Establishing Contact, Building Friendship and Creating Intimacy
About 75% of the world's population quivers at the prospect of striking up conversations with a stranger. The reason? Shyness.
Shyness can be attributed to cultural factors. Being raised in conservative environments or living in harsh communes makes people timid. Having critical friends and domineering colleagues can further aggravate shyness.
Shyness can also be genetic. There's a joke that goes:
The gene for shyness has been discovered. Scientists at MIT discovered it hiding behind a set of other genes.
Nevertheless, shyness poses a problem for those who want to persuade. This malady prevents persuasion by aborting communication.
Fortunately, techniques to combat shyness do exist. With constant practice, anyone can learn to "break the ice", establish rapport, and make new friends. Once you have won trust, you can persuade much more easily. Notice how salesmen always attempt friendship before selling.
The Principle of Liking states that we are more easily persuaded by those whom we like.
This chapter concentrates on teaching the essentials of striking up a conversation with perfect strangers, then making a friend out of them. It provides formulas necessary to minimize, then eliminate entirely, shyness.
Remember, to persuade someone, make him your friend first.
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