living intuitively


Posts tagged social
Y tu?!
Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

I have the kind of friends who make you feel like you’re the coolest person on earth. They make you feel like there’s nothing they’d rather be doing than hearing about your newest venture, or your date last night, or your upcoming getaway. They actively listen and ask follow-up questions. They present the appropriate corresponding facial expressions (eye rolls, knowing looks, cheesy grins) and happy dance as necessary.

They friggin’ rule.

They also inspire me to be better.

I hope you have friends like this too, because as I’m sure you’ve realized by now, not everyone is like this. If you don’t believe me, tag along on 90% of my dates!

For a number of reasons (social anxiety, lack of self awareness, self absorption, insecurity, all of the above, etc) people keep the spotlight on them. They’ll tell you allllll about themselves and once you’ve finally politely excused yourself, you realize that after 20 minutes of “conversing” they didn’t ask you a single question about you…but you know all about their new car and their daughter’s bout with the flu and their upcoming vacation and and and…

In moments like this, it’s easy to get annoyed, but important to remember some people just don’t know better! And/or they’re socially unsure of themselves and find it easier to rely on what they do know: themselves/their lives. It’s their comfort zone. It doesn’t even dawn on them to ask about you.

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Don’t try to impress others. Be humble. Take an interest in others.
— Philippians 2:3-4

Another reason for monologues is they feel compelled to “peacock” and show/tell you how great they are. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve dated some awesome, considerate guys, but man - I’ve also dated beyond my share of peacocks. I’ll get to the end of the date and know they couldn’t tell you three facts about me because we focused solely on them the.entire.time. They didn’t bother to reciprocate any of the questions I initiated. Or if they did…they’d interrupt me to hijack the spotlight and turn it back to them. Not very enjoyable, as I’m sure you can imagine. When I’m particularly maxed out on their showboating, I’ll just clam up and stop supplying questions/conversation starters. I’ll watch them fidget awkwardly in the silence, marveling how they don’t realize that to end the silence, all they have to do is ASK ME A QUESTION. These guys.

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You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in others than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
— Dale Carnegie

Feeling and expressing a genuine interest in others is an INVALUABLE friendship trait. Hell, not only a friendship trait - a human trait! Making people feel worthy of interest and attention is the surest way to not only win people over but - more importantly - to connect with them. Making an effort to listen to and connect with others fosters empathy, understanding, mutual interest, etc. All the good things!

Tips to be more charming:
1. Smile more
2. Remember names
3. Be authentic
4. Be curious
5. Offer value

But genuine is the key word here. Authenticity is crucial. People can immediately sense when you’re merely going through the motions and just posing. Ain’t nobody likes a poser. And it’s not enough to just ask questions - you must also listen! How obnoxious is it when someone asks you a question then immediately checks out by scanning the room/scrolling on their phone/interrupting your story/etc.

Here are some tips for enhancing your social interactions by cultivating and expressing genuine interest in others. In other words, here’s guidance on how to be the kind of person others want to be around!

  • Offer customized compliments

    • Sure, it’s nice to hear “You look good” but how much better do you feel when someone notices and compliments you on something special and specific to you?

      • Examples: “That color looks amazing on you!” or “Your home has the most inviting energy!”

  • Ask specific, attentive questions

    • Show you’re truly interested in learning more about the person/the topic they’re discussing. Listen to what they say and ask follow-up questions.

      • If you’re not sure what to ask, maybe request clarification or note how interesting what they said is and ask, “What do you mean by ___?”

    • It’s important to come from a place of curiosity, rather than judgment.

    • If you happen to know more on the subject - keep it to yourself! It’s not a “who knows more” contest so just chillaxxxx and let them share what they know. And who knows - you might even learn something from them! At the very least, you’ll hear a fresh perspective.

    • Try to maintain that balance of showing interest without getting all up in their business. Ensure you’re on solid footing before asking probing questions.

  • Reciprocate their questions

    • Piggybacking off the previous point, is a great hack for when you’re feeling socially unsteady and not up to carrying the convo is simply to ask them what they asked you!

