Here’s the deal:
To truly make friends around the world, you have to get into their mind. While you may not even realize it, the actions you take by just being yourself are powerful tools that help you redirect their mind into reciprocating the same positive feelings.
Why does this matter?
Knowing psychological techniques are skills that are necessary for people who want an upper hand in making friends. Extroverts hone these skills with ease, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
These proven psychological techniques will certainly change you into a more socially acceptable person. Utilizing these techniques will better your mental health by being able to overcome the fears or doubts that fill your mind and heart and to grow your social behavior to enhance better communication with locals. While most people are born with these ‘gifts,’ others need to learn and develop them.
So, in today’s post, I’m going to share with you the top 7 best psychological techniques that will help you connect with anyone in the world.
1. Be Honest and Up Front About Who You Are
Throughout our lives in the social world, we are brought up to conform to what was believed to be ‘normal.’ As kids, we introduced ourselves as what we were. We talked about our interests. But as time goes on, we begin to alter our ‘face.’ We no longer talk about what truly makes us happy, but instead, we talk about what we think others can relate to.
We are fake.
Fortunately, this idea that we must conform to please the eyes of the audience doesn’t apply when traveling. Cultures are different and values are different. We can introduce our true selves without the fear that someone is going to react differently.
Introducing yourself as an honest and straightforward person will make your relationships with people so much more pure and authentic. Additionally, you may find someone who has the same interests as you, or maybe you guys have encountered a similar experience.
Don’t be afraid to show your true selves because locals will be doing the same.
2. Be Unique, Don’t Fall into the Trap of Conformity
This ties into the first technique. Try to avoid being the mundane tourist.
What constitutes an ordinary tourist?
Well, one of the main components that make you an uninteresting traveler is having the mindset of a Westerner. Westerners are blinded by the deceiving media that portrays countries as ‘unsafe’ and ‘dangerous.’ As a result, many foreigners stay within their own community of lost travelers instead of exploring what the city has to offer. The rest of the components fall into the category of its identical twin; the first component. We fear to explore the unknown, so we reside in the tourist areas as refuge. But, it’s something you need to overcome to see the true culture behind the city.
So, now that we have clarified what makes a mundane tourist, we can now delve into the things you can do to make yourself stand out.
How can I be ‘unique?’
First of all, you are already unique! But, to pop out of the crowd of flooding tourists, talk to the locals in a passionate manner. Avoid approaching locals to ask for directions. Avoid approaching locals to ask for recommendations. Instead, approach locals to ask questions that will ignite a meaningful conversation.
The best way to initiate this purposeful exchange is to introduce yourself in a personal way. When you introduce yourself, say what you love and why you love it. Be passionate about what you are talking about. Talk to them like you are excited and eager to share your interests to the world. One of the many win-win situations in introducing your interests to strangers is that if they don’t share the same interests as you then you can just walk away and move on, but if you find someone who shares the same interests as you then you have just made a new best friend!
3. Have Positive Thoughts
Before approaching someone, you immediately face intense levels of doubt and anxiousness. Suddenly, the question, “Should I go talk to them?” starts to influence your initial decision. Excuses arise, doubts arise, and confidence diminishes.
I’ve learned that thinking happy thoughts prior to your conversation with locals helps with putting aside the negative influences. However, it’s easier said than done. It takes a lot of mental power to ignore the feelings of doubt. It’s really hard. We are so used to letting excuses stray us from what we want to do. We put it off and save it for another time.
Here is a quick tip to truly let positive thoughts triumph over the opposing feelings:
- When in Doubt, Think Happy Thoughts – So, I kinda already said this, but it still holds true. If you start doubting yourself, start to think of happy thoughts. Just focus on the positive things. Think to yourself, “If I talk to this local then I’ll have a special story to bring home!” or “If I approach this local, they may become my next best friend!” Furthermore, if you catch yourself swaying towards the negative feelings of doubt, go out and do something. Walk through a shop, eat some food, just do something! Redirect your focus to something else. Whatever you do, DO NOT THINK ABOUT THE NEGATIVES.
4. Show Positive Body Language
Tricking your mind into believing you are confident in talking to new people is key to finding success in conversing with people abroad. Acting confident and exerting a positive energy will certainly help you overcome your fears and doubts. Why do you think bullies act tough and intimidating?
Act the way you want people to interpret your feelings.
Since you are trying to make friends, you should stand with confidence, have a genuine smile on your face, and speak with kindness and venerability. Without a doubt, people will be more likely to respond to you with the same amount of kindness and happiness.
5. Commit an Act of Kindness
Committing an act of kindness helps generate a whole fresh bunch of feelings. You feel good inside. You feel like you committed a good deed that made the world just a bit better. Furthermore, it makes you feel better and it’ll make you want to do it again.
Most importantly, an act of kindness is impactful.
Being impactful is the goal! You want to be unique, you want to be special, and you want to be remembered. This ties into technique number 2. These are the two reasons why an act of kindness can result in a new friend:
- If you commit an act of kindness, the other person will be impacted positively. You make them smile, and a smile is a key to starting a conversation with them.
- After the conversation with them, they leave and continue on with their day. But, they don’t forget you. They remember you. You don’t want to be a forgotten tourist. You want to be a remembered friend.
Now that we have clarified the positives, I’m going to share with you a few acts of kindness that you can commit at home or abroad.
- Give your seat up on public transportation.
- Pay for their coffee or meal.
- Compliment a stranger.
- Allow someone to go in front of you in line.
- Help someone carry their shopping goods.
- Connect with people who serve others. (ex. officers, security guards, the barista, waiter)
Here is a link to kindness.org. This is an organization based around helping people show acts of kindness around the world!
6. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Being able to extend your emotions to someone else’s is a skill that’ll help you connect with locals around the world. When conversing with a local, you want to be an engaged listener. Understand their point of view, don’t just say, “oh wow, yeah” after everything they say.
Furthermore, understanding their position helps place yourself in a more personal and intimate level. Being relatable or sympathizing, or just appreciating their stories is more than enough to become memorable and unique. Both parties will be engaged with one another, and that’s what you want.
7. Appreciate the Things You Have Now
Appreciate feeds the hunger you have for peace and happiness. Realizing that your life is good can help mentally. It reconnects your brain to only feel positive feelings. Once you feel good, you tend to channel your happiness through words and actions.
If you are happy, they are happy.
If you can make anyone feel happy, then there is a chance that you have made a new best friend. Appealing to emotions is powerful. It’s impactful. Emotions are universal, and if you can bring out emotions in people, you can connect with them. The truth is that if you can’t appreciate what you have now and be happy for what life is at the moment, then you can’t appreciate what other people in the world can offer to you.
While some of these techniques can’t be learned, they can certainly be developed. As you develop these skills, you will find yourself becoming a more favorable person who is supportive and encouraging to the many new friends you will meet in the future, local or abroad.
Most importantly, you will increase your ‘friend’s list’ around the globe.
P.S. I have used these techniques during my adventures, so yes, they are proven! 😉