Friend over ‘Stranger’


What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you’re about to meet someone new?

Do likely scenarios of rejection flash before your eyes?

Do scenes of embarrassment strike fear into your heart?

Or does fear and uncertainty grip you?

Honestly, who/what exactly do you see when you approach someone whom you’ve never met before? Do you really see a stranger – a six-headed monster with razor sharp teeth who has the ability to inflict pain and embarrassment upon you – or do you really see a potential new friend, whom you have yet to meet, speak to, and spend good times with?

There is a key difference between the two. The perspective you adopt will determine the attitude and your course of action in dealing with these “new people”. Your course of action, would in turn determine the result you have with people.

I’ve been conducting a little experiment over the past two weeks, during my little hiatus. Being require to speak and interact with several individuals, especially during my Toastmaster Club’s recruitment drive… and I’ve made full use of every opportunity to put my skills to the test.

The background of my new friends vary from working administrators, receptionists to freshmen of the National University of Singapore. Yet, the skills and strategies I’ve employed and tested has proven to be workable in most instances.

The following are some of the techniques I’ve utilised over the past few weeks. For my faithful readers, some of them may appear familiar. But that just proves how effective they are! Here they are:

1. Smile!

When you smile at the world, the whole world smiles at you! – Proven true, through and through once again!

2. We want value, and want to be valued!

Understand, that like you, your new friends want respect and would love to be appreciated. We’re not slaves who are obliged to succumb to your every whim and demands.

What we really want is to be entertained and be valued – to be recognised as who we really are!

Loosen up a little! We’ve enough of being bossed by our superiors. Treat your new friends with respect and try to entertain a little. You will be surprised how much more time and value they’ll give you as compared to you acting like an impish & demanding king!

3. Know that these people are just like you – they don’t bite and are not interested in biting you.

For most people, they are just as afraid and uncomfortable as you are when speaking to you someone new (and in this case… you!). Likewise, they are as friendly as you are to them. There’s no need for either party to strike and hurt each other.

As such, there’s not much need for you to heighten your defences – in anticipation of pain or hurt. Being relaxed will allow you greater flexibility to maneuver through the speech and interaction, whilst allowing you to engage and express your spontaneity and wit.

See your new friend as he is – a new friend. Just another person like you. A human being. See him/her as an equal who’s interested in knowing good company and sharing a good laugh and conversation. Do not focus on protecting your ego (would it kill you if it did get hurt?). Focus instead on leaving a positively memorable encounter between you and your new friend.

What you see is what you get!

Now go out and make a new friend today!

Related Posts:
It’s All About You – Body Language

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