Health & Wellness | How Not to Make Friends

“Successful friends, parents or lovers have that certain something that makes communication flow in difficult as well as in easy times. Rapport building is a skill that can be learned. It involves reading body language, hearing and using the other person’s language style preferences, and pacing in such a way that the interaction feels like a mutual dance. It proves invaluable in all interpersonal relationships in one’s professional and personal life.”

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[ig_col position=”a”] Well-logo-color-WEBWe all need to know how to make friends. Friends are important in our lives for many reasons. We are most influenced by people who really listen to us and who speak a language we understand. It also matters a great deal in business. For us as wellness professionals, even if we care very much for those who seek us out, if we can’t convey our caring, we will not serve long. How is it that some people seem to be so much better at communication than others?

This morning a salesperson called me. She wanted to sell us a service we already receive. The conversation started like this:

Salesperson: Hello, Larry. How are you today?

Me: I am well.

Note: I probably could have said, “I’m dying,” and the sales person would still have said:

Good. I am wondering if at your business you use ___ service?

Me: Yes.

Salesperson: I’m over here at such-n-such company (making it sound as if they were just across the street), and we’re putting together some facts and figures showing our low rates.

Me: We’re happy with our current service and are not interested in changing.

Salesperson: I understand you might be under contract at this time, but I’m wondering, if my supervisor came to your office at 10:00 on Wednesday, if you’d be kind enough to listen to what he has to say?

Me: No

And from here it devolved into even more verification that the person was not listening to me, making it increasingly difficult to be polite and extricate myself from the call.

I will remember that call and if, in a few months or a year, we decide we want to change service providers, this particular company will not be on the list of people we want to talk to. My “no” had become a “NO! NOT EVER!”

Whether this interaction was an indication of the salesperson’s personality or the kind of training the company offers, the result was that now I’m not interested in talking to anyone there. In contrast, when successful salespeople make a call, they build and maintain rapport with the potential buyer.

Successful friends, parents or lovers have that certain something that makes communication flow in difficult as well as in easy times. Rapport building is a skill that can be learned. It involves reading body language, hearing and using the other person’s language style preferences, and pacing in such a way that the interaction feels like a mutual dance. It proves invaluable in all interpersonal relationships in one’s professional and personal life.


By Larry Wells

[/ig_col][ig_col position=”b”][ig_list icon=”ok” colour=”light-gray” custom_colour=””]3 Easy Tips for Making Friends * Observe the rate of your friend’s speech. Use a similar rate when you respond. * Listen to understand and then reflect back in your own words. Ask if this is a correct understanding. * Discover if your friend likes to use auditory, visual or feeling words. Sprinkle your talk with words that reflect his/her preference.[/ig_list][/ig_col]

Larry Wells
About Larry Wells (4 Articles)
Larry R. Wells, M.Div, MSW is a partner in Future Life Now and Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He has also trained extensively in the Sounder Sleep System® approach to insomnia.
Contact: Website

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