Due to the new responsibilities that I’ve had in college (*cough, Sing Song), the time in which I have no plans becomes more precious. Should I play Skyrim? Should I catch up on some sleep?
One other thing I’ve done with my free time is socialize, but with such little time, I have to make the most of these moments by choosing top quality comrades. What general qualities will put you on my list of awesome people?
The ability to ask questions is one of these qualities. In some conversations I ask most of the questions because you never ask me back. I understand that you love to talk about yourself, but at this rate, the only thing you will ever learn about me is that I’m a good listener. I don’t want to interview you, I want to converse with you. Ask questions about me, maybe some follow up questions too, and who knows, maybe you’ll know me as well as I know you.
Next, be thoughtful. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” I know jumping into deep conversation is not common, but show more than your surface-level self every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, talking about the last Sherlock episode is awesome, but staying at that level of conversation for too long is boring. So don’t forget to think ideas and speak them too.
Finally, be confident. Know who you are, what you want to do and what you believe in. Be unafraid to be yourself. I don’t want to read an empty book, figuratively speaking. I want to read your story and your ideas. Dr. Seuss said that no one can be you-er than you.
One more social bonus is eye contact. It’s amazing to see that I have your full attention.
I hope this can be a remedy to common social stupidity, and hopefully, I’ll take some of my own medicine too. But let’s be honest, if you don’t know who you are, you love to talk about yourself, and you can only talk on the surface level, are you really worth anyone’s time?