Meeting new people is a feeling-out process. Those we meet for the first time typically witness a filtered, and small, sample of what we’re all about. We never want to appear too drastic in the portrayal of our image when we first meet somebody. You wouldn’t want to scare anyone away with your more extreme behaviors, thereby you may filter those behaviors out until others get to know you a little better. Just as others attempt to get to know you, you’ll attempt to figure them out too. Like yourself, they’ll present a filtered version of who they really are. They’ll laugh at jokes they wouldn’t laugh at around a closer group of friends, and say things they wouldn’t say around them either. Is there a general approach to more effectively gauging others? How can we be able to effectively get a read on people we first meet?
This article aims to shine a light on the act of speaking simply and its effect in helping get a read on others. The social setting which speaking simply brings about can be utilized to obtain information about the person in question. Speaking simply entails utilizing simple language, short phrases, and partaking in common small talk. The concept depends on ensuring that those you’re speaking with are encouraged to share more information than you do. These things seem unimportant in their nature, but can save you when attempting to make a good first impression.
Allow Others to Paint Their Picture
The good thing about remaining simple in the way you interact with those you’ve just met is that it gives them the opportunity to remain on simple terms with you. It never hurts to have an acquaintance, and not everyone you meet will turn into a friend. Being simple in your interactions with people will allow you to gauge their tendencies. It will either entice them to drive the conversation toward more intellectual realms or to keep things on simple terms. You’ll witness the organic tendencies someone has in their patterns of thought, and will allow them to paint on the blank canvas which you’ve laid out.
Simplicity from your end therefore, brings out the colors of others’ personalities. If you were to swallow those you speak to with your deep, intellectual, thoughts and ponders, you’d place them in a box. They’d feel pressure to interact with you on your terms rather than their own. Be committed to providing others with ownership of the conversations you take part in. Allow yourself to be simple in your speech, and use that simplicity to gauge how the ones around you think.
A Stage to Shine or to Falter
As people try to fill in the silence in both thought and action, you’ll be watching closely. Set the stage for them to shine or to falter in your eyes. Test your theories and watch your predictions play out if you choose to do so. Being simple in your interactions with others will serve to answer the questions you have about your relationship with them. Allow people go on tangents, allow them to tell you stories, and allow them to show you how they think. Use their desire to stand out to determine whether you should stand with, or stand against them. When looked at for input, tell the ones who you’re trying to figure out what they want to hear. Encourage them to continue speaking by saying just enough for that to happen. Keep the ball consistently in their court.
Imagine a conversation between two people as a basketball dribbling contest. Picture both of you standing face to face and showing off your best dribble moves before passing the ball to the one in front. Encourage those who you’re analyzing to dribble to their heart’s content. Allow them to court the attention of the room, and see what they do with that attention. When they pass you the ball, stick to the basics. Dribble with your right hand, then your left. Put it through your legs a couple of times, then pass it right back to them.
Do just enough to keep things going. Keep those you’re trying to gauge in spirit, intellect, and mind talking about themselves. Get to know how they make decisions, get to know how they treat those around them, and familiarize yourself with their bad habits. People are often too complex in how they try to analyze the ones around them. They’ll come up with thought-out questions and complicated schemes. Your only scheme should be to encourage their expression by being a blank canvas for them to paint on.