How To Win Friends (3 Proven Ways)We often want to help others.

It’s a great trait to have in a world that is rather selfish. Yet, it can be a terrible idea when you’re communicating with friends and clients. People rarely want your help.

What do they want instead?

Listen to the “hug, hear and help” method to change the way you see the world. And also the way the world sees you.

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Note: (This is an unedited transcript)

Would you like to read the story that I wrote in school?

Said my niece Marsha to me one day. We had picked her up from school and taken her to the ice cream powder. She was excited about the ice cream, but she was more interested in showing me something that she had written, a story. So she flipped open her Chromebook and I read through the story.

I thought she’d done an excellent job. There was drama, there was suspense. It was a great story, but of course there were certain things that she could fix.

As I started to tell all the things that she could tidy up, she made a tiny little face and said, “Shani, I just need you to read it. I don’t need you to comment on it.” This is what today’s podcast is about.

It’s about three concepts that we have to deal with every single day as we go through our work, but especially as we are dealing with people on and every day basis.

But at those three concepts, they are here, hug and help. And you may think, well, I already know how to do this stuff. But listen for a while, and I think it’ll make a little more sense as we go through it.


Part 1: Let’s start out with the first one, which is about hearing.

Just before last Christmas, I woke up with tremendous pain. It was 2am, I was hopping around, there was so much pain in my foot. And I didn’t know it at that point in time, but I had gout.

It took me a few days to figure out what the problem was. At first I thought I’d just hit my foot somewhere and it was swollen. But the pain continued to increase and we realized it was out.

I’ve never had a guard before but it is one of those problems that you never want to have. And depending on the severity of the attack, it could last for a day, two days.

But in my case it went out and for well over a month.

I couldn’t do anything but hop along from the bed to the sofa and then back to the bed. But it’s the side effects of the out, the other most problematic. And that is, you want to talk about it all the time.

Because the pain doesn’t quite go away. There are twinges and tweaks and also it’s some things and guess who was right in my line of fire. You guess right, it was my wife, Renuka.

She had to listen to all my grumbles and complaints. And it’s not like we didn’t know the fix. We knew that we had to fix the diet. We knew we had to take the medication. And I knew that she couldn’t help more than she was already helping.

But she had to hear what I had to say. And this is what people are looking for on an everyday basis. When they talk to you, when you say, “How are you.” And they tell you what’s going on in their lives.

They don’t want your help.

They just want you to hear them out. During somebody out is probably the hardest thing that most of us have to do. When someone talks about their holiday to Fiji or Vietnam, you want to tell your story is about Fiji or Vietnam, especially if you’ve been there.

And they don’t want to hear your story. They want you to hear them out completely. And you know that you’re hearing them out when you start to ask questions.

You ask questions about that trip they did, how did they go about it, why it was different. You’re peppering them with question after question after question.

And it’s not like an interrogation but a conversation, only you’re hearing them out. And there are times when people have some kind of difficulty.

For instance, I met a yoga teacher, not my yoga teacher, I don’t go for yoga, but she teaches yoga and I said how are you and she started to talk about her daughter who’s in Australia and who separated and they have dogs basically a long story.

All she wanted me to do was to hear her out to ask her more questions about the daughter. When you ask questions it shows that you’re interested and that’s what I should have done with my nieces assignment as well.

Instead of trying to help her which he didn’t ask for. I should have just asked us some questions.

How did she build a character?

How did she create suspense?

What were the parts of it that she liked the most?

Which parts did she think were a little weak?

That would have brought a torrent of answers and I would be hearing her out. So this is the first part of today’s podcast, but this takes us almost logically into the second part, which is a hug.


Part 2 – Hug

On a cool December’s day in 1990, I went to Mumbai airport.

In the reason I was there was because I was going to pick up my penpal and her name was Marsha. It’s still Marsha, but yeah. She had flown from South Dakota, which is in the United States to Mumbai, India.

Hagol was to have a vacation to explore Newlands and yes also to meet me. We used to write really long letters and some of them were 14 pages long. However, when we met, we didn’t get along.

Almost instantly there was a friction between us and its state as we went through Agra, Rajasthan, Delhi, all of the northern states in India. But we also had long train rides and we got to talking sometimes.

And in one of those conversations she said to me, “It was so strange when I landed at the airport. I expected a hug.”

And I can’t remember what I did, but I certainly didn’t give her a hug when she landed. And that’s not because I didn’t want to give her a hug. It’s because it wasn’t part of my culture.

