Interested or Interesting?
We have always been taught about being interested rather than interesting without us even realizing. This is so because we were never told to do so directly. It was an indirect learning. We were asked to be polite to people, well mannered in front of them, greet everybody with enthusiasm, not to treat a beggar differently from a person owning a Mercedes and as well as to make smile your permanent possession. I am quite sure that everybody heard these instructions at least once in their life.
Though, we never thought upon the importance of being interested rather than interesting generally in life and that is why people with time starts to forget these instruction and feed self consciousness, status comparison and ego in themselves, transforming themselves into bitterness wrapped in a beautiful packet. I would never want to admit but I was somewhat similar to those people, until this thought of mine was triggered by a book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.
Have you ever of any statement like “Dog make everybody jump to their feet and run.”? Of course not, as some people would sacrifice their food just to feed their dogs. I say, no single rule applies to everyone in all kind of situations. That is why anything related to behavior cannot be a fact.
The book started with a beautiful example of a dog, catching its owner’s attention not by giving money or anything, but by giving love. After reading just a segment of this book, “Do this and you will be welcome anywhere”, a question possessed my mind that what change I would have felt if had read the whole book? Just these few pages overwhelmed me with so much positive change that I planned to read the rest of the segments even having the busiest routine. I learned the true power of a smile and soft gestures and the successful stories of world renowned people really moved me. Every story taught me a new lesson.
The reason of success of Howard Thurston, one of the wanted magicians was his love, honesty and sincerity towards people who came to watch his show. More than 60 million people have paid to watch his tricks and due to that he made $2million profit. He realized that it was due to these people, he was at this position of honor. Unlike other magicians, he considered them precious bodies that loved him and were ready to make him fortunate. His extreme love and lack of ego towards people of every class changed his future.
Another story that casted quite an impact on my mind was of Edward M. Sykes, Jr., of Chatham, New Jersey. He was merely a salesman who considered everyone important and worthy to be greeted warmly, without any back mind intention of selling his products. It was buried in his nature, in his personality. He used to greet everybody in a drug store in Hingham with enthusiasm whenever he visited to sign a deal about the products he was promoting. He did not have any idea that seemingly unimportant people would save his respect and secure his deal worth quite an amount of money.
Alfred Adler, the famous Viennese psychologist, wrote a book entitled What Life Should Mean to You. In that book he says: “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”
Moreover, an editor of a lead magazine told a class of New York University “If the author doesn’t like people,” he said, “people won’t like his or her stories.” These stories cleared a lot of questions reading impact of love, enthusiasm, care, greet and smile on relationships and success. It’s the people, who contribute in other’s success, whether a doctor, engineer, artist or a musician.
After reading such a meaningful book, who don’t want to apply in real life? I have always heard, not everything written in book is applicable. And in order to confirm that I decided to apply this in real life. I met few people from my professional and personal circle and applied this formula of being interested rather than interesting. I focused on people, whom I never called or gave importance to and also included people who were really close to me in order to compare the responses. I asked different question that showed that I was really interested to get to know them. Some basic questions were
How are you?
What are you working on these days?
How is your family?
What did you do this past weekend? Any plans for next weekend?
What are your goals for this year?
How is the year going so far and what challenges are you facing these days? Etc
The result was somewhat similar to what I expected. The people I was closed with were astonished and quite happy to see such a behavior of me. They forgot all complaints they had for me and even asked for a good catch-up. They asked few questions regarding my routine and on hearing offered help in any case. On the other hand some people I rarely met or called showed a warm response as well but some of them became judgmental on some questions, as they did not expect me to how such enthusiasm.
On experiencing this, I learned that we should show manners, greet everybody with respect and love and show interest. But the degree of every emotion should vary with individual as not everybody perceive same thing in a same way. E.g. showing same amount of warm feeling to a girl and a guy will have different responses.