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8 Insanely Effective Ways To Connect With Anyone You Meet

8 Insanely Effective Ways To Connect With Anyone You Meet

It all starts with connection. Connection is how friendships begin, how love grows, and how we support other on life’s journey. Connection helps us to be better lovers and better parents. It enables us to make more of an impact in people’s lives and greatly enriches our own lives. Connection allows us to grow in our careers — if we can connect with others, we can close the deal, encourage our coworkers, and communicate more effectively.

Connecting with others and building a tribe of encouraging, supportive, passionate people is incredibly essential to an awesome life.

Connecting with people who are similar to us is relatively easy. When we have common interests and personalities, we “get” each other. Making connections with people who are very different from us, however, is sometimes quite challenging. Yet it’s important to be able to connect with people who have different strengths than we do.

Here are 8 ways to connect with anyone you meet.

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1. Pay attention

When someone is talking to you, listen. Period. When you don’t listen, it makes the other person feel like you don’t care. If you’re not sure about your listening skills, ask friends and family if they feel like you listen when you have conversations with them.

When you’re listening, make eye contact. When you look away frequently, check your phone, or scan the room when someone’s talking to you, it appears that you’re not listening and you destroy the conversation.

2. Seek feedback

To improve your ability to instantly connect with others, seek feedback on your communication skills. One great way to do this is to join a speaking group such as Toastmasters. Toastmasters groups give you opportunities to speak and get helpful feedback from group members regarding your message delivery, body language, and pace. By learning how to be a more effective speaker, you will be on your way to connecting with others.

3. Ask questions

In every conversation, focus on getting to know the other person. People love to talk about themselves. Have you ever met someone and thought, “Wow, that person is awesome” and realized you hardly learned anything about him or her? Chances are, it’s because that person was focused on getting to know you — you were likely asked a lot of questions and spend a good amount of time happily talking about yourself. Be the person in the conversation who asks the questions. Allow others to open up to you and share about themselves.

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If you know ahead of time who you’ll be meeting with, do some research to learn about them. This can add depth to your questions and improve your connection.

4. Remember their name

We’ve all met people who say “I’m so bad with names.” That’s not a good way to start forming a connection. Do your best to remember the names of the people you meet. Repeat their name several times, associate it with something memorable or funny (in your head), introduce them to others so you need to state their name out loud — whatever you need to do to remember their name, do it! Remembering who you’re talking to is a key to making them feel important and connect with them.

5. Don’t pretend you know everything

In this article, Graham Young describes the difficulty people have with this concept. He writes, “When talking with others, we often want to show that we are educated and knowledgeable. It can be hard for some people to admit they are learning something new for the first time.” He describes how many leaders have a hard time taking advice because they feel they should know everything, and that employees try hard to prove themselves and not expose any of their personal weaknesses.This combination can cause communication breakdown because neither side acknowledges what the other side tells them. When this connection is dysfunctional, growth and progress are limited. Graham’s advice is to be aware of your ego and work on preventing it from controlling how you behave. Be willing to learn from others and take advice.

When you converse with others, don’t pretend you know everything about everything. It turns people off and decreases your ability to connect with them.

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6. Care about others

Nothing else really matters if you don’t act like you care about those around you. Add value to their lives. Go out of your way to help them. Be encouraging, positive, uplifting, and supportive. Say thank you for small things and big things. Whether you send a text, call them, write a note, or give a gift, frequently thank others for helping you and for who they are in general. People love feeling appreciated and cared about.

7. See a room full of friends

When you enter a room, picture everyone there as friends to meet instead of strangers. This will decrease the intimidation factor. Plus, if you’re showing up at the same event or know some of the same people, you probably have something in common with them. Greet them as if they are friends.

8. Connect in person

In today’s world, you can definitely start connecting with others online, but nothing beats getting together in person. Get out from behind your desk and spend time with people at your favorite inspiring places.

Connecting with people can greatly change your life and the lives of others.

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My challenge for you today is to make an effort to connect with someone — then send me a note at kerry@yourstreamlinedlife.com and tell me how it went.

Featured photo credit: Smile because you want to/Rory MacLeod via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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