Blog entry by Alan Chapman
Increasing our openness improves everything
Paradoxically this is true. Most people imagine and practise the opposite. Here's an small easy experiment to try, to prove this for yourself - that being open, vulnerable, transparent, and giving and taking a risk, etc., produces good results: The next time you walk down a street, smile at people - complete strangers - and say hello or good morning/afternoon. If you are walking in the same direction as someone else (and so have time to say more), actually say a bit more. Engage the other person in conversation. You will be amazed at the effect. Of course some people are too preoccupied or unhappy to respond, but very many other people will respond positively - they will be open and friendly because you have been open and friendly. Very often you will find that a conversation of considerable depth arises very quickly, with a complete stranger, because you have been open and vulnerable and positive and happy towards them. This gives the other person the freedom and creates a space for them, and removes the risks, for them to be open and friendly and engaging with you. Try it.
The more you can expose about yourself - the more you take risks with your own transparency and vulnerability, then the more you will receive from others in return.
This is an aspect of trust.
Smiling and saying hello to strangers is a small example of the power of vulnerability and related ways of behaving, which include:
- Unconditional positivity towards others
- Initiating discussion
- Being interested in other people
- Listening to others
- Asking questions of others, rather than making pronouncements or giving your own views/opinions
- and lots more..