It’s simple: just stop talking. That’s right, stop talking. Most of us want desperately to be heard. We want to tell our story, and mistakenly think that’s the best way to get people to like us. We hope to impress them with our insight. But here’s the open secret to becoming everyone’s best friend:
Allow them to tell their story.
Put it to the test. Next time you’re in a social situation, do all the talking and see what happens. Then, switch to a different group and start asking questions and start listening. Pull the story out of them and you’ll see a big difference.
This isn’t to say that what’s happening in your life doesn’t matter. But if your goal is to win people’s trust, make them want to know more about you, and in the process become more interesting (and dare I say “popular”) – then start asking questions.
Obviously life isn’t a popularity contest, but we all want to be respected and valued. As Norman Vincent Peale said many years ago, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” People are longing to share their lives with others, and by asking questions instead of doing all the talking yourself, you’re allowing them to do exactly that.
Few things will make you more interesting in the eyes of other people!