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I need to be more extrovert and charming for the sake of my career. I get tips like: "Don't over analyze everything", but since I am a blunt person, if I don't stop myself from being just me, something like that would happen:



How do I avoid hurting people's pride and feelings without thinking too much?

Also. How I could deal with the tedious proccess of knowing someone? How can a small talk become interesting and deep?
 

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Small talk, while tiresome, is actually pretty easy to master when you realize that the other person isn't looking for anything deep either. The idea is to keep it light and short. Think of it as social lubricant - it's just the cost of doing business. By engaging in small talk you're effectively saying, "You matter to me." It takes very little effort yet yields positive results. I don't see any reason not to do it at work.

As as for avoiding hurt feelings, I borrow some tips from Dale Carnegie. Everyone has something to teach me, so I try to focus on that. And I try to avoid being critical people and their ideas. It raises their defenses and closes their minds to anything else I may say. Working with others isn't just about solving the short term problem. It's about fostering relationships that may yield fruit in the future.

Case in point, there's a woman at work who is rather abrupt and terse. I've worked with her in the past, and we've had some, uh, spirited disagreements. But I realized that she wasn't being combative because she didn't like me or my ideas. She was trying to do right by the company, and I respected that. So I accepted her sometimes abrasive attitude even though I didn't like it. It turns out that she accepted an upper level management position in my group recently. So we'll be working together again. I could have been an ass and pushed my views on her. But then I'd be fighting an uphill battle now. Instead, I have an ally because I tried to see things from her perspective and accepted her motivations even if I didn't like her delivery. You never know when the person whose idea you're shitting on right now will be the person whose help you need in the future.
 

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I need to be more extrovert and charming for the sake of my career. I get tips like: "Don't over analyze everything", but since I am a blunt person, if I don't stop myself from being just me, something like that would happen:



How do I avoid hurting people's pride and feelings without thinking too much?

Also. How I could deal with the tedious proccess of knowing someone? How can a small talk become interesting and deep?
Thinking is great, though maybe since some people have trouble keeping up with your brain, maybe you could "abridge" your explanations for them so they can understand more easily; I'll bet they just feel overwhelmed by the logical process you use and turn it around like it's something you need to "correct".

The small talk might still be annoying, though if we expect a little and let it roll off our shoulders, it will be less harmful. Maybe small talk can be substituted with actual conversation, in some cases. If you have to make small talk with ten people and half of those have something you could really talk about, then that is half the amount of small talk (that sounded smarter in my head). I find I act a lot more out-going on topics I know and like, so maybe common ground is a good thing to shoot for. Even if that doesn't work and you have little in common, the extroverted world will at least appreciate you for trying.
 

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How do I avoid hurting people's pride and feelings without thinking too much?
i find the most useful strategy is to let the words mostly wash over me and listen/respond to the wavelength instead. people often talk metaphorically although they don't always know that they're doing it. so it really irritates them when you respond literally because it interferes with their real internal story. whereas if you do a lot of reflective listening they tend to respond a lot better to that. i honestly don't have the energy or interest to participate as much as they do, so i just kind of let people talk, a lot of the time. so long as my expression and body language aren't expressing anything hostile, that's often good enough for a lot of people.

second thing is: turn off most of your own expectations, or at least get an idea straight in your head about what they are. if you're doing this for long-term strategic reasons such as your career, then that itself is what you're 'getting' from it. don't expect/demand that they also give you in-the-minute entertainment or involvement in the style of your real social interactions because that'll probably turn you cranky about the project pretty quickly. and then you'll have a 'mixed messages' legacy to deal with as well.

there's nothing wrong with being a 'quiet' person, in the big scheme of things. what's not cool with most people is being a snark-artist or a consistent negativist.
 
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How do I avoid hurting people's pride and feelings without thinking too much?

Also. How I could deal with the tedious proccess of knowing someone? How can a small talk become interesting and deep?
A good approach is to become a good listener. This is easier than being a great conversationalist, because you let the other person do most of the work. Since most people love to talk about themselves, they will appreciate this. A quick how to:

1. Ask an innocuous question about how they are doing. Some good ones:
How's it going?
How's the family?
Did you have a good weekend?
I wonder what's on the work schedule today? (Or whatever would be appropriate for your workplace)

2. Pay attention to their response. Really listen to what they have to say. If they just say fine, and move on, that means they don't want to talk right now. (But you still get points for being friendly! Its a win win for you!) You can get on with your day. If they give a little more information, that means they're ready for a short chat. Proceed to 3.

3. If they ask you a similar question, (for example: "My weekend was great, how was yours?") follow their lead. Keep your answer about the length theirs was. Make it positive or at least neutral. Move on to 4. If they don't ask a question, go directly to 4.

4. Follow up. This is key to being a good listener, and can turn small talk into real conversation. You take their original response and pursue it, always in a positive way. It shows that you are interested in them, which pretty much everyone appreciates. So, if you originally asked "How was lunch?" and they said something like "Good, I got a burger," ask them about that. Still something innocuous and not too intrusive, like "I love burgers. Where do you go to get a good burger?" If they said their weekend was really busy, say something like "I hope you got time to do something fun."

5. Listen to their response. This is the hardest part because you probably don't actually care and your mind starts to wander. But if you really listen, they notice and think, hey, this is a friendly guy. Also, if you really listen, you are likely to remember what they said, and you can use this for the next step.

6. Follow up conversation: The next time you feel you should make small talk, remember the earlier conversation. You can mine it for material. "So, did you play soccer again this weekend?" "How's your mother-in-law doing? Is she feeling any better?"

7. After a while, you will get to know this person better, the conversations will get more interesting and you actually start to care about what they have to say. Even if they are the most boring person in the world, you can entertain yourself by analyzing the conversation and trying to figure out what personality type they are.
 
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