In some situations, it is important for us to understand how others evaluate us. A new business, a new project, a new book or even a new style of clothing – you want to know the opinion of other people in order to move forward. Instead, we often receive insincere praise that is useless for self-development. We are going to share the secret of honest conversations.
The opinion of others can be a useful guide for us. We often find ourselves in situations where predicting the reaction of the interlocutor can play into our hands: a job interview, a first date, and so on.
However, these tricks should be used with caution because excessive passion for the opinions of others can negatively affect your self-esteem and personal stability.
Under a magnifying glass
How often do you look at yourself in the mirror, trying to see the flaws? Our brain is a pathological pessimist: thanks to the ability to find danger everywhere, our species has been able to outwit nature. We managed to survive and evolve.
The human being is not afraid of poisonous reptiles and ferocious predators. Social fear comes to the foreground. We are most afraid of loneliness, and the “fight or flight” reaction turns into 50 shades of shame. In the battle for social acceptance, we forget that people see us differently, not at all the way we see ourselves.
This happens because we have a lot of information about ourselves – we are real experts in this matter. We know what hairstyle we had yesterday, whether we’ve gained weight in the last month, and that we look tired today because we didn’t get enough sleep.
In communicating with others, it is important to understand that they do not have this information. For example, compare how you rate yourself and how you rate a stranger or friend. You most likely consider it as a whole, often without separating the appearance from the manner of speech, facial expressions, gait and character traits. Although we love to look for flaws in ourselves under a magnifying glass, other people do not.
The key to a sincere answer is the right question.
If you need to hear the truth, find out the sincere opinion of a person, try to ask him the right questions. First, it should be easy for the interlocutor to tell you the truth. Try not to ask emotionally charged questions like, “Do you find me unattractive?”
Give the interlocutor enough space for explanations, try not to put pressure on him. You can let him be sincere with phrases like, “I really want to know your opinion.”
Unflattering comments are frustrating, but if you want to improve something, they can be a valuable tool. Not all comments are fair, and critics can be wrong too. If you make it clear that you are able to withstand criticism without outbursts of rage, most likely, the degree of sincerity in others will increase.
Read between the lines
Words do not always help us learn about the real intentions of a person and their opinion about us. Therefore, pay attention to facial expressions, gestures and eyes.
If a person looks at you directly, he/she is studying you, showing sincere interest. If the look seems “drilling” at the same time, perhaps the person is a little afraid of you. A shifty look does not necessarily tell us that the interlocutor is bored, but he is really distracted by his emotions or, in general, feels uncomfortable.
Pay attention to the person’s movements. If he fusses, often changes positions, he is worried about your presence. If at the same time he still strives to be included in the conversation and be physically closer to you, the excitement is rather positive. The obvious desire to move away tells us the opposite.
Such indicators cannot be called direct instruction. They should be used in the right context. After all, a person can fuss because of general anxiety disorder or look “through” you, because the day before he learned some unpleasant news (not related to you personally). In this case, you should not rely solely on these non-verbal signals.
A boring, unblinking gaze may indicate sociopathy, but this is a completely different story.
Post your ideas on the forums
Forums are a way to get feedback without personal contact. Virtuality is liberating: if people don’t like you, they will say so. You will have to deal with tactlessness, intolerance and stereotyped thinking. This is good: the world will not feel sorry for you, so the “rose-colored glasses” interfere with your way to success.
In almost any social relationship, the “push and pull” technique works great: try not to show any signs of attention and look at the person’s reaction. If the interlocutor was interested in you, most likely, your step back will cause him unconscious anxiety, and on his part, a step forward will immediately follow.
This strategy is somewhat reminiscent of a waltz. If there was little interest and emotional involvement in communication, most likely, your communication will come down to nothing. It may be unpleasant, but this way you will learn the truth.
Look not at words, but at deeds
If a friend or acquaintance is reluctant to buy or recommend your product, they may not consider it good enough.
Take into account the results, not the advice of the nearest people
The best feedback comes from the world as a whole, not from a group of people close to you. Do you want to know if you write well? Start a blog or publish a novel. Do you want to know if people like your product? Start selling it in limited edition.
How close is the person to you, literally? Does he strive for tactility? You do not need a centimeter – rely on your feelings. If the interlocutor tries to be as close to you as possible and often touches you, we can talk about his sympathy for you. Of course, the advice applies to informal relationships where tactile communication is considered acceptable.
Practical tricks are certainly a useful tool, but the most important thing is to rely on feelings and self-awareness. If you feel that “something is wrong” with a person, for example, you are not safe or you experience irritation and disappointment, do not ignore these feelings. Explore them. What is the person doing? What does this behavior look like in your experience? Have I been in this situation before?