Don’t Throw it Away

All the time, people ask me, “How are you?”

I usually feel a twinge of boredom in response; I can tell that they don’t care…they’re just filling space and trying to be polite. But being polite was never the cornerstone of a great romance.

What makes a question interesting vs. being a throw-away question?

Your intention.

“How are you?” is a throw-away question…if you don’t care to know the answer.

But, suppose you believe that learning exactly how someone is doing gives you clues…clues to discover what sort of personality woman you met on adultfrinendfinder has and what is interesting about her. Suppose you therefore ask with the intent of discovering who she is. Now, that is an interesting question.

Don’t avoid asking “How are you?” Ask “How are you?” and mean it.

The Words in my Head When I Start a Conversation

“I hope I really mess this up.”

That is what I think when I am about to go talk with people.

I find these words very freeing. If the people with whom I attempted to start a conversation tell me to go away, I have reached my goal of messing up the conversation.

This way, even a “bad” result is a good result. When people tell me to go away, I can learn something about why they may have told me to go away. Perhaps I kept talking in small intervals with all three people in the group about Teletubbies rather than escalating with just one person on the lessons garnered from Mr. Miyagi. Maybe I disingenuously appreciated the built guy in the group of couples about his tree-trunk stature when I really cared more about his stylish choice in flat-front chinos. Or, possibly, I tried to be too clever with the office party spouting about what little I know about online ticket reservations rather than focusing on their motivations to work in event administration information technology.

I will know if they tell me to go away right after I make these flubbs (that’s a technical civil-engineering term back in the Mid-Atlantic) that I want to think of better ways to handle those situations. However, if I continue on in conversation and get all their phone numbers to invite them to a party at the Build-a-Bear workshop in honor of Pat Morita, I will not really learn anything specific about my interaction skills because I cannot really identify where I succeeded. However, I can certainly identify and, more importantly, learn from where I messed up….

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