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The Shy Person's Guide to Making Friends and Influencing Others.

The ability to be kind is a superpower. Act more confident. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. When it comes to influencing others, act like an alpha.

As a shy introvert with a severe speech impediment, I was bombarded with such suggestions as a child. To be honest, I've tried them all. I've also come to the conclusion that being kind is far easier and more effective than trying to always appear confident.

Over the last 12 years, I've worked in a variety of "extrovert" fields, such as sales and communication, and I've consistently excelled. I made no attempt to compete with the extroverts. I allowed them to win their game. Instead, I decided to make my own — and to be as thoughtful as possible. Some of the following guide may seem obvious, but that's the point. If I've learned anything on my journey from being a shy person, it's that doing the basics well leads to a job well done.

''I made no attempt to compete with the extroverts. I allowed them to win their game. Instead, I decided to make my own — and to be as thoughtful as possible''

Demonstrate that you are aware of the surrounding people.

"If I Could Tell You Just One Thing''. Entrepreneur Richard Reed asked Bill Clinton what he thought was the most important factor in his success.

"I've come to believe that seeing people is one of the most important things," Clinton said. "The person who opens the door for you and pours your coffee." Recognize them. Show them courtesy. The Zulu people of South Africa's traditional greeting is 'Sawubona.' It means 'I notice you.' That's what I try to do."

Yes, Bill Clinton is one of the most well-known people in the world, and he has a reputation for being charming and charismatic. But there's no reason you can't follow in his footsteps and commit to acknowledging everyone you come into contact with today.

Most of us are oblivious to the world around us, including our fellow human beings, with our heads down and phones out. That is why smiling, holding doors, and greeting strangers are such powerful gestures. Acknowledging people allows you to stand out without having to brag — and, when done consistently, it will increase your likability faster than you'd expect.

Make a good second impression.

Every Tom, Dick, and Sally loves to say, "You only get one chance to make a first impression."

Sure. But a lot has changed since that cliché became commonplace. For one thing, the ability to continue our conversations is now literally a click away.

Countless times, I've met someone in passing who I didn't connect with right away, only to hear from them days or weeks later with a kind gesture of some kind. Sometimes they'll reach out with a networking opportunity, and other times they'll make a book or artist recommendation based on our conversation.

These interactions have taught me a valuable lesson: it's difficult to dislike someone who is thoughtful enough to take time out of their day to make an effort.

Some people have a natural ability to connect with others. If you don't, and you need a little more time to prove yourself, take it. If you meet someone with whom you want to connect, use that time to consider how you can help them or make their life better, even in a small way.

Keep track of what's going on in the lives of others.

If you're an introvert, you're probably proud of your ability to observe and listen. Don't stop prioritizing these abilities. Many people fail to truly listen to and notice those around them, so an observant person who actually listens is rare and valued.

There's a simple way to boost this quality: Take notes after important conversations, making sure to jot down any details that are clearly important to the other person.

This is extremely beneficial. You can really distinguish yourself because so few people take the time to do it. How would you feel if you opened your phone tomorrow to find a message from someone you just met wishing you luck on your upcoming presentation? Or how about sending a personalized get-well-soon message to a sick elderly neighbor?

Encourage others' development.

People change, despite popular belief. Not everyone takes the time to notice and acknowledge how people change and grow. This does not need to be difficult. Compliment your friend on his new haircut. Set a reminder for yourself to be the first to congratulate someone you know when they reach a milestone.

Again, none of this is particularly difficult to understand: Smile, hold doors, and express gratitude to others for what they do and who they are. Master the art of thoughtful follow-up and take an interest in what's going on in the lives of those around you, noting how they grow and change. Listen, observe, take note — and praise. These are all minor actions that can help you in making friends, feel better about yourself and build stronger relationships with others.

Most people's heads won't turn when I walk into a room unless I wake up looking like Brad Pitt. I'm never going to be the life of the party. But that's fine. It isn't my style. Instead, I take the long view. And I let the accumulating beauty of kindness do the heavy lifting for me.

Content created and supplied by: robustflipper (via Opera News )


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