Hoping to impress coworkers and family during this season’s endless holiday parties? Learn these tricks, and you’ll be everyone’s new bff.
The holidays are here, which means family, friends, pumpkin pie — and a lot of new faces. Whether you’re meeting your boss’ husband at the office holiday party, or are flying home to meet your boyfriend’s parents for the first time, chances are you want to make a .
You know you’re supposed to smile and give a firm handshake, but after that… it gets a little blurry. What are you supposed to talk about? Is it better to ask , or stay quiet? How do you find things in common with someone like your great aunt Maude?
Luckily for you, Eric Barker recently wrote about the science of . For advice, he turned to Robin Dreeke, a former FBI behavior expert and author of “It’s Not All About ‘Me’.”
You like me; you really, really like me!
Here are three of our favorite tips:
- Practice non-judgmental validation: Dreeke defines this as “seek[ing] someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them” — and he says this is the most important thing you can do. When people feel accepted, they feel free to continue talking about themselves (which is everyone’s favorite subject).
- Suspend your ego: It’s natural to want to correct someone if they state a wrong fact, or to one-up them with your own story — but this is a bad idea, because “contradicting people doesn’t build relationships.” So Dreeke advises “putting your own needs, wants and opinions aside.”
- Really listen: And by this, Dreeke doesn’t mean “shutting up” — he means letting go of whatever it is you were going to say. Instead of thinking about your response, he encourages you to ask yourself: “What idea or thought that they mentioned do I find fascinating and want to explore?”
Whether you’ll soon be new or not, we’d advise checking out the full post. No matter what your career or personal life entails, getting people to like you is a skill that will serve you — and your new acquaintances — well.
Is there anybody you’re nervous to meet over the holidays?
Susan Shain (@TravlJunkette) is a travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.