Are you attracting people or are you driving them away?
My original intent for this blog today was to be a follow-up to last week’s blog about communication.
As I sat down to write this piece today, my intent was to share a couple of stories about people I know and how they naturally turn people off. And, the more you get to know them the worse it gets.
Then I started to think about all the ways that people can be repelled by others so bear with me if I get a little wordy today.
One of the things I like to do is to watch and observe people. I like to watch the interaction between people regardless of what they’re doing. Here are some observations I’ve made.
Are you a good conversationalist?
Can you talk about a wide variety of subjects or are you limited to just a few? Do your conversations revolve around you and your interests or do you take an active interest in other people and what they like to talk about?
This can make a world of difference between whether you attract people or chase them away. I know several people that are very self-centered, and rarely do they have a conversation about anything other than themselves.
Their stories are generally quite repetitive in nature, continually reminding you about what they have, what they do, or how important they think they are.
They can be very nice people but lack a certain self-awareness to understand that not every conversation should revolve around them.
What are you talking about?
Are you talking about things that interest others and are inclusive in nature or are you talking about subjects that tend to polarize people? Today’s society is so easily offended and divide sometimes for seemingly irrelevant reasons.
I’m not suggesting that you avoid any topic that’s interesting to you, consider your audience…the person or people you’re talking to. If you’re not sure, you can broach a topic and if you get push-back, move on.
When in doubt, ask about the person you’re talking to. Ask them to talk about themselves. Find out what they do for a living. Ask about their hobbies or interests.
The bottom line is that if you’re talking about toxic topics, you’re going to drive people away. That’s not what you should be striving for.
Sometimes it’s better to just listen and not talk.
If you truly want to get to know people and have them get to know and like you, shut up and listen!
As I just mentioned, ask people about themselves. Almost everyone likes to talk about themselves…at least a little, so why not let them?
Listen attentively and with interest. Listen with the intent to understand and not with the intent to reply.
How is your hygiene?
Have you ever had someone walk up to you and start a conversation? Suddenly you smell a foul odor and realize that it’s coming from the person that’s talking to you.
While this is a very personal subject, it’s an important one to be aware of. If you are a coffee drinker, wine drinker, smoker, or lover of spicy foods, you run the risk of offending people with your breath.
Brushing your teeth after meals, especially after eating spicy foods, will go a long way to knocking down bad breath.
Always carry breath mints with you. You never know when you’re going to be near someone that might be interested in you.
If you still have breath problems after doing these things, check with your dentist to see what else might be going on in your mouth. Not only will good dental hygiene improve your breath, it can have a significant impact on your overall health.
Also, under the topic of hygiene is body care. Some of you, like me, perspire easily even with minimal effort. If this is you, a good shower and deodorant is a must.
I know this all sounds so basic and is common sense, but there are so many people that aren’t self-aware. At least once a week I run into someone that is nearly intolerable due to bad breath or body odor. It takes very little effort and not much more time to take care of yourself. Invest the time and effort.
What do your clothes say about you?
Are they saying, “I’m worth getting to know” or are they saying, “I just don’t care.” There’s a young man that works at one of the bank branches I use. He seems like he’s nice enough, but his clothes look like they haven’t been washed or pressed in weeks.
They’re distracting enough that I really try to avoid having to do business with him. This is sad but true. Are you turning people off with the clothes you wear?
If you don’t like to do laundry, find a laundry service and let them do the work for you.
Guys…learn how to use an iron! In spite of the fact that clothes are generally “wrinkle free”, they aren’t perfect. Learn to iron your shirts and slacks. Yes, it takes a little time, but ladies truly notice a well pressed shirt.
All these things are common sense to most of you. Hopefully there are some tidbits that you all can walk away with and improve your dating and everyday life.
Join me next week for “Life is full of disappointments.”