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by David Truman

All of us who know David well are impressed by his easy rapport with people from all walks of life. Here he explains how anyone can have fantastic rapport with people.

Embrace Yourself Fully

Many people think good rapport comes from studying other people. My rapport starts from understanding myself.

The usual approach amounts to trying to get to know them, and accept them -- even while you still do not know and accept yourself sufficiently. That can't work, because you can only truly and adequately appreciate in others the qualities you appreciate in yourself.

Whether we admit it or not, each of us has considerable understanding of our own neuroses, social mistakes, and the like. But ironically, we tend to be less willing to acknowledge and understand many essentially positive things we have in common with other people. For example, what about our own healthy needs for love, for understanding, for life? What about our sensitivity, passion, vulnerability, dependence, caring? Those things are the common ground of all positive human qualities. If you fear such things, you may find it nearly impossible to bridge to others. But as you happily embrace the positive parts of yourself you've tried to hide, you'll have a social experience more like mine. Again:

A true embrace of others results from recognizing, accepting, and loving in them things you've been willing to see, accept, and love in yourself.

Open Up to Them (and They'll Open Up to You)

Openness is a two-way street. That means,

A. If you want people to be open with you, you must be open with them. And

B. If you try to protect yourself by NOT sharing certain qualities, you will never bring out certain responses from others.

Much of the emotional depth that I enjoy in relating to people is due to their response to my openness. That's because I freely and honestly express my own feelings. It comes down to this:

What you are willing to share, you can receive from others.

Stand in Their Shoes

Any human being can honestly say, "I know how human beings feel, because I am a human being." Let's admit it: we're all specialists on just about every human feeling in the book, because we've had them all. And that gives each of us the perfect resource for building rapport: empathy.

It's sad, though, how many of us fail to apply what we know about our own human emotions to others. Why not? Insufficient love. I'm not talking about romantic love; rapport doesn't depend on that. I'm talking about caring. Sincerely caring about a person's feelings and well-being.

You see, I connect well with people not because I value rapport as a thing in itself, but because I care about them. I value the person. And friends, if you are willing to know yourself, accept yourself, and be yourself, you'll discover that you, too, care plenty!

So, for beautiful rapport, see and accept the beauty in yourself -- and openly be that beauty with others. Give your heart, and they will respond in kind.