Hello, this is Paul Sanders,
In this Social Skills newsletter, I want to answer a question from Mark, a reader just like you.
As you can imagine, I love to receive questions and comments. And I read them all. So, once in a while I’ll not only answer the person, but also share the answer with everyone else.
So, hurry up and send me your questions on overcoming shyness, socializing, and making friends.
By the way, if you haven’t read my eBook yet, you can download it here
Now to Mark’s email…
— QUESTION —
Paul, I have a question, please: How do I REALLY know that I’m not bothering people when I reach out? Too many don’t follow through to hang out. And I don’t know if I should keep calling and suggesting things to do, or give up on them.
– Mark, from New York
— ANSWER —
Thanks for your question, Mark.
I remember when I used to be frustrated with this. When to call? How do I know if I should keep reaching out to a person, even if they’re not showing any interest back? No one calls me to hang out, should I ALWAYS be the one who calls? And so on.
If you want solve this problem, there are a two things to focus on. The first one is about YOU. And the second is about OTHERS.
With yourself, when reaching out to new people, always be ready for anything. You need to be ready for responses like “Hey Mark! How are you… we should hang out!” and responses like “Oh, hey, I’m fine,… , well, take care now”.
The first kind of response is positive and enthusiastic. The second is coming from a person who isn’t really interested in meeting with you.
If you are ready for both responses, people’s instinct will tell them that you’re not going to be “phased” by their response + you couldn’t care less about whether or not they like you (if you’re just getting to know one another) + you’re more likely to be a person of value (because you don’t let others define how valuable or worthy you are).
I know it’s easier said than done. But do it, it’s worth getting used to. If you feel too nervous before you call the person, repeat in your mind stuff like this…
(with a confident, upbeat voice) “I don’t care whether he/she likes me, that is JUST IRRELEVANT. So, I’m calling because I want to reach out, GIVE VALUE, make the person feel good, and maybe suggest a good plan to hang out that WILL MAKE HIM/HER FEEL GREAT.”
Now, let’s move on to the second thing. About the other person. Well, here, it’s all about learning the right techniques and adjustments.
To know if you’re bothering someone, ask them!
If you’re calling during work hours, ask early in the call, like this: “… I’m not bothering or anything, am I?”, or “Hey, it’s Mark, how are you doing,… is this a good time to talk or should I call you later?”.
Do it in a “oh, by the way” kind of way.
Outside of work hours, you don’t even have to ask. But, if it’s a new person you’re dealing with, don’t stay on the phone for too long.
This is important because you don’t want to give the impression that this new person is already very important to you. Keep it short when you’re just getting to know someone.
How to know when to stop contacting someone? Well, a rule of thumb is NOT to call or text, very often. Once a week is kind of just right. That, if they are responsive and they contact you back.
If they’re not that responsive and don’t call you/text you back. Then contact them every two to three weeks. That way, they’ll get the message that you’re not putting them as a priority… but you’re still giving them a chance to show you how open they are.
If after 3 to 4 attempts from you, they’re not responsive, it’s time to move on.
In this case, they may have too many friends already,… or they’re insecure and avoid making new friends for fear of judgment,… or they don’t think they have time to socialize, etc.
In any case, it’s not your fault! And it’s none of your business. It’s THEIRS ! So leave it alone, and stop contacting them.
Use this stuff as rules of thumb.
It’s very important to learn to control how much attention you give people. And you need to give attention and respect only to those who are going to appreciate it.
How do you know who deserves your respect and attention when you’re just getting to know them?
If you know their intentions, then you can judge whether or not they deserve that you give them a chance.
You need to know WHY people do what they do socially. When you know people’s motivations in the social world, you begin to “see through” what they’re doing, because you get to figure out their intentions clearly.
When you can “see through”, people stop B.S.ing you, and become more direct in how they interact with you. They also start to respect you more.
That’s because you’re not FOOLED by the surface of social interactions. You know what’s going on behind the scene.
If you know “how the game works,” then you become stronger. And if you’re stronger, people trust you more, and start to gravitate towards you. Because you can understand them better than anyone else.
In my book “Get The Friends You Want,” I go deep into this, starting at page 11. I share the 8 human motivators that play in social interactions.
The sooner you know these, and read the examples, the sooner you’ll GET RID of all the frustration of not understanding people’s behavior in social interactions.
Sometimes, you just feel clueless about why someone is acting rude, aloof, uninterested, flaky, or… the exact opposite.
Now you can figure it out. Get the eBook here (risk-free 60 day trial):
I’ll see you there, and talk to you very soon,
– Paul Sanders
Author, Get The Friends You Want