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One of the biggest mistakes I used to make in my nice guy syndrome days, when it came to talking to people, is I’d decide what I was going to say next well before they had finished speaking.
I’d assume how they were going to finish or what point they were trying to make, and prepare my response as soon as possible. Or I’d want to guide the conversation toward a preferred outcome (e.g. make them laugh) and so think of a way to redirect it. Or I’d just be eager to gain some approval by responding in a way I knew they’d enjoy.
And so on.
This impatient tendency is part of the nice guy syndrome trauma response. We’re constantly anticipating and planning what we’re going to say, always trying to get the best response possible, to get the best outcomes.
We’re often three steps ahead of the conversation. Sometimes we’re already at the end, like when you’re on a date and everything you say is designed to increase the likelihood that they’ll want to see you another time.
When you’re like this, you’re barely listening to the other person. You’re merely paying attention to key words that you can use to inspire your next strategic response.
In other words, this kills connection, and the other person will feel that agitated pre-planning that you keep doing. It will make them feel dismissed, judged, and unimportant.
If you really want to connect deeply with people, if you want them to feel heard and understood, you have to wait until they’re done talking before you even start to think about what you’re going to say next.
Of course, this feels impossible, but what it means is that while they’re talking, you keep letting go of any idea that occurs to you, any thoughts that come up, and focus back on what they’re saying until they’re done.
Got a great story? Too bad, they’re still talking. Got an idea of how to make them think you’re interesting and have something in common with them? Too bad, they’re still talking. Want to change the topic to something you’re better at talking about? Too bad, they’re still talking.
When they do finish speaking, you can then allow yourself to reflect on ALL that they said, and use that to genuinely inspire your response.
If you want to master the art of charismatic connection, then check out my Powerful Honesty: Develop Superior Communication Skills course ← this link gets you a big discount for the 24 hours only
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