“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart.
We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why thirty or forty skins
or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul.
Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.”
– Meister Eckhart
The only person you can change is yourself. When you choose to transform yourself, you will notice changes in your environment, including in the people who surround you. The world is your mirror, and you create both the negative and the positive situations you encounter.
When you find yourself getting irritated by someone, examine yourself to see whether you harbor the same negative trait that they are manifesting. It requires delving deep. Usually, you will find the answer is yes. You likely possess the same trait in some form or another in yourself.
Self-awareness entails observing your thoughts and actions. One of the best ways to do this is by writing in a journal every day. If you keep putting it off and allow a week to go by without making notes, you may not recall everything.
Keeping notes will help you see the patterns and values you have been harboring all along. Once you can identify these patterns, you can begin to change them if they are not, leading to positive outcomes.
I have shared the story several times of learning to smile and speak with everyone I meet changed my life for the better. Learn the thing you need to become more self-aware and watch your world begin to change around you.\
I would love to hear your story of self-awareness. If you are willing, I will share it on my blog. You can email me at email@example.com. Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.
Why do we have a hard time not eating ice cream, pizza, chocolate, or potato chips if available? It is because they make us feel good. We are more indulgent than we like to admit. We want to feel good, to feel comfortable. They do not call it comfort food for anything!
The same can be said about texting, watching TV, sleeping in, sex, drugs, alcohol, snuggling under a warm blanket, and watching a good movie.
These things make us feel good.
Not surprisingly. The people we enjoy being around are the ones that make us feel good. Most importantly, we like the people that make us feel good about ourselves. Conversely, we do not like the people that make us feel bad about ourselves.
If you can keep this simple rule in mind in your dealings with others, you will have more friends and influence than you know what to do with. Whenever you make someone feel good about themselves, they will want to experience that again. Be the cause of those feelings, and others will want to spend more time with you.
Make people feel good about themselves, and you will have friends for life!
Try these techniques:
Give sincere compliments. It is essential to be careful with this one. It is not easy to give an honest compliment if you do not know the person. You do not have enough information about them.
Avoid giving apparent compliments. An example, a beautiful woman is told she is gorgeous about 10,000 times.
Use compliments on those that you already know.
Show an interest in the other person’s life. It is easy to accomplish this just by asking a few questions.
“How was your weekend? What did you do?”
“You said you were going to have lunch with your sister. How is she?”
“What are your favorite hobbies?”
“Tell me about your family.”
“What kind of dog do you have?”
Become empathetic, concerned, and supportive. Make the conversation about the other person.
Provide rationalizations. We rationalize our failure, misfortunes, and misdeeds all day long. We love it if someone else helps us do it. Suppose someone did not get a promotion they were expecting. You could say something like:
“That company never seems to be able to spot real talent.”
“The hiring manager for that department only likes to hire men.”
“Everyone knows that the person that got the job is the golden child of this place.”
Help people justify their failures, and you will have a new friend.
Ask for a favor. Most people have a hard time refusing a simple request. Whether it be to carry a box, hold a door, or to pick up something while the other person is at the store, you make friends by asking for favors. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works for a few reasons:
People feel good about themselves when they do a favor for someone. You get credited with making them feel good about themselves, even if they are not consciously aware of this effect.
People like to be consistent. By doing you a favor, they are acting as if they like you. It only makes sense to do favors for people you like, so if they are doing a favor for you, they must like you. At least, that is what their brain leads them to believe.
How someone feels about you is strongly correlated to how they feel when you are around them.
You do not even have to be the actual cause! If they get good news when you are present, their brain will attribute the good feeling to you. They could be looking at you while they eat a candy bar and feel more positive about you as a result.
It is even more powerful to have a positive influence on how they feel about themselves. You can be the equivalent of a powerful drug in someone’s life.
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.“ – Marcel Proust
You are sending signals to everyone in your environment, even if you do not realize it. You are also scanning your environment for signs from others.
While there is a lot you can gather from looking at someone, your brain’s primary objective is safety. It is attempting to determine if the people in your environment are potential friends or enemies.
Suppose you needed directions. There are certain people you feel comfortable asking and others that you certainly do not. It is a conscious decision. You based that on the signals you received from that person.
Some people send out signals for friendship. Others send out the signs of a potential enemy.
Before you speak with someone, you are both assessing non-verbal communication signals. The majority of the time, others see you long before they hear you. Since they are looking at you, it only makes sense to send significant signals to create interest and friendship.
Have you ever noticed that some people are much more noticeable than others? Some people get seen positively, while others get noticed negatively.
Then there is everyone else. Most of us tend to blend into the background and fail to send either friendship or enemy signals. We tend to be very neutral in the signals we send. We do not get seen as a potential friend or threat. If you have ever felt invisible, this is the reason why. You are “invisible” to the brain of everyone around you.
Once a person’s brain classifies you as “neutral,” you’re quickly forgotten. The brain has other concerns. You get viewed as unlikely to provide anything positive or negative. You are the equivalent of a tree to a person that does not need any shade at the moment.
You can send friendship signals to the people that interest you:
A genuine smile. Not that fake thing you throw around most of the time. It is easy for people to spot a phony smile unless you are Robert De Niro or Meryl Streep.
Smiling people get viewed as happier, more confident, and more likable.
It can be an excellent way to judge how others feel about you. We tend to smile at those we like and fail to smile at those we dislike.
Faking a smile is extremely difficult without practice. You can tell the difference between a fake and a real smile in the corners of the mouth and cheeks. In a genuine smile, the corners of the mouth are upturned, and the cheeks raise.
Also, look for some wrinkling around the corners of the eyes during a real smile.
Practice your smile in the mirror and see how real you can make it look.
Many times we do not realize the signals we send. The next time you are around a group of people, observe their response to you. Are you sending the message you want to be friends or enemies?
I have decided to make this a short read. I am very sleepy. It is after 1 a.m. However, I do not want to miss a day. It would delay my completing my 31-day blogging challenge.
I thought about my best physical features, and there are three things people compliment me regularly.
When I was a child in elementary school, people always told me I had pretty legs. I would smile but thought nothing of it. I wanted to be pretty.
At seventeen, I started receiving compliments on both my legs and my waistline. I had a 24-inch waist until 1989. I know you want to know how I could pinpoint it to that year. That was the year my son died in a car accident. It was the year I went from 124 pounds to 232 pounds. I have not had a 24-inch waist since.
In 1995, I took the buyout from Pacific Bell. I decided when I left; I would speak and smile at everyone I met regardless of their reaction.
It was difficult in the beginning, but not anymore. Now I receive compliments on my warm, friendly smile and my ability to get along with people of all races. Friends have told me, my smile transforms my face and makes them feel comfortable and accepted. I am grateful I can do that.
You have three of my physical features that have played a part in creating the person I am today. Thank you for letting me know. It means a great deal to me. Tomorrow I will tell my five favorite blogs. Until then, stay safe, and keep the faith.