It wasn’t part of my upbringing. Even for birthdays or celebrations when we greeted each other. We’d probably plan to kiss on either cheek, but nobody I knew of gave each other hugs.

And at least back then, it would have been odd between a man and a woman, especially someone you didn’t know that well. So this second section, which goes from here to hug, Well, the hug is not something that everybody does or even everybody wants.

Some people just shy away from a hug. But in general what they’re looking for is that acknowledgement. It could be a virtual hug. It could be just a fist bump.

It doesn’t matter as long as you’re acknowledging the person and hearing them out. In the case of the yoga teacher, she told me about her daughter and all the problems that the daughter was having.

And then she paused and I asked her, “Would you like a hug.”

And she smiled and said yes. And so now we have this permission to go ahead and to give that hug. But people are looking for that warmth to come from you.

They’ve already got your questions. They already know that you’ve been listening and they’re looking for that acknowledgement. And in a work environment, this is exactly the same.

If someone just made a presentation, you can ask them a whole bunch of questions. Be truly interested in what they’re doing, what they’ve done, how they’ve gone about it.

And then you praise them. And that’s your hug. I mean, there are times when you could actually give them a hug, but in many cases just the praise, that’s the acknowledgement. So in almost every situation you have either here, hug, or help.

And on that note, let’s move to the third one, which is help.


Part 3 – Help

This is the part that we seem to know so well.

One of the most well known stories in the Bible is the story of the Good Samaritan. Now Samaria was an ancient city. It was a region in the northern part of Ancient Israel situated between Galilee to the north and Judea to the south.

If you were to think of it in today’s terms, the region corresponds to the northern west bank in modern day Palestine.

And the reason why the Good Samaritan is such an interesting story is because Samaritans were considered ethnically distinct from the Jewish population in Judea and Galilee.

Even back in In 1722 BCE, there were ongoing tensions and resentment between the Samaritans and the Jews. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, two religious leaders pass by and they don’t help the injured man.

The story mentions a priest and a Levite, both of whom see the wounded man and then they choose not to assist him and then the Samaritan comes along, this person that’s despised by the wounded man who happens to be a Jew and he is helped by the Samaritan.

But why is this story so important.

There are times when you see something happening and you rush out to help, you don’t need an invitation to help somebody. But in 95 to 99% of the cases, you definitely need that invitation.

Let’s say an example here.

Let’s say you have a health problem. You have acidity. You’re getting hot burn. You mentioned this to the next 10 people that you meet. There is a likelihood that 10 out of 10 people will tell you what to do.

You didn’t ask for it. You didn’t ask for the help. You didn’t ask for the advice but they give you their help. And this is what we do on a regular basis. We try to be the good Samaritan because we want to help another person.

But do they need their help. Are they just asking you to hear them out in many of If not most cases, people don’t want your help.

I didn’t know this. I was pretty naive when I started out in marketing. I’d go to a restaurant and I tried to help the owner. I’d make suggestions about how they could improve their service, their food, all sorts of things.

And of course, they would smile, they would nod, they would not disagree, but did they need my help. The answer is, no. And someone needs you help.

They’re going to be in a situation where they can’t help themselves and you have to rush to help them. But at other times, they will ask for your help.

They will say can you help me.

They will pay for consulting. They will join a membership site and ask you questions. They will be on a Zoom call and ask for your help. But I didn’t know any better.

So at these restaurants, I’d start with giving some advice and Renuka would kick me under the table. You know, I would stop and look at her in surprise. But that’s the start of my education.

She was helping me without me asking for her help. But that was help that was needed. And in most cases, people don’t need your help. You don’t want to give the help. You want them to ask for help.

And this brings us to the end of the hear, hug, and help.

And there is one underlying factor that runs all of them. And that is to ask questions. When someone wants you to hear them out, they want you to ask questions.

I should have asked my niece questions about how she went about her assignment. When it comes to a hug, you have to ask a question again, is it appropriate to give a person a hug or will just a pattern the shoulder do.

And finally, you can ask someone if they need any help, you can also ask what type of help they would require. This is what we have to do, we have to ask questions all the time and listen to the answers. It’s only when we’re interested in other people are they into an interested in us.

And what’s the one thing that’s most important of all.

That one thing is hearing. In 95 to 99 percent of the time people just want you to hear them, just want you to listen to what they’re saying. That’s all they want. So do it. Just listen. Just like you’re listening to this right now.


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