The first step to great relationships is to know yourself. The second step is to develop a genuine love or at least acceptance of yourself. The third step is to expand your knowledge.
I work with a lot of technical folks. They have a knowledge base that is usually an inch wide and a mile deep. That is to say, they know a lot about a narrow range of subjects. I encourage them to make their knowledge base a mile wide and an inch deep. In other words, try to find out a little bit about a lot of different things. That way, you will feel comfortable in just about any situation. You will put others at ease because you will be able to carry on a decent conversation with them about what is important to them. And you always have an out. What if you come across someone who is passionate about something you know nothing about, say, curling. What a great opportunity! You can tell them that you know nothing about curling and ask them to please explain it to you. Ask them specifics such as, “Why do the use those little brooms?” You will find that it doesn’t matter that you know nothing about curling. The important thing is that you are showing an interest in what is important to them.
With Google, you can become an expert in any subject overnight, so there is no reason not to do it when it is called for. If you know someone is passionate about a sport, a country, a team, or any subject, Google it and find out something about it. Don’t be caught off guard ever again. And remember your out.
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