How NOT To Be Awkward
Hi! Welcome to this week’s training. I’m Sherri Wilson, an educator, strategist, and introverted entrepreneur that empowers other introverted entrepreneurs the art of persuasion and influence so you can communicate your message clearly and confidently.
I have two fears when I’m talking to people: 1) starting a conversation with them in a non-awkward way and 2) ending a conversation in a non-awkward way. And I don’t want to be boring either, which I’m usually not so I’m good. Lol.
Vanessa Van Edwards, who calls herself a “recovering awkward person,” said, “I think we can become boring out of fear” because we’re afraid of being rejected or we feel awkward.
And that fear ACTUALLY MAKES US AWKWARD because we become overly aware of how we’re “performing” making it worse. Guys, performing is not being REAL anyway! And being real is very important to introverts so we can tend to withdraw into our phones or not go to events at all.
Here is an easy way to NOT be awkward and let people know you like them and then they’ll like you in return:
Smile and say, “Hello.”
Seriously, that’s it. There’s science behind a genuine smile and if you’re not used to smiling at people you don’t know, you better start practicing on your cat!
This simple act of smiling and saying, “Hello” and even adding this, “My name is Sherri. What’s your name?” takes it even further!
Isn’t there some way to send out like signals without being so obvious?!
Research has revealed a condition (I swear it’s an introvert condition) called SIGNAL AMPLICATION BIAS where people tend to think their social cues are obvious but they aren’t. We fear rejection so we either don’t cue at all or we’re so subtle they’re missed.
Let me give you an example. IT TAKES 13 DIRECT GLANCES FROM A WOMAN BEFORE HER INTENDED WILL APPROACH HER. 13!
Once you’ve initiated the conversation, you worry about how to keep it from GETTING awkward. It’s pretty easy. I even treat it like a dream.
I’ve taught this before. You can ask them what brought them there or what they hope to get out of it (like if it’s a convention, conference, etc.).
Then look for similar values and interests that you can use to keep the conversation going. And if you’re brave, do a fist bump or high five when you find those similarities, especially the ones you’re most passionate about.
And, please, don’t be afraid of pauses in conversation. It’s normal. If you’re afraid of them, you’ll get all nervous and then start rambling making things really weird.
People automatically think others are like us so even something as simple as dressing close to your ideal client can help.
And, finally, BE REAL! UCLA discovered that out of 500 adjectives connected to likeability, the top were sincere, transparent, and capability for understanding NOT smart, attractive, or extroverted. PEOPLE LIKE REAL.
The capability for understanding is powerful. Scientists have discovered that when a person feels understood, it literally creates new neural pathways in the brain. It can also reframe a bad memory into something more positive.
This is great for us entrepreneurs because we can show that we understand our clients and reframe any negative experiences they might’ve had with someone else in our industry by being understanding and making sure they have a powerful, positive experience with you. I think not being listened to or understood is a universal pet peeve when doing business with others!