I’m going to say something that you might not like, but you need to hear it.
Most people don’t care about your life.
With the rise of social media, we’ve become increasingly self-centered. Look at your Twitter timeline, and you’ll regularly see dozens of “look at me and what I’m doing and what I like!” tweets. I’m guilty of it, too.
If you too join in on this trend of constant self-promotion, you’ll often be greeted with the same amount of attention you give the majority of those other self-promoting folks – silence.
It’s not just a social media problem. Look at most of the conversations we have with one another, and you’ll see how often we instantly jump into talk about ourselves as a way to fill the silence. Most of us don’t know any other way of carrying a conversation. When you continuously attempt to build connections and friendships this way – totally devoid of interest in others – you’re doomed to start making enemies out of people over time.
There’s actually a very simple solution to this problem. It takes the form of becoming truly interested in other people, and showing this in our behaviors and conversations.
Dale Carnegie describes this in his famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:
So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. As Mrs. Charles Northam Lee puts it: “To be interesting, be interested.” Ask questions that the other man will enjoy answering. Encourage him to talk about himself and his accomplishments.
Remember that the man you are talking to is a hundred times more interested in himself and his wants and his problems than he is in you and your problems. His toothache means more to him than a famine in China that kills a million people. A boil on his neck interests him more than forty earthquakes in Africa. Think of that next time you start a conversation.
So if you want people to like you, be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Taking interest in others is one of the healthiest social behaviors that you can develop in your own life. When we train ourselves to truly look at things from other peoples’ point of view, work towards understanding these views, and maintain a genuine interest in them, you’ll learn more about yourself and the world around you.