Double Edged Sword

One of the interesting facts you’ll learn if you ever read about, or take a class in networking, is that you can make a huge impact on another person simply by listening. The reason, of course, is that hardly anyone ever takes the time to listen to another person, so all you have to do is try to listen and give your attention to someone else, and you will stand out in any crowd.

As a chronic sufferer of low self esteem, this was pretty good news. It meant that I could make an impact simply, but it came with a somewhat startling revelation as well. Naturally, the flip side of this lesson was that, most of the time, people take no notice of you at all. What you say, how you look, etc. usually isn’t given a second thought by people. That can be somewhat disconcerting, to know that in public situations, most people in the room pay absolutely no attention to you.

On the other hand, that can be somewhat freeing as well. We constantly second guess ourselves, criticizing every last detail of every social interactions, assuming that surely every misstep was duly noted by every other person in attendance. The reality, though, is that most of them don’t notice or give a moment’s thought to the things we spend the whole evening beating ourselves up over.

So, the next time you have to hit a party or other large social function, relax, make the fact that most people there won’t even notice you, work to your advantage. Then, instead of constantly finding your faults, you can freely pay attention to others and increase the likelihood that they will remember you, as a confidant and successful person, because you didn’t need to make yourself look good, you paid attention to them!

Tags: Socialinteraction, listening

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