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I don’t know how you feel about this, but if there's one thing that makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable, it’s stepping into a room filled with people I don’t know, nor what these people feel excited about. I get bored by small talk, so I hardly ever know how to hold a conversation I don’t get bored of within five seconds. It’s terrifying. So the question is, what would change that?
Last month, I celebrated my 30th birthday and invited a couple of friends over for dinner. They didn’t have much in common besides being the people I spend most time with these days. And so, to make this a family gathering instead of an awkward night filled with superficial conversations, I took the time to send everyone an email two days in advance where I wrote a short personal introduction mentioning how I met everyone and what I admire them for, and because I knew how much everyone likes to travel, I also mentioned where everyone was from or what country they visited in the past couple of months. What happened next blew my mind. People started asking where this and that person (who was delayed) was because they couldn't find them in the room. I realized I didn’t fill a room with strangers I liked. I created a room filled with interesting people who knew where to start a conversation.
After this experience, I started paying close attention to how we introduce people. Given that introducing people is what I do most of the time, I thought I should get better at it. I found the best way to introduce strangers is by describing in a few sentences what excites one most about the other.
A couple of days ago, I got this after I sent an intro mail: "Thank you so much for kind words and I can’t hardly help to read your introduction over and over again to caress my ego.”
I realized that the biggest favor we can do to someone (with literally minimum effort) is by spending a few minutes to think about why they stand out as people. Two lines are enough to tell why you appreciate someone. If done genuinely, the person who is just getting to know someone will feel like you’ve given them a box of chocolate.
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