People are everywhere, people are strange. When a group of strangers first meet, whether it be business or a social setting, what inevitably happens are strains of awkwardness that’s associated with those who they’re unfamiliar with. Who are these peeps?
You don’t know them so how could you trust them, these weirdos. Until there’s familiarity, it becomes difficult to move forward with what you want to do. How to deal with them. So what needs to be built up is some type of repertoire to begin engaging with them.
Most who are sociable have developed a way of “breaking the ice.” To get through to the other side, to ask open ended questions in the attempts to get them to cohere. What most don’t realize is that there’s a method when it comes to cracking someone open for a relaxed conversation.
Any mutual relationship that works is based on honest self-disclosure along with having something in common. Bonds between people then begins to form, this once one begins to gain insight into what the other is thinking or feeling.
To Open Oneself Up
One of the key principles to ease someone is by respecting their decision not to self-disclose themselves if they don’t want to. What doing so would violate the respect of the individual, which is essential for mutual trust.
If anyone feels unsafe or uncomfortable, what they’ll naturally do is retreat, which is the opposite of what you’re attempting to establish.
Reveal Who They Really Are
What everyone has is a front, a shield, a mask that they’re attempting to maintain or establish in front of strangers. This once they’ve just met someone or they don’t know them that well.
Once they begin to relax, let their guard down and begin to feel comfortable, what’s then revealed is who they truly are. For them to open up, they need to calm down, then dissolve who they’re trying to hide behind.
Even if they don’t expose what the most embarrassing moments were in their lives, they’re at least showing their true self, allowing others to know them better, to become more transparent.
What Are They Most Proud Of
What we all leave are life footprints, imprints that we make, our signature, the impact that we have on others, this strictly by virtue of our own existence.
So ask them what they’re most proud of, what they’ve accomplished, give them the podium, a sanctioned voice to speak, where otherwise they might not have the opportunity to shine attention on themselves.
Most are embarrassed to speak up unless asked, or afraid to brag or gloat unless everyone else is in the same position, to take credit for something that they’ve accomplished or achieved.
The Classic Fight Or Flight
The first response when confronted with the unfamiliar, once someone feels fear or threatened, reveals a great deal about who they are. If they’re more likely to run and hide when confronted, then they’re more of the insecure type.
That they’re worried about is making a mistake, or being ignored or ridiculed. They’re more self-conscious about themselves and their surroundings.
Those who’ll stand up for themselves, who’ll stay and fight, are more grounded, are more secure about who they are, and won’t feel as threatened or don’t care if their opinions are laughed at, rejected, or ignored.
So challenge individuals in scenarios which forces them to immediately react. Help those who has a tendency to “flee,” by telling them that they can safely admit all of their insecurities, and still be accepted as part of the group.
Who Inspires Them
What we do is reveal our sense of identity by the stories that we tell about our lives. So ask someone you don’t know to share what they’re public image is, or who they closely relate to or identify with, who resembles them the most.
This could be a performer or mentor of some type, perhaps a public figure, a superhero, a brilliant thinker, inventor, or innovator of industry.
Whoever that idol may be, provides an insight into the type of person that they are, this based on who inspires them the most, who they pattern their life after.
While they disclose this information, the focus shouldn’t be entirely on them, while others will still learn about who each other are, this based on who their role models are.
Half Empty Or Half Full
What you need to reveal is if the person is a raging optimist or a chronic pessimist, most are somewhere in between. Find if their thinking and attitude is either polar or bipolar.
Most are unwilling to make a decision, this because if they appear indecisive or are wrong, that they may be considered socially unacceptable, or that they view the world negatively.
So force them to answer questions as honestly as possible by presenting them with a variety of choices. Once their true attitudes are revealed, then it gives everyone a sense, a gauge to what their aptitude is.
It helps everyone understand where they are emotionally, this if they’re extreme optimists or if they view the world cynically.
A Talker Or A Listener
What this reveals is whether the individual is an introvert or an extrovert. There needs to be a balance, where the introverts may feel that they’re not “social” enough, and the extroverts who don’t care if they’re too brash.
What this creates is a divide, those who are outspoken and those who are reclusive. What introverts need to know is that their contributions are worthwhile and important, even if what they say, always doesn’t agree with their outspoken counterparts.