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The Art of Meeting People and Developing Friendships

May 31st, 2023

The person who becomes an expert at human relations – that is, they routinely meet new people and create connections with them – puts themselves in the way of cooperation and opportunity to advance in their affairs in life, in their pursuit of prosperity and abundance.

To realize these enviable benefits, a person must learn the art of chatting up the people they encounter as they go about their daily routines and activities. And in order to do this, they must first know how to start chatting someone up for the first time, and they must also know what to chat about, so that mutual goodwill is fostered throughout the course of the interaction; rather than a lack of interest on one or both of the parties to want to encounter each other or interact again.

Mutual goodwill is fostered first, by not triggering instinctive negative reactions in others, such that we irritate them and give them a reason to resent us. This is what the Moral Instruction is all about. It denotes all the major ways we usually unconsciously do this, and how to overcome them. Second, we must overlook others’ faults by mastering our instinctive negative reactions to them, and not let people trigger us into a negative emotional state which is to both parties’ chagrin. And third, we must replace the aforementioned pair of circumstances with an exchange that forms a positive and favorable opinion or perception of us in their minds.

This is what we will discuss right now.

Connections are formed when someone knows us and likes us, and they know we know and like them. These are the conditions the wise person seeks to instil through the course of their conversations with everyone they encounter.

However, it is inevitable that this plan will not succeed with everyone; sometimes the responsibility for this failure will rest upon ourselves based on our current skill, while other times it will be the recipient’s fault. However, if a person applies what they learn here, and as they progress in their understanding and application of it, the fault for the plan failing will progressively start falling on the other parties. Some people just are not capable of friendship, for they yet lack the understanding of the foundation upon which it is truly based.

To get to know people, and have them get to know us, we must take the initiative and direct the conversations such that they become vehicles for exchanging the facts concerning both parties’ affairs and relations in life. Affairs concern themselves with our past history and what we’ve already been through in life, along with our plans for our future lives; both in the short-term and in the long-term. And our relations are the important people in our lives – whether friends, relatives or associates – and the dynamic that exists in all those relations.

These are the things we want to purposely induce people to reveal about themselves in and through conversation, and they are also the things we want to take the initiative to share about ourselves with them. Friendship is the result of each party already knowing these things about each other; thus, the wise person makes it their plan to bring about these circumstances with everyone they encounter by putting this plan into consistent action throughout daily life and attaining a great level of proficiency at it.

To start a conversation with anyone, we simply urge them to start talking about anything by making a comment or asking them a light-hearted question; because when they start talking, they’re going to start making mentions that serve as segues to transitioning the conversation onto their affairs and relations (which is the objective back of our plan). Our job here is to listen for these mentions after we induce them to start talking. Because once a person voluntarily makes a personal, specific mention about themselves and their life, this is them giving us their permission to now inquire further about it. Now we can ask and not have it come off invasive or like we’re interrogating them, which we know will just generate resistance in them, and sabotage the entire conversation.

The plan from here is to guide them to reveal the whole picture behind the mention they brought into the conversation by asking the right questions, listening for the purpose of delving deeper, and then doing so. It is also here that we must volunteer to share personal information about ourselves, directly as it relates to the current topic of the conversation. A little bit of mystery can be a great thing, but if all we’re doing is letting the other person talk about themselves and what they want to say, we’re not only not giving them the opportunity to get to know us and what we’re all about (which will undermine the connection), but we’re catering to their selfish desire to monopolize the conversation which is to their penalty as we’re allowing them to bore and maybe irritate us, which will just repel us and cause us to seek our cue to leave.

The aim should be to balance the conversation between sharing and listening to about half and half, as we progress into deeper conversation, and we must do our best to manifest this condition. This will occur naturally with great conversationalists, because they will be just as interested in hearing us out as they are in talking about themselves. However, it’s the selfish people who will try to take advantage of our listening ear by trying to monopolize the conversation just to hear themselves talk; meanwhile giving little thought for how we’re reacting and receiving what they tell us, which likely won’t be favorable to them making a great impression on us. We just tend to humor them, and then look to make an excuse for our exit at the first opportunity. But we don’t want to be guilty of this fault ourselves, and it isn’t a problem when we recognize that we gain nothing by talking, as we already know everything we reveal, but put ourselves in the way of great learning by listening, whereby opportunities for advancement are likely to come.

In all this, our goal has been successfully accomplished with most people, which is to get to know them and what their life is all about, and get them to know us and what our life is all about, resulting in establishing the foundation for new friendship.


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