Each time that you begin a new job, move to a new location, or simply feel the need to branch out in your social life, you will need to use the important skills and subtleties involved in fostering new relationships. You won’t want to become best friends with every person you encounter, of course. But a friendly rapport with the people around you makes and environment more relaxed. When you build relationships not enemies, you are more likely to have people to turn to if you need help. Whether you are working on a new project on the job, or painting your house, it is always useful to have people around that can help you. Here are some pointers for how to do that.
Names are extremely important to the development of a relationship. Although it is certainly possible to have a friendly rapport with someone whose name you do not know, names make the relationship much more personal. When you meet someone, introduce yourself by name and ask them what their name is. I always have trouble remembering a name when I initially learn it, so I try to repeat it three or four times, either in my head or in conversation. I try to mention that person’s name a few times afterward, and then greet them by name.
Show your interest in the person’s life outside of the arena that you share. If you are meeting a neighbor, ask what they do for work. If you are meeting a co-worker, ask what they like to do for fun. Make sure you do not ask anything too personal, and that you don’t come off as creepy or intrusive. But a healthy inquisitiveness let the person know that you care about getting to know them.
Tell Them About Yourself
If you ask the person about their life but offer no details about your own, they may feel suspicious of your motives. Conversations should flow naturally. When someone else shares a detail, you should share one as well. This will be easier if you have common hobbies or interests. When that happens, relationships are often formed quickly. When you are sharing about yourself, be careful not to share too much too quickly. It is one thing to talk about your interest in gardening, and quite another to discuss in detail your messy divorce.
Talk to Them Again
After the initial conversation, make sure you keep open the lines of communication with someone. This will let them know that your interest was more than perfunctory. If your relationship does not end up expanding beyond daily greetings, that is fine. But if you sincerely enjoy talking with the person and want to spend more time with them, invite them out.
You do not have to be best friends with everyone, or to be social with everyone. Some relationships are simply cordial. There are people that you greet on a daily basis and never have a long conversation with. But these friendly greetings in themselves constitute a relationship, and can help you in your goal to build relationships not enemies.