Whether it’s stepping off a plane on your own on an island halfway around the world, showing up to an A-list event at a swanky hotel, or simply hanging out in your own backyard, there is a certain magic in feeling completely comfortable in your own skin and knowing you are in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
But what happens when you DON’T feel that way? What happens when you spend your entire vacation or opportunity to meet amazing people kind of just feeling awkward, wondering if people are judging you based on how you look, or you are constantly monitoring what you say so you can fit in? Or worse… what if you end up awkward by yourself on the sidelines?
How do you become someone that other people are lining up to talk to? And what does it take to be totally comfortable as the center of all that attention?
As humans, we naturally crave connection. And we want to be around people who are inviting, attractive, and intriguing.
I used to try so hard to make genuine, lasting connections without a lot of luck. I spent more time alone while traveling than I care to admit when I didn’t know how to bridge that ‘new person’ gap.. I also used to go to conferences or events and feel like I wasted opportunities to meet people because I didn’t know how to stand out in a group.
Now whenever I get in front of people, whether it’s at my local coffee shop or a dance party on another contintent, almost every single time I end up with plenty of new friends, client referrals, potential collaborations, and lots of adventure buddies. It’s a far higher percentage than anything I used to experience, and it is FUN.
By being unforgettable, charming, and genuine you can gain connections, clients, and valuable friends for life. And you can do it every single time.
You might be thinking, “Sure Kate, no problem- I’ll just be unforgettable, charming, and genuine. How the eff do I do THAT?”
How to be the person everyone wants to know:
Before you enter any space…
Ground Yourself in Your Body.
Be it your grocery store, a friend’s house, a museum, or a party, give yourself a few minutes to ground and center. Feel your feet evenly on the floor, shoulders on your back, close your eyes. Have a couple of long, slow breaths, feeling the air travel all the way to the root of your spine and back. Focus your attention at your core, and connect with your body. This will bring you to the present moment, get you out of your head, and create increased awareness of your surroundings and ability to read the space you are about to enter.
Remind Yourself Who You Are.
When I first started doing this, I would say to myself, “Kate, you’re awesome. Everyone here wants to be your friend. You are pure love. You are so much fun.” before walking into any situation. While I sometimes felt a little bit silly, and didn’t always believe it right away, it really helps to get yourself in the mindset of the person who DOES command a room and picks up friends everywhere. Trust that you are a valuable contribution wherever you are.
Set an Intention.
Similar to the reminder, take a second and ask yourself, “what is my purpose for being here?” (Wherever ‘here’ is). If you’re at a business event, maybe your intention is something like “The people who need me will find me.” If you’re out on the town, maybe your intention is “fun first.” An option for a more intimate evening, like a dinner party, might be something like curiosity or warmth. What energy do you want to bring to the table? (Literally the table, if you’re at a dinner party!)
Make eye contact.
And hold it. Eye contact and a genuine smile will get you in almost anywhere with almost anybody, yet so many people have real difficulty holding eye contact for more than a second or two. Practice this with someone, or with yourself in the mirror.
Just like before you entered the space, continually check in with yourself- are you in your head or in your body? Do you need to breathe a little more deeply? Where can you tune in and come back to your power place?
Give Genuine Compliments.
Someone’s earrings catch your eye? Tell her they are gorgeous! Glowing skin? Adorable laugh? Sassy outfit? People can tell when you’re being sincere, and it’s an amazing ice breaker- they will already be inclined to like you, and you have a beginning conversation topic!
This can be super scary for a lot of us. Who do I talk to? Who will want to talk to me? —-Remember your intention! Remember who you are! Everyone there wants to be your friend, and if your intention is, for example, curiosity- by all means, ask a lot of questions! Have a few up your sleeve. Depending on the situation, a few of my favorites are:
- What brings you here?
- What are you most excited about right now?
- Any travel plans coming up?
- What’s good in your life?
Be interested, not interesting.
Once you’ve made contact, ask people about themselves. Listen to their stories, find common ground. People love talking about themselves and will feel most connected to you if they feel like you understand them. Find ways to show you are present, listening, and get where they are coming from. (This requires you to be present and listening- see “remaining present” above.)
Have great stories.
A couple of quick anecdotes will make you memorable. If they are slightly self-depricating or involve you not being perfect, it will make you relatable. Think out a couple beforehand if it will help make you feel more at ease. This is your time to shine- allow yourself to be the center of attention as you tell your stories.
Post-event? Follow up! Friend them on Facebook, shoot them a text, make plans to hang out- the best time to do that is when you are still in person with them, but at the very least get contact information so you can continue on the awesomeness.
Your mission today, should you choose to accept it (and hello.. why wouldn’t you), is to go out and practice magnetism. At the grocery store, your yoga studio, walking down the street- notice the quality of your interactions when you play as your best self.
Do it now, experiment with what allows you to feel the most confident and most comfortable, and get ready to make connections, clients, and friends for life!
If this is something that is really interesting to you, and you want more practical applications and support, great news!
Starting on October 20th, join me and other fabulous women in my new beta group program, Ignite Your Power: 9 Weeks of Movement, Connection, and Creation so you can have Fierce Confidence in Your Body + Self, and Wild Freedom in Your Biz + Life.