Based on our readers request, we are starting a personal section from today where we try to answer your questions about the daily challenges and how we can try to simplify and elevate our lives to higher standards. And today’s question is :
How to become genuinely interested in other people?
The moment I read this question, the first thing that came to my mind was the book by Dale Carnegie – How To Win Friends And Influence People! One of the first primary skills he talks about in communication skills / people skills to make friends and improve social lives, he talks about becoming genuinely interested in other people. And from my experience in both business and personal life, I have found this extremely helpful and fruitful as well.
The question above makes perfect sense – How to become genuinely interested in other people?
The answer depends very much on your personality and the type of subjects you are interested in. The following pointers might help you to become genuinely interested in other people
As always – we start with the WHY?! The reason we ask this question is quite simple – what is the purpose of becoming genuinely interested in other people? Is it know them as a friend, is it to know more about life itself? Is it to understand different people and connect to them? Is it to ask that person out on a date? Or are you trying to know more about people cos you really like knowing?
Try and answer this why cos it gives us a better clarity to approach the situation
2) Common Factors
What is it that you have in common with that person? Let us face it we can only be interested in someone or something to which we can relate or connect to.
Try and identify what you have in common with this person – It maybe a place you visited, the kind of profession they are in which you might find interesting, the kind of fashion appeal they have, their aspirations, hobbies, passions, interests – there are so many areas you can find in common with them.
I have heard people say that you cannot have anything in common with a total stranger – that is simply cos you don’t know them yet. Simple common sense dictates that there must be something common we have with them, we might just have to probe a bit sometimes
3) How Open Are They?
Although we rate communication as one of the highest skill levels one can achieve and advise to bear complete responsibility of the same, communication is also about the other person and how they respond to you.
If you want to be genuinely interested in someone, you will have that other question as well – how well do you know them? How open are they with you – are they guarded or are they free enough to talk to you?
4) What is it that you want to know about them?
Well, we all know that you cannot go and ask a total stranger about their first love story, you need to have a context for that or else it doesn’t really make sense and you might actually end up shooing them away.
Know what field you might be interested to talk to them about – do a small research about them – find out which place they are from and if there is a common point you can talk about that, or the company they work in or the hobby they are interested in.
There is a fine line where curiosity crosses into invading privacy. Make sure you don’t do that and you are through to knowing more about that person.
5) It is exciting to know more.
Honestly, it is extremely interesting to know about other people, the lives they lead, the kind of challenges they have had and their philosophies of life. And it is a great high to know that you can connect to them at these levels even if they are from a different country or a race or religion or language – no matter what diversity you share – you still show genuine interest, people would love to talk to you.
6) We all love talking about ourselves.
We all love attention, we are people after all and there are plenty of things we are proud of. If someone would like to know more about me, I would be more than happy to share my life stories if asked in the right manner. If it goes wrong, I would shut them out right away and carry on with my life.
So, take care of the questions you ask and the way you ask them – both of them become equally important.
7) People are generally talkative
We don’t believe in categorizing people as introverts or extroverts. People are people, they all have something amazing about their life which they would like to share. You just have to make sure that they can trust you and they will come up with exciting stories to top the previous ones.
8) Read more and talk more.
Just go out and talk to people – listen to what they say and what they actually mean. Sometimes those two can be completely different things. There is a beautiful story in everyone – become curious about that and people will do the other part of the work. Your job is quite simple – listen intently with an open mind, try to add value to the conversation wherever you can and before you know, you are genuinely interested in knowing more about people.
Well this was our first question of the week, please do let us know your life experiences and how you think one can become genuinely interested in others and what they can do to achieve that. Or if you have any question you would like us to answer, please let us know below. If you like to ask anonymously – please use the guest option to comment and we will be happy to address the question in the next post.
Do join us for more such updates,
Subscribe to Blog via Email