then be unselfish in your communication and take interest in the points others are trying to make. The best way to do that is with a follow up question. It can be as simple as “tell me more” or “how did that make you feel?” Winning people’s favor and friendship is about them, not you.
I love this quote by Robert Baden Powell
“If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.”
So there you are, three simple steps. Now you’re socially speaking.