You’ve probably heard it said before that it’s not so much about what you say, but how you say it.
This piece of advice recurred again to me this morning when I was at a low-key business seminar. After the presentation there was a networking period where I felt myself drop the ball a bit. I’ve been in this situation numerous times before with varying degrees of success depending on my level of confidence that day and whether I’m in the throes of mental illness.
Note to self: don’t overthink an interaction. Go with the first thing that comes into your head and say it, as it’s probably going to be what comes out most naturally; or at least, the longer I sit on it, the less natural it’s going to sound when it does come out (if ever). It’s merely a starting point that can develop into a more natural conversation, rather than a single instance that has to be perfect because everything is on the line.
Nothing is on the line. There’s just about nothing to lose. If conversation flows, perfect; if not, it was another opportunity to grow from (whether it be due to the practice gained or due to the self-reflection it causes afterwards like right now). Don’t let the tension grow, because the longer it grows the harder it is to break, and the more likely I am just to walk away from the situation rather than confront it head on.
Avoid the buildup. Just do it.