The expression one wears on one’s face if far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back. Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ” I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.” You must have a good time meeting people i f you expect them to have a good time meeting you. You don’t feel like smiling? Then what? Two things. First, force yourself to smile. If you are alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing. Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy. “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.” -William James. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions. It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it. “There is nothing either good or bad,” said Shakespeare, “but thinking makes it so.” Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.
The average person is more interested in his or her own name than all the other names on earth put together. Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it or misspell it-and you have plac e yourself at a sharp disadvantage. Whenever you meet a new acquaintance, find out his or her complete name and some facts about his or her family, business or political opinions. Fix all these facts well in mind as part of the picture, and the next time you meet that person, even if it was a year later, you will be able to shake hands, inquire after the family, and ask about the hollyhocks in the backyard. Sometimes it is difficult to remember a name, particularly if it is hard to pronounce. Rather than even try to learn it, many people ignore it or call the person by an easy nickname. Most people don’t remember names, for the simple reason that they don’t take the time and energy necessary to concentrate and repeat and fix names indelibly in their minds. If you don’t hear the name distinctly say excuse me I didn’t get your name clearly. Then, if it is an unusual name, ask how it is spelled. Use the person’s name several times in the conversation; try to associate it in your mind with the person’s featur es, expression and general appearance. Then, when you are alone write the name down on a piece of paper, look at it, and concentrate on it, fix it securely in your mind, in this way you will gain an eye impression of the name as well as an ear impression.
Listen intently; listen because you are genuinely interested. That kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone. The chronic kicker, even the most violent critic, will frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener-a listener who will be silent with the irate fault-finger dilates like a king cobra and spews the poison out of his system. Be more eager to hear what a person has to say then even they are to tell it. Many people prefer good list eners to good talkers, but the ability to listen seems rarer than almost any other good trait. All we want when we are in trouble is a friendly, sympathetic listener to unburden yourself. That is frequently all the irritated customer wants, and the dissat isfied employee or the hurt friend. If you want to know how to make people shun you and laugh at you behind your back and even despise you, here is the recipe: Never listen to anyone for long. Talk incessantly about yourself. If you have an idea while the other person is talking, don’t wait for him or her to finish: bust right in and interrupt in the middle of a sentence. If you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. Make an effort to find out what interests the person then get them talking about it. Talking in terms of the other person’s interests pays off for both parties. When asked what reward he got from it, Mr. Herzig responded that he not only received a different reward from each person but that in general the reward had been an enlargement of his life each time he spoke to someone.
Ask yourself ” What is there about him or her that I can honestly admire?” That is sometimes a hard question to answer, especially with strangers. You want approval of those with whom you come in contact. You want recognition of your true worth. You want a feeling that your are important in our little world. You don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but you do crave sincere appreciation. So let’s obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others what we would have others give unto us. How? When? Where? The answer is all the time, everywhere. Use little phrases such as “I’m sorry to trouble you, ___.” “Would you please ___?” “Won’t you please?” “Would you mind?” “Thank you.” The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely. Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
Make the other person feel important-and do it sincerely.