Not even a month into this project and I already feel like I’m reaping some unexpected benefits. I can actually feel myself being more polite, more interested in what other people are talking about, more tuned into what they’re feeling.
People–not just men–like to feel like they’re being listened to. They like feeling like someone is treating them special, cultivating their feelings. And more than just pretending to listen with a smile plastered on my face, I’m actually listening.
Fun Fact: Listening to other people distracts you from your own problems. Even just listening to someone talk about what they watched on TV last night means you’re not thinking about all the garbage in your own world. Do you have any idea how liberating that is?
In the last two months, my boyfriend almost lost his job, I botched a big story and we were briefly homeless. I was getting so stressed that I had developed tremors. But I kept being deliberately polite, smiling big at people who terrified me.
And it worked. I didn’t show them that I was scared, I listened to what they were saying, and by the end of the exchange, I had the upper hand. Sarcasm and aggression only put people on edge. Heck, even Patrick Swayze, who ripped a guy’s throat out, knows that the first rule is to always “Be Nice.”