You’d think that building relationships with people – either personal relationships or business relationships – would be easy for us. After all, as any anthropologist will tell you, humans are by nature social creatures. It’s natural for us to interact with others. It’s natural for us to build relationships and form social groups. So why is it that we sometimes struggle in our efforts to connect with the people around us? Sure, we can blame stress, circumstances, outside factors, karma – any number of things. But the truth is, a lot of our social challenges are often self-inflicted. There are a number of very controllable things that stand in the way of us better connecting with other people. Here are three common ones:

Lack of interest

Want to connect with other people? Be interested in other people. Genuinely interested. No-one wants to connect with people who are only interested in themselves.

Lack of effort

Building any relationship takes effort. Don’t sit at home waiting for the phone to ring – call someone. Don’t wait for your boss to tell you why he or she’s not happy – ask them. Don’t wait for your employees to threaten to resign before you talk to them – talk with them now. Don’t wonder what it is that your customers are looking for – find out.

Lack of humor

A lot of us take ourselves way too seriously. You don’t have to be a stand-up comedian to connect with people, but no-one likes to be around someone who’s always intense. If you’re not finding a reason to laugh out loud most days, you’re probably not a lot of fun to be around.

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