This morning, I listened to my favorite radio station and heard caller after caller complain about how much they hate the holidays. Yes, the holiday season seems to bring out the worst in some people.
But what you might not realize is that the holidays are a huge opportunity to improve relationships with co-workers, friends and family. Holiday gatherings can be an chance to make a good impression on your boss, get your office crush to notice you or forge a bond with your new brother in law. They key is to make yourself interesting.
Here are a few tips how to do that:
1. Don't complain. People often default to complaints to fill dead air. That's a waste of good relationship building time.
2. Plan ahead. Think about movies you've recently seen, books you've read, places you've visited and weave that into the conversation.
3. Find commonalities. That may mean a little research ahead of time. Who doesn't love talking about a common interest?
4. Be a storyteller. Everyone loves a story and anything can be a story. It's all in the delivery.
5. End your conversation on an up note. Don't wait for a lull to move on.
Step 1: Go Exploring: Talk to strangers; Roll the dice.
Step 2: Share What You Discover: Offer to help; Expand the group.
Step 3: Do Something. Anything: Go outside; Sign up.
Step 4: Embrace Your Weirdness: Get sidetracked; Capitalize on your quirks.
Step: 5 Have a Cause: If you don't give a damn about anything, no one will give a damn about you.
Step 6: Minimize the Swagger: Drop the titles; Admit goofs.
Step 7: Give It a Shot: Overstep your bounds; Tackle the hard stuff. Play around with a new idea.
Step 8: Hop Off the Bandwagon: Question ubiquity; Crawl into niches. Do your own thing.
Step 9: Grow a Pair: Lead the Mutiny; Make a mess. Be courageous.
Step 10: Ignore the Scolds: Jettison toxic cargo; Learn from all examples. Don't listen to people who resent you for your adventures.