What to do when friends only talk about themselves and aren’t interested in you

We just got an email about getting stuck in the “listener trap”:

“[…] to make friends, we got to be interested in the other party, and people make friends with people who make them feel good about themselves. I believe I have done so, by being interested in others’ daily lives, and made new friends.

However, after about 6 months of “friendship”, these people turn to me as someone to talk to, as I’ll always seem to be interested in their daily affairs. The difficulty is that after listening to them talk, they don’t seem to give the slightest about my own daily affairs – they just want to talk about themselves. Most of my newfound friends are like this. I am afraid that if I start talking about myself, these friends would find me whiny and stop being friends with me!

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Why some people are so popular DESPITE their looks

Today I’m going to talk about why some people are so incredibly popular socially DESPITE their looks (and without having anything else in life going for them at all).

You see, once I was at a computer LAN (Dreamhack, here in Sweden). There, I came across a woman who was both obese and short. There was nothing about her looks that was in her favor. Her cheeks and shoulders connected seamlessly. She resembled a squish ball.

Let’s be honest. People who are unattractive often have a harder time in social life.

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How anxious people can become truly self-confident

Have you ever come across people who only seem confident on the surface? Like if their loudness, dominant manners and urge to take the center stage are more about compensating for insecurity?

Often, the reason for their overly confident manners deep down is a lack of confidence.

Then there are those whose confidence instead feels grounded and authentic. These people don’t need to show off. They can let others take the center stage, and when you talk to them, they don’t have to talk about how great they are. Still, they’re the ones people end up gravitating towards.

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How to become less self-conscious when all eyes are on you

If there’s one thing I remember from school, it’s the terror of arriving in the mornings.

I remember clearly that walk over the school courtyard, feeling everyone’s eyes on me like lasers scanning my every move.

I used to become so self-conscious that it felt like I’d forgotten how to walk. I had to manually control every move my body made and was certain that now, people didn’t just look, they probably took notes and had discussions about what a strange breed I was.

It wasn’t until one of my last years in school that someone told me something that permanently changed how I viewed things.

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How confident people deal with nervousness

A few weeks ago, I and Viktor sent out questions to over 10 000 of you. We asked you about how you view confidence and what specifically you wanted to be better at. It was fascinating to read.

Here are some stats from the survey:

Male to female ratio

Becoming more confident turned out to be universal for both men and women. Here, women were somewhat overrepresented.

Age

We were surprised by how people from all ages are interested in improving their confidence. The youngest being 16 and the oldest being 60, with the majority being 18-28.

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Why faking confidence can backfire and what to do instead

When I created one of my early programs on confidence it backfired…

It turned out that several participants became MORE nervous and LESS confident after they’ve followed my advice. That puzzled me because when I’d tested it on a small beta tester group, they had great results.

Here’s some of the advice that backfired:

  • Be more confident by using a more confident body language (Made popular by Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk)
  • Fake it til you make it” by playing the role of a confident person, such as a movie actor.

Interestingly enough, SOME people have great help by the methods above, and some instead get more nervous.

The methods above force you to focus your attention on yourself. If you already have skeptical self-thoughts, like “What will people think of me?” and “People think I’m weird”, these thoughts will naturally become stronger the more you focus on yourself.

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How do you join a group conversation if you’re not supposed to interrupt?

How do you enter a group conversation? On one hand you’re not supposed to interrupt people, but on the other hand, someone else always seems to start talking before you get the chance to say anything.

In this article, I give you 4 powerful techniques you can use to enter and be part of an ongoing conversation without being rude.

A few days ago, a friend invited me to a mingle his company arranged.

I spoke to one girl there who was really fun and interesting.

If I had left the mingle at that point, I would have described her as socially savvy.

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How to build internal confidence without external validation

One night a couple of years ago I was out with two friends.

A third dude, Shadi, joined up. I think he was friends with one of my friends.

We went to buy a something to eat from the local kiosk.

Anyway, Shadi wasn’t that hungry it seemed… After he had eaten half his hot dog, he smeared it all over the table attached to the kiosk. Then he looked at us as if he thought we would laugh with him. Because it’s so fun to make the kiosk attendant clean up after you (not).

At first, I was shocked he would behave like that. Then I got pissed off.

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How I start conversations with acquaintances and strangers

Do you ever think “Should I start talking to this person or not?”

Last weekend, we had amazing weather. I took the opportunity to go down to my allotment to do some gardening. Unsurprisingly, a lot of other cooperative members had the same thought. So it became more of a social gathering than anything else.

The thing is, most people in the cooperative barely know each other, if at all.

So this situation is ripe for awkward introductions if you’re feeling sociable.

But I actually enjoy socializing down there, because it’s not awkward when you get it right. It’s fun and a little bit exciting.

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