It’s important to mention some people don’t like talking about themselves: they’re shy, they’re insecure, etc. So honor where they are and try to find a common interest, or focus on safe, general topics like current events/mutual contacts (sans the gossip because gossiping is ew).

The more you really listen and get to know people, the more you realize how FASCINATING people really are! I can’t tell you how many times people have surprised me with their experiences/back stories/insights/etc. Everyone has a story and everyone has something to teach us.



When you are alive with joy, gratitude, and genuine interest in others, you are your most beautiful. Remember that. Now go stun the world.
— Brendon Burchard
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Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
— Melinda Gates

Ya girl Melinda bringing the wisdom and the opener for today's post on connecting with others. 

Before we start, do me a favor, please, and reflect on people with whom you just VIBE. You seem to connect on the deepest of levels, and you just get each other. It's as if you're twin souls, as if you're cut from the same cloth.

Now please (so polite, I know) think of people with whom you definitely do NOT vibe. No matter how hard you try (or don't try - because sometimes it's exhausting), you You may not feel ill will toward them, but you'd be just peachy if you never cross paths again.

You likely know people whom fall on both ends of the above-outlined spectrum - as well as people sprinkled in between. C'est la vie (translation for the non Francophiles: such is life). The reality is, some of these people from whom you feel disconnected may be people you can't necessarily shun from your life completely. They could be coworkers/in-laws/spouse's friends/bosses/etc. They ain't going anywhere.

Do you ever wonder what you can do to bridge the gap between you and your non-soulmates? If so, B O O M. Today we're going to explore ways to enrich and solidify your connections with others - or at the very least, just hopefully make it less friggin' awkward and painful.

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I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel
when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive
from the relationship.
— Brene Brown

Think back to your fellow vibers. Think about how you feel during and following interactions with them. You likely feel acknowledged, right? You feel like they "see" you, they hear you, they value you. You don't feel judged or criticized. If they do dish out tough love (which in my opinion is when you KNOW you have a solid friend - more in a later post), you know it stems from a place of pure love. They care about you enough to call you out when necessary. You feel strengthened, boosted, and re-charged after speaking with them, not drained, depleted, and depressed. 

Let's dissect this for methods you can use to be this person for others:

  • Make the other person feel heard
Don’t listen to reply. Listen to understand.

LISTEN. Truly listen. Identify the non-verbals, focusing on what they're not saying (their body language, their insinuations, their possible motivations, etc). Clear your hands and your attention and give it all to them, baby. Think about how delicious it feels when someone gifts you with their full attention. Something so simple can truly have a powerful effect. It has the power to soften defenses, lower walls, enhance communication, etc. I mean, at the very least, the sooner the other person feels heard, the sooner the encounter will likely end. may surprise yourself. By truly taking the time to focus on the other person and absorb their message, the more invested and engaged in the relationship you'll feel. One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.

  • Be truly curious and show a genuine interest.

Ask questions. Show a genuine interest. Everyone knows something you don't. Doesn't it feel amazing when you can tell someone is taking a true interest in your life/message? Confidence booster for sure! 

Without fail, the most charismatic people I know are those showing a genuine interest in others. They ask deep(er) questions, listen, then ask follow-up questions. They pay genuine compliments, beyond the "You look cute" or "You're a babe." Don't get me wrong - any genuine compliment is a good compliment - but the truly effective connectors are those who take it one step further and one level deeper. You feel like they're actually addressing you, not just any other friend of theirs.

  • Meet them halfway
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
— Nelson Mandela

Drop the pretenses. The condescension. The need to show how fabulously fabulous you are. Keep it R E A L, amigos. Chances are, if you listen, you can get a feel for where the other person is coming from and meet them there. Especially if you recognize they're making an effort, don't make them go it alone. Reach out a hand. 

Initially, you may have to go more than halfway, maybe even the whole way solo. Decide if you'd rather have smug justification or happy co-existence. Self righteousness is a lonely road.

And maybe you find that person I N S U F F E R A B L E. Irritating as hell. You find them ignorant, or abrasive, or self-absorbed, or whatever.  Read on, my friend.

