Rapport, connection, relatability. Whatever you call it, it’s the vital element that will make your communication a success.
How to connect:
1. Let yourself off the hook.
Forgive all your flaws, ignore that b*stard voice reminding you of inadequacies, and remind yourself that this isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Because it isn’t. Self-acceptance is a powerful trait! Yes, it’s the basis of the confidence of arrogant people, but you can use it as a force for good.
2. Open up.
Share something personal (one of your flaws works well here), be open and direct. Just do it with a smile; this softens any stark commentary and makes confessions relatable. You may be surprised how others will open up when you give them permission by going first. That vulnerability can lead to trust, the foundation of the strongest relationships.
Interact, have fun, and experiment. Connection requires empathy and listening, so try something silly, just to discover something new and unexpected. Be curious, in both senses of the word. Get comfortable with being (a little) uncomfortable. That’s how you learn and grow, right? Once you have a sense of play, nothing really goes wrong, because that risk has been removed.
Work on connecting with people. Whatever happens next will be all the richer for it.