Intruders

As people go about their daily lives, they exist within a personal bubble they create for themselves.

This bubble not only encompasses everything they know to be true in life, but also everything they feel they have to do. When you're driving down the street and see other cars on the road, the people in those cars have a destination they have to get to, and they are consumed with getting to that destination. When you see someone pushing around a cart in a grocery store, they are consumed with getting the items they need.

In short, everyone exists in their own personal bubble. And that bubble does not include you.

So if your goal is to approach someone, you're going to have to infiltrate that bubble they erect around themselves. This is as simple as using verbal exclamations that will grab someone's attention and admit you into their bubble.

I call these exclamations "Intruders," because when you use them, they allow you intrude upon these personal bubbles.

Four examples of intruders are:

4. Stop

We use these words every day, instinctually, when interacting with people. These four simple words allow us to easily enter people's personal bubbles and begin interacting with them.

But they all have their place when interacting with someone, and knowing which ones are most effective in certain situations is crucial to being able to approach anyone, anytime, anywhere you may be.

For instance, the Intruder "Hi."

"Hi" is good for almost any situation. It works best in low key atmospheres like dinner parties. But "Hi" is best used after eye contact with your target is established. Saying "Hi" before you've gotten eye contact has a good possibility of putting your target on guard.

By the same token, "Hi" is not a powerful Intruder. You can't call it out forcefully when you see someone walking ahead of you on the sidewalk that you want to meet. It comes off as socially awkward. "Hi" is also rather impersonal and even a bit formal.

Sometimes you can use the proper form of "Hi," that being "Hello," if the situation calls for it and you deliver it right.

The Intruder "Hey," is much more versatile.

"Hey" can be used in pretty much any situation you may find yourself in, and it does not require eye contact to Intrude on your target's personal bubble. The reason for this is that the word "Hi" imposes you on your target, whereas the word "Hey" engages your target and prompts them to interact with you.

"Hey" can be used in a low key way, such as "Hey there," or it can be used forcefully as a powerful Intruder, such as "HEY!" Also, "Hey" can be used interchangeably with "Hi," and is much less of a formal greeting.

"Yo" is the opposite of the formal "Hi" and the neutral "Hey." It is completely informal, and very much a familiar way of greeting people.

"Yo" is an Intruder that can be used forcefully to enter a personal bubble as well. "Yo" is also good when approaching a group. However, "Yo" is a very selfish intruder because it indicates that you may want something from your target (which you do, but this Intruder may telegraph that).

The final Intruder, "Stop," is probably the most powerful of the four I have listed for you.

"Stop" is a very forceful intruder, and instantly establishes a sort of authority for yourself. But it is quite context dependent. In other words, it is most effective when your target is engaging in some type of activity, such as walking, jogging, playing a game or sport, leaving a venue, etc. But you must be forceful with this Intruder, otherwise it won't work.

You may notice that I have left out the phrase "Excuse me," from the list of common Intruders.

This is because "Excuse me" is not an Intruder.

The phrase "Excuse me," rather than injecting yourself into your target's personal bubble, instead asks permission from your target to be included in their personal bubble. This gives your target the opportunity to reject your entrance into their reality, should they so desire.

The purpose of Intruders is to give your target no choice but to let you in, something which "Excuse me" does not do. Therefore, you should opt NOT to use this phrase when approaching someone.

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