Do you ever know what you want to say, but you’re not sure how to say it?
I get questions about that almost every week, often in the form of the question “how should I say/write <insert thought here>?”
Have you ever asked yourself, or someone else, that question? I’m willing to bet you have.
And I’m also gonna bet that it happens most when you want to say something to someone you don’t know very well, right?
Maybe you’re texting with someone you find attractive and you want to tell them something, ask them something, or invite them to go out with you. Or maybe it’s someone you want to ask a favor of. Or network with.
But you have no idea which words to use in which order to convey your message in the best possible way.
In these situations, people often look for the correct way to say whatever they want to say.
They think that, surely, there must be some universal way of stringing words and sentences together that will always produce the best result, right?
And surely, someone like TJ who has spent his whole life studying communication must know what the formula for that is, right?
There is no universally correct way of saying anything. Way too many personal factors affect how our communication is understood and interpreted.
So, what should we do in these situations?
We should think about how we would communicate with this person if we already knew them well.
If the person you’re talking to is a romantic interest, think about how you’d communicate that same thing if you were already lovers.
If the other person is someone you want to be friends with, think about how you’d say that same thing to a friend.
If it’s someone you want an invitation to a job interview from, how would you ask them for it if they were already your colleague?
When we communicate with “strangers” in the same way that we communicate with our close ones, a couple of great things happen:
- The stranger will often feel more connected to us simply because our communication with them feels familiar rather than that of a stranger talking to a stranger.
- We will attract the kind of people into our life that it will be easy to communicate with – since the people we will attract are attracted because they are compatible with our natural style of communication.
From now on, whenever you don’t know how to say what you want to say to someone you don’t know well – think about how you’d say it to someone you do know well, and copy that.
It will save you a lot of worrying and overthinking. And it will begin to attract people with whom your communication style is a good match.
And if you want some more tips on how to communicate better and more confidently, you can always check out my “Secrets of confidence and communication” which has gotten 100 sign-ups in January alone!