Friday, April 17, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Talking with people you don’t know

By
From page A2 | May 14, 2014 |

When I’m asked to give a speech in a place I’ve never been, it’s always an interesting and growth-producing experience. It almost always starts with me getting on an airplane and sitting next to a complete stranger. Sometimes there is good conversation, cards are exchanged, and the flight seems shorter. Other times, there is only a little chitchat, and even more rarely, there’s no conversation at all, just a silent struggle over who gets the armrest.

Once I’ve landed and made my way to the hotel, there is usually a “meet-the-speaker” dinner. The one person I will know (but most likely have never actually met) is the person who hired me. So here I am in a room full of strangers all wondering to themselves, “Who is this guy and does he have anything worth saying?”

The truth is that I feel the same way. Although many would describe me as an extrovert, I am actually a shy one. In a roomful of people I don’t know and who expect me to be Dr. Personality, getting introduced, shaking hands, and making a little small talk can be a daunting task.

After I give my speech the next morning, it’s a whole different story. Then everyone knows me, and many will have questions and comments, which makes having a conversation so much easier. But before that happens, I have to find ways to talk with these folks, making them feel at ease and perhaps even interested in what I have to say.

In situations like this, it helps to have good interviewing skills. Asking the right questions is a great way to help people open up and feel good about meeting you. When you ask people about themselves, they are usually more than willing to share. Most people appreciate it when you show an interest in their lives.

Another way to garner a good introduction and a little conversation with a stranger is to tell a story. Good storytelling is a powerful way to connect with others. The other person gets to respond to the story you’ve told or perhaps to offer his or her own story in response. Before you know it, someone has to leave, but you’ve had a good conversation and connected with a new person.

Talking with people you don’t know isn’t that hard. You don’t have to be a great conversationalist. You just have to be willing to risk rejection, hold out your hand, and say, “Great to meet you. Have you ever noticed . . . ?” and then tell the other person your best story or something you’ve recently discovered. The topic doesn’t matter; it’s your willingness to engage that will open the lines of communication. Of course, this also means giving the other person a chance to share his or her experiences.

Talking with people whom you don’t know is a skill that most anyone can develop. You can practice with people you already know and then see how it goes at your next networking event, meeting, or party. Just remember that most people enjoy talking about the good parts of their lives, so keep it positive.

Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.” Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith, or email him at [email protected]

Barton Goldsmith

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Show features 3 men, 21 guitar strings, Bach

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Scores attend workshop on Fairfield Train Station

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 20 Comments | Gallery

Director brings light, humor to ‘Picnic’

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
State moves to install barrier on Delta channel

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Young inventors test catapult-making skills

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Military brats made memories

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
 
Women in Action to host bunco bash

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Il Fiorello all-in for chocolate favorites

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B3

 
Kroc Center hosts 1st science fair

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Judge provides update on status of Solano courts

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4 | Gallery

County to host warehouse sale of surplus items

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Total Home, Garden and Outdoors Show starts

By Ian Thompson | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
Weather for Friday, April 17, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

Fairfield police log: April 15, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 15, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Office worker arrested for posing as dentist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Standardized tests to be taken on computers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

National Guardsmen charged with selling arms

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Drought is apparent cause for death of hundreds of elk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Auction house cancels internment camp art auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

WikiLeaks creates online archive of hacked Sony documents

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
 
Homeland chief: Gyrocopter came in ‘under the radar’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Amid chaos, Al-Qaida consolidates hold of Yemen province

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Thousands flee as IS group advances on Iraq’s Ramadi

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Putin confident on economy, offers to mend ties with West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Coast Guard makes seizure of 14 tons of cocaine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Living

Today in history: Friday, April 17, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 17, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 17, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My son’s new girlfriend is insisting we sever ties with his former flame

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview April 17-23, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
New ‘Star Wars’ teaser, cast information revealed at event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Kim Richards of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO with comedy ‘Divorce’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment Calendar: April 17, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Ari Millen multiplies as male clones on ‘Orphan Black’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Prep girls soccer: Breeden lifts Vanden to 1-1 tie with Benicia

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
Prep softball: Vikings sail to 12-1 win over Falcons

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

Rodriguez earns 9-6 badminton win over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
More changes likely for Kings after another losing season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Warriors? Cavs? Spurs again? No clear NBA Finals favorite

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Phelps wins 100 butterfly at 1st meet in 8 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

JC baseball: Falcons lose battle for first to Mariners

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
Middle School soccer: Green Valley boys, girls sweep PSA

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

Prep swimming: Indians swim well, get swept by Wildcats

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
Prep boys golf: Mustangs fall to Crushers in MEL play

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
NBA players to be tested for HGH starting next season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

NFL reinstates Adrian Peterson from suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Reports: Top prospect Kris Bryant headed to the Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Spieth struggles in 1st round after Masters win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
NBA sets attendance record with nearly 22 million fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Jewell Loyd taken first in WNBA draft by Seattle

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Giants rallies fall short in 7-6 loss to Dbacks in 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Coroner: Ex-NFL running back’s cellmate death ruled homicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Thief steals sneakers from Boston Marathon bombing survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Friday, April 17, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, April 17, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
NFL reinstates Adrian Peterson from suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Woman who accused Winston of rape files lawsuit against him

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

 
Scion youth looks to sedan, hatchback to revive sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Obama signs overhaul of how Medicare pays doctors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US home construction off to weak March start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Apple digs in on green with China solar, US forest projects

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

VW recalls Chrysler-made minivans to fix ignition switches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Financial incentives OK’d for workplace wellness programs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Yahoo chooses to stay with Microsoft in updated search deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Nissan expands air bag recall after Louisiana injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Richard F. Coleman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Reginald M. Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9