Silence your cell phone and put it out of sight. Stop gazing at the waiter behind your conversation partner’s back. Stop picking at your nails and peering at the hang nail on your thumb. Stop thinking back the the irksome fight you had with your sister last week. This is habit number 24: Give your conversation partner your full attention.
I mean that you absorb every word, that you listen carefully, and that you contribute to the conversation with interest. Nothing sends an unintended snub like answering your cell phone during a coffee date or falling into a day-dreamy doze when your gal pal is trying to describe her work woes to you. You already know that building up a store of social good will is fun and good for you, and actually paying attention to people is one of the fastest ways to accrue it. Be present with the people you’re talking to; don’t cast about madly for something more fun to think about or someone more engaging to talk to.
Do this and you’ll build trust with those you talk to, display dignity and self-assurance, and, to be plain, be respectful. Respect is in such short supply that you’ll rise above the ranks with this one.
Let’s move on to the scoring! How well did you do today? Give yourself 1 point for each task you accomplished and post your score in the comments. I’ll do the same. If you’re new, don’t start here! I’d like for you to hop back to Primer One; we’re building habits day-by-day, and I want you to really learn these concepts without wearing yourself out. It all starts when you apply chap stick.
1. Apply chap stick.
2. Drink a big glass of water.
3. Sit and stand with excellent posture.
4. Exercise for thirty minutes.
5. Clean your nails thoroughly.
6. Dress in clothes that fit you perfectly.
7. Apply lotion to your feet and hands at bedtime.
8. Wear one piece of pretty jewelry.
9. Wear a dab or a spritz of perfume.
10. Stretch gently for five minutes at bedtime.
11. Floss and thoroughly brush your teeth twice a day.
12. Smile at everyone.
13. Refuse to say anything bad about anyone, including yourself.
14. Remove profanity from your speech.
15. Go to bed in time to get eight hours of sleep.
16. Wear a signature piece.
17. Cook at least one meal with healthy ingredients.
18. Don’t criticize anyone.
19. Look your conversation partners in the eye.
20. Pronounce every syllable when you speak.
21. Read the headlines.
22. Make your bed.
23. Only wear shoes that are in excellent condition and that fit you well.
24. Give your conversation partner your full attention.
– Miss Fitzgerald