  • Do your best to remain non-judgmental and open minded.

This is particularly hard when you feel they're judging you, and especially hard when you KNOW they're judging you (as evidenced by their expressed verbal judgments - in other words, they just freaking told you so). Just know that judgment stems from fear/insecurity/anxiety. People who are secure and love themselves don't feel compelled to chase feelings of superiority (however fleeting) by judging. And if they sense you're judging them (whether you are or aren't), this will likely exacerbate the session. So let it be clearly known you love and accept them as they are. This will hopefully inspire and encourage them to extend the same respect to you.

In conjunction with being non-judgmental, try to remain open minded. The person may say/do things you consider abominable, or lame, or ignorant, or EW. Hear them out, reserve judgment, and unless they're plotting to do something atrocious like murder bunnies, live and let live! Accept and celebrate your differences. Give them - and yourself - space to be yourselves.

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  • Grant them grace.

Understand if they're being rude/self-centered/etc, it's because of insecurity/fear/anxiety. They - just like you - are doing the best they can. It's hard being human sometimes! *Genuinely* helping them feel heard and special and valued will go a long way toward bridging that gap, and will likely lessen their compulsion/need to prove themselves to you/others, and to seek external validation. 

Social anxiety is a very real thing, and for some it can be debilitating. That person you'd wish would stop monopolizing the conversation to brag about how incredible they are? They may suffer from crippling social anxiety, and simply don't know how to connect with another, so they fall back on what they know - themselves. They use it as a crutch, and would likely be horrified if they knew how they were being perceived. Trust me, it's not fun to be around, but hopefully by letting them feel heard and valued - and then gently steering the conversation to other topics - you can help them and set the precedent for better future interactions. 

Release your need for validation, and your urge to show off. Not that you can't share wins - after all, true conversation should be about reciprocity - but try focusing on the other person and less on yourself.

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  • Focus on your commonalities

Maybe you both love tacos. Maybe you both think Tom Hardy is the dreamiest man on the planet (because he is). Maybe you share political views or an aversion to screamo emo music. If it's your mother in law, you obviously both love her son/your husband. If it's your boss, you both want the company to succeed. Whatever is, try to find and cultivate that common ground. If you're totally drawing a blank, chances are you're both humans who just want to be happy - so focus on that until you discover something else.

  • Allow vulnerability.
We may impress people through our strengths, but we connect with people through our weaknesses.
— Craig Groeschel



How relieving is it when you realize the person you thought was superhuman is actually, in fact, a mere mortal? Who struggles to find time/energy to clean/work out/fold laundry? Who feels just as insecure as you about their momming skillz or math know how? Nurture vulnerability, in you and them. Give them permission to let down their guard and be vulnerable by taking the lead and being vulnerable yourself. 

Often they put on a front because they feel intimidated by Y O U. By being the first to drop the cape and superhero mask, you can take the first step toward truly connecting. People typically open up if they know you care. Give them a safe space to do so.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
— John C. Maxwell
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  • Remain true to you.

Obviously do right by them, but also by you. Sometimes this entails drawing a line in the sand and speaking your truth. Gently but firmly standing up for yourself. Repelling toxicity and promoting good vibes. 

  • Practice self awareness.
People can only meet you as deeply as the’ve met themselves.

Just like you'd really like your bro's friend to get a friggin' clue how obnoxious it is to hear him tell inappropriate jokes loudly for all to hear - try to dig deep and reflect ways you could be contributing to the chasm. Is there any way your words/actions could be misperceived? This can be a slippery slope, so be careful not to go down the rabbit hole into full-fledged self consciousness. Just simply try to be aware. Maybe even ask a trusted loved one for insight.

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  • Level with them.

If you're still not where you want to be with the other person - try leveling with them and directly addressing the issue. Explain you feel distance, ask if the feeling is mutual, and express your desire to resolve this. Listen to what they have to say and do your best to remain open and willing to compromise. 


If you have your own tips, or examples of finally connecting with someone after deliberate effort, please share in the comments below!

One thing's for sure, I love you all.



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