I’ve discovered something this past week:
Just straight up.
No one wants to hear about what going’s on in your life. Nobody wants to get to know you.
Everyone wants to talk about themselves and where they’re going in life. They’re too concerned with themselves to worry about you.
Here’s why I say that.
This past week, I tried a social experiment.
I went to a local market called Soda City Market. My goal was to talk to a couple of different people and find out an interesting fact about them.
Out in the over 90-degree heat in Columbia, SC, making casual conversation without being irritable was harder than I thought it would be.
And here’s what I discovered:
It was really hard to talk to these random strangers.
Now, I work at Starbucks. My job is to talk to strangers. But for some reason, this time it was difficult.
I realized the problem:
It was me.
I didn’t care.
I didn’t care about these strangers. When I’m at work, I know the expectation is to be kind and connect with these people, and I genuinely enjoy doing it. But for some reason, I didn’t really want to know these random people at Soda City.
I didn’t care about them. And they knew it. I did it for my own purposes, not to genuinely connect with these people. I was experimenting, not becoming friends. And that makes a difference.
People can tell when you’re not being real and when you don’t want to know them. When they notice it, they’re going to close up, put on a mask, filter their real self. And why shouldn’t they? Most casual conversation is simply polite, not because the person you’re talking about really care. Most people don’t care to know you.
Like I said:
But in the midst of this past week, I was also reading a book called Never Eat Alone (it’s wonderful; check it out). The whole point of this book is this:
To succeed in life, you have to create a personal network.
And how to do you create a personal network?
You care about people.
You can’t be someone who just simply tries to connect with people just for the sake of connecting. You’ll end up in the same place I did at Soda City: nobody wanted to talk to me.
You have to be someone who genuinely cares about others, no matter what.
You have to want to help: being more than just a giver, who is a doormat and lets others walk over him, and less than just a taker, who only is out for himself.
You have to be a strategic giver: give to those who will ultimately help you out. That way you won’t become drained. But don’t keep score: give because you can.
Give because you care.
Like I said: Nobody cares.
So how do you make it in life?
You become like nobody else. You be the person who no one else is willing to be.
Since nobody cares, you can be that one person who does. Since nobody cares, you can be the one who reaches out, asks, shows affection, speak up. Since nobody cares, you can be appreciative and appreciate others.
Because remember nobody cares.
Until you start to show you care.
What do you think?