The “ability of connecting with anyone instantly” is something that we all had within us at some point in our lives; so what happened to us to lose this valuable ability? If we look at 7 year olds and under, you can see clearly that they can easily make friends. Can you remember what it was like when you were a child, how easy it was for you to make friends?
If you have children, do you see the ease in which they make friends? I recall when I was a child I used to like everyone in my school and vice versa. Yet at the age of 7, things started to change and I felt myself unable to connect with just anyone and began associating with selective groups.
So what is it that made us lose the ability to instantly connect with anyone? This question has been asked by many of the brightest minds. Some researchers believe it has to do with the biological aspect of us aging, that our hormones begin to take effect on our personality; effecting the way we interact with one another. Others claim that the ego, which develops in a child between the ages of 6 to 9, is what creates this issue. The ego is that within us that makes us feel separated from the world. So it is this feeling of separation that enables us to feel that we may not belong in certain groups. Another theory is that while growing up, we are given added responsibilities from our parents and the outside world that may have a toll on the way we process the outside world.
Recently, it first dawned upon me that we all had this ability at one time in our lives; and just like a skill we developed and lost, we can easily gain it back with the right strategies in place. Through my years of research and through trial and error I have come up with a suitable strategy that will allow us to regain the ability to connect with anyone once again; and it comes with a “PRICE”.
The “PRICE” Strategy:
Don’t let the name deceive you, there is no price to pay in order to regain something you already have within you. The reason behind the name is that we all paid a steep “PRICE” in forgetting this model, and just by realizing what that “PRICE” was, you can once again regain this ability.
P: Person-Able: this acronym is broken down into two parts, Personality and Approachableness.
Personality: When we were kids, we didn’t care about how to get popular; we just wanted to have fun. We understood at a young age that in order to have fun, we just needed to be 100% ourselves. We didn’t try and mold our personalities into something that would get people to like us, we didn’t need to act nor behave in a specific manner to be liked; we were just genuine and authentic. By being 100% ourselves it didn’t really require any effort to try and become something that we were not.
Approachableness: Each and every one of us has two opposite personalities; one that is extremely approachable and one that isn’t. As a child, when we were in a demanding or disturbed mood, no one really wanted to play with us. If you have kids, next time you see your kids becoming demanding with other kids around, notice what tends to happen. Yet, when we were in happy and fun moods, other kids couldn’t help but want to play with us. So, first you need to realize that you need to be 100% yourself when trying to connect with others and be in an upbeat, happy and fun mood.
R: Respect: When we were children, we were born with this magnificent quality. You can look far and wide and one thing you will tend to see with younger kids is that they tend to respect all ages. There are always exceptions to the rules, yet you can easily see it displayed in most cases. In your life, do you respect everyone? Do you respect all of your elders? Do you respect everyone who is younger than you? Showing respect to everyone is a privilege and once given, you will instantly see the feeling reciprocated.
I: Interest: With this tool you will soon begin to realize the magic that comes with it. Look at kids when they are playing in groups or even by themselves, they demonstrate extreme interest in what they are doing. Can you remember when you were a kid what it was like to play with toys? How interested you were in what you were doing? If you have children you will instantly see this within them while they play. I remember when I was a kid, you could give me any type of toy and I would find something of interest in it. I would always find something to do that would occupy my time. So, the next time you are engaged in a conversation with someone, find something within that topic that interests you and you will soon see the magic that comes out of the experience.
Another thing that is of importance with respect to interest is that we tend to like people who share similar interests to us. Have you ever met someone for the first time and instantly connected with that person? A lot of times when this happens it is because you had a common interest with them. So, when meeting someone for the first time use effective questions to find out if the two of you share any common interests.
C: Curiosity: This is the most powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Can you remember a time when you were a kid, when you knew your parents had gotten you a gift and hidden it in the house somewhere? For me, whenever I knew there was a present waiting for me somewhere, my curiosity would take over and I would spend hour upon hour tearing the house apart looking for it. This type of curiosity is extremely powerful and can be a strong motivator for you in life. Whenever you are talking to someone new, be like a kid and become curious. Become curious to what makes this person tick, what interests he has, what purpose he may have in your life, and what truly motivates them.
E: Engage: You can have all of the above yet without truly engaging the person or giving your attention, it will all be in vain. While conducting a survey a few years back, I asked a group of people what they liked the most about engaging someone in a conversation. Their response: 87% of them truly enjoyed it when they were being listened to fully. The greatest honor you can give anyone is your full 100% attention while engaging them on what they are talking about.
This is the “PRICE” that we paid for growing up, and I believe it’s about time that we start to see a return on this investment. Like everything in life, in order to re-acquire a skill that we once had, practice is required. So go out today and start incorporating the “PRICE” model into your day-to-day life. Use it to your advantage.