Three of the most valuable gifts that can be learned in this life are self-awareness, mindfulness, and intuitiveness. The most important of these is self awareness because it allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude, and your responses to them in the moment. Even though some may argue that these are inherited traits or held in our subconscious, I truly believe that these are skills most people can master if they do the work and that the three go hand in hand. It took me many years of self reflection and trial and error to understand how some people had the ability to draw people in in a way others couldn’t. Those types that are told they are an”old soul” or the ones people meet and say they have felt like they have known them forever or those that you feel immediately at ease around. This is by no coincidence, these well-rounded people have simply learned how to adapt to others, listen, and pick up on social cues. They have realized that while it is important to acknowledge certain situations, not everything needs a big reaction and when it is appropriate to react. Some people will be blessed to learn these skills very young while others will never achieve this even as a senior citizen, whether they just aren’t capable or too lazy to learn because they are stuck in their ways. But if you can master these skills, you will have the key to getting almost whatever you want even in the most difficult situations or with the most difficult people. P.S. This has nothing to do with manipulation which I highly advise against.
When I was younger and started to come out of my shell I was consistently finding myself in a cycle of stress, complications, heartache, anxiety, feeling misunderstood, misunderstanding others, feeling offended, sensitivity, riding a roller coaster of extreme emotional highs and lows, and feeling victimized due to my interactions with others…eventually as I grew older I learned that a lot of my feelings had to do with me. I was socially inept… failing at taking hints, absorbing cues, and talking way more than I ever listened. I was a know-it-all (as most young people are) and more obnoxious than Wendy Williams. I wasn’t aware of the energy I was putting out and how others around me were absorbing it. I wasn’t interested in learning anything new especially if it meant changing something about myself. I would say, “I can careless what they think about me or if they like me” but the truth was I was always feeling offended and victimized (and honestly, sometimes still do.) And just like this entire paragraph uses so much “I”, that’s exactly what my life was like back then. All about I. Although self-awareness contains the word self, the point of this post is how to use your self-awareness to positively interact and understand others and how they relate to you. It makes life a lot more pleasant and draws people towards you.
I don’t know if I am making sense. It is something I find so difficult to explain without offending someone because it comes off as if you are attacking their character.
Have you ever ridden in an uber or lyft and the driver just keeps on talking and asking questions…and talking…and talking while the entire time you’re silent or responding with short responses because you are obviously not in the mood to talk but they aren’t catching the hint? Or how about that friend that keeps talking for hours when you make it clear you’re not actively listening by saying “uh huh” or “that’s interesting” or looking down while playing with your phone? Ladies, how about when you use a bothered tone with a guy at the bar who won’t go away and doesn’t get the hint that you’re not interested? Or that person who has texted you 5 times in a row and you have your read receipts turned on so it’s obvious you don’t want to talk to them but they will probably send a 6th text anyway just for good measure? How about that person who is in your space (taxi, gym, nail salon, literally anywhere) and talks so loudly on the phone that you hear their entire 20 minutes conversation regardless if everyone is silently glaring at them to shut up? There’s thousands of examples of these annoyances.
These are the types of examples of people this post is geared toward. The ones who are not intentionally trying to irritate others, they innocently just aren’t aware. Maybe you are that person. It’s okay if you are, at one point I was too. I was HORRIBLE at taking hints and cues. No one is a mind reader but sometimes it is really easy to figure out how someone feels just by paying attention.
The first thing I always notice about someone is the way someone reacts to me. I try not to come on too strong even though I can be aggressive by nature. The most important things you should take in about a person immediately are their volume, tone, body language, and vocabulary. These will tell you everything you need to know about how a person feels about you and how you should proceed.
I love to talk and share stories with everyone I meet. Sometimes I am too open and want to relate too much that I end up talking to them for hours with me mostly doing the talking. No one wants to be known as the “will he/she shut up already” person. I have learned to notice when someone is losing interest and I will either change the topic, redirect the attention toward them, or end the conversation. You can tell when someone is losing interest by silence, an annoyed tone or yawning/sigh, fidgety or rigid body language, one word bland responses. The hints are so clear but many people won’t see them. The self-awareness part is you checking in with yourself to see if you are doing too much, the mindfulness is paying attention to their cues, and the intuitiveness part comes from that deep feeling inside your gut that, yes, you are being fucking annoying.
Some people will think “why should I care how they feel?” This generation has an “IDGAF” mentality, but you should be giving lots of them because if not you gain a reputation as being the obnoxious, aloof person that people do not want to be around. You become the butt of people’s jokes. You are the one who a person has screenshotted your embarrassing behavior to all their friends or worse — posted it somewhere online. When it’s a future boss, a potential partner, or a good networking connection — you SHOULD definitely care. Also, chances are if you truly don’t care at all, you’re embarrassing your friends/family and you have gained a reputation for being that person people cannot bring to events or parties. There has been many times I have been asked to not bring someone to certain places because they are unaware their behavior is irritating to others. There is also a big difference between not giving a crap and just being an ass. Find the silver lining.
Another huge problem that I see in the millennial generation is a huge lack of texting etiquette which sadly is the majority of human communication now. In college, I was that girl that would ponder for hours if a guy got my text. If he didn’t reply I would send another…and another…and another…you know, just in case he forgot or my text got lost in the intergalactic somewhere. If he didn’t respond it would anger me because I didn’t get it…HOW DARE THIS ASSHAT IGNORE ME!! Once I learned the cues that someone is clearly not interested, I no longer had to ask my friends “what should I say next?” or “what is he thinking?” advice.
Some people probably think this part is a no brainer but I assure you if you scroll through my facebook message inbox or text messages you will find at least 10 more Marvels. I have specifically turned on my read receipts at times just to drop a hint and surprise, it didn’t work. I continued to be visually harassed with “heys” and “what’s ups” to the point of having to block the person.
The general rules with texting should simply be this:
- You text.
- If they do not respond after an hour or more you can text ONCE more.
- If they do not answer again you should just leave it be. *MAYBE if you’re bold text one more time the next day. But after that, it’s time to take a hint and let it go. Believe me, even if the read receipts isn’t on, 9/10 times they received your text. They aren’t sick in bed, they didn’t die, your text isn’t floating around in intergalactic text land. The same goes for facebook or any other platform you can message someone on. If someone is interested in talking to you, they will talk to you. They will respond, I promise.
It is important to check your tone, volume, body language, and vocabulary too because sometimes you’re also giving off a bad vibe that you never intended.
There will be times that I am out with someone and it is as if they are speaking at such an high audible level that it sounds as if they are yelling through a megaphone. Most people that talk loud are unaware of their volume. Normally this is not a huge issue unless the content of your vocabulary is something that should be talked about in private. I was just out with a girl who was talking LOUDLY about vulgar things and genitalia. She saw nothing wrong with it because she didn’t notice everyone around us was horrified. Again, some people will say who cares, but you should care because it made her look unladylike and while she is an amazing person, it immediately portrayed her in a dark light to others.
When talking to someone new you should also be aware of your tone and body language. Some of us have monotonous voices by nature and it is something I have tried to work on to seem more warm. I try to be conscious about uncrossing my arms, smiling, relaxing my shoulders, and straighten my posture. When you sound and look warm it attracts people to you. It is cliche but first impressions are everything.
These are things I encourage all people to work on that ask me for advice and sometimes for people that I think need to hear it…my friends, random guys in my inbox who message me 100 times with no response, and even my parents. It will open up so many more doors for your life and attract so many more opportunities. People will want you around and they will open up to you in a way that they won’t even open up to their friends because you will have an aura around you that is unexplained. You will possess what I call The Gift.