"I’m tired of being awkward"
Not knowing what to say can be so embarrassing.
Look at these painful comments I found:
"I couldn’t sit near him without getting nervous"
"I’ll randomly remember something stupid I said.
and never able to stop beating myself up for it."
"I actually want to go and do these things but I get really anxious"
"Literally, doing or saying nothing when I should say something"
"I know what I want to say but I don’t have the way of conveying it"
Do you see yourself in any of these comments?
Hi, I’m Ramit Sethi. For the last 10+ years, I’ve been helping people live a Rich Life by improving their finances, careers, even starting businesses and mastering inner psychology.
But while we’ve improved ourselves on the inside, what about the outside? What about improving how others see us?
What would it mean to be able to walk into a room and feel naturally comfortable talking to anybody? To leave a positive impression, every time?
Years ago, I was sitting in a conference room with a CEO and 3 senior executives. I was a college intern who had been invited to sit in the executive meeting and present my work from the last month.
I’d worked overtime to get ready. I knew the data. I had copies of the mockups printed and ready to hand out. If I made a good impression, I’d get the blessing of the CEO (and a recommendation letter).
But in the first 60 seconds, I realized I had a disaster on my hands.
As soon as I started talking, their eyes darted away from me. I noticed them quickly look at each other. One of the executives picked up his phone and started browsing it. And then I got interrupted.
"Why are we even talking about this?" one of the executives asked.
My stomach dropped. Out of everything I’d planned for, I hadn’t predicted this. In a split second, I went through all the stages of grief:
This can’t be happening.
Why won’t they just let me finish my presentation?
I should have planned for this. DAMNIT.
So this is how they treat new interns?
There’s nothing I can say now.
That’s what I was thinking. But all they could see was me freeze up with an awkward, deer-in-the-headlights look on my face.
Let’s just say the presentation didn’t go as I expected.
The craziest thing? It wasn’t my preparation. I knew the material inside and out.
My problem was simple: I had done all the work. I had good intentions. But I couldn’t connect with the people around me.
This is the truth nobody tells you.
It doesn’t matter how smart or prepared or accomplished you are – if your first impression bombs. And if you can’t carry a conversation that connects with the people around you, you’re forgettable.
In other words, nobody can see what’s in your head. But they can see your social skills. That’s why your ability to talk to anybody is more critical than even most technical skills.
Your social skills are the tip of the spear – one of the first things that others notice about us. They don’t see your education, or how hard you’ve worked, or how funny and nice you are. All they know is how you make them feel in the first 5 seconds of meeting them.
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