Well, I started to title this post, “The Key to Excellent Interpersonal Relationships” because “interpersonal” is a highly popular PhD word for those of us who study communication. But, then I remembered that most people find PhD types obnoxious.
This is sage advice from my grandmother, who is nothing short of charismatic. Everyone, and I mean everyone, loves my grandmother. She also learned from mogulettes like Mary Crowley, founder of Home Interiors, and Mary Kay Ash, founder of the eponymous cosmetics company.
She says that she was so shy when she was young that she would hide whenever guests came to visit their home. But, she realized soon enough that you got to get out of your shell!
In case you didn’t know, eponymous means: it has the same name as….it’s a cool word. Like “Calvin Klein, president of the eponymous design firm.”
Here is incredible advice from a remarkable woman:
1. Find ways to compliment people. It can be someone at the grocery store you’ve never seen before. It can be someone you don’t care for. Show sincere appreciation for something, and you will be appreciated yourself. This is most definitely not the same as sucking up.
People want to be appreciated more than they want money or comfort.
2. Pretend everyone is wearing an invisible sign that says Please make me feel important.
This is even more true for people who act like they already feel important. It’s an innate human desire to feel some degree of significance.
3. Ask questions. This advice works on multiple levels, and “working on multiple levels” is something that communication scholars love to talk about. In fact, if you ever want to impress an academic, just say, I can see how that works on multiple levels. Wow.
Asking questions means getting conversation going. You get the other person to talk so you don’t have to figure out what to say.
Asking questions means you might learn something unexpectedly helpful, or even lucrative. You never know.
Asking questions means you get involved with the other person, and before you know it, you have another friend, and maybe even an admirer to boot!