Give ‘em Some Real Good Eye Contact

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How to level up your friendlinessA couple of days ago I was chatting with a group of people and the topic of friendliness came up.  “Making friends in Colorado is hard,” said one out of state transplant.  A transplant from the south followed with, “When we first moved to Colorado, we asked our neighbors to dinner and they acted like we asked them to come over so we could murder them.”  Yes.  Being invited to dinner could be easily confused with being invited to be murdered.  But the murder comment did get me thinking about the level of friendliness of the average Coloradan.

I was born and raised in Colorado.  I love it here, so I never left.  I love the views, the hiking, the weather, and my family is fairly close so that’s a plus, too. On a scale of 1 to 10, how friendly am I?  Maybe a 6.  Eh, maybe a tiny bit higher.  …I’m a firm 6.3 friendly.  This of course does not reflect all Coloradans’ friendly ranking, but if you find yourself at a similar low friendliness rank- read on, my friend.  I have always assumed that my level of friendliness is unchanging, but as I age I have learned how to be friendlier.  Today, I share my friendly tips with you!

  1. When you see someone and think, I really like his/her _________, if that person is in speaking distance, say to him/her “I really like your ______”.  

It took me a really long time to get the courage to do this.  I started to do it because of a stranger who once told me how much they liked my earrings.  I wore those earrings the most out of all five pairs of my earrings, just because a stranger who I have yet to cross paths with again said they liked my earrings.  Compliments have got power!  The key point in this tip is that the person receiving the compliment should be in speaking distance.  Yelling compliments can be scary. There was a time that a dude yelled at me as he drove by in his car, “NICE HAIR!” Yasss.  I do have nice hair.  About 45% of me thinks he was being sarcastic, but yasss I do have nice hair.

  1. When someone talks to you, give them some real good eye contact.

Eye contact says “I care about what you’re saying”.  This is still hard for me, because sometimes… well, sometimes I don’t care what the person in front of me is saying.  I have to bust out my acting skills sometimes for this one.  Oh and BTW, don’t bug out your eyes for long periods of time while giving eye contact.  Apparently it’s creepy.  Learned that lesson.

  1.  If an acquaintance says, “What’ve you been up to?” throw him/her a bone.  

“Oh, nothing really”.  You stop that.  You’ve been doing lots of things.  “Just busy, busy.”  Oh really?  Give the deets on this busyness of yours.  I always thought the little things I did were boring, and it has been proven that some people think the things I do ARE boring, but there have been times that I’ve made little connections stronger by slipping in my hobbies in conversation.  “What’ve you been up to?” “Oh, watching some Game of Thrones.” The asker will either do some eye bulging and nod their head while saying “ooooh” (code for I-know nothing-about- this-topic) or they will start talking about that last episode and Jon Snow?! Say what?!

Okay my fellow Coloradans, let’s up your friendliness by three points. Now, get out there and give ‘em your best closed mouth smile!