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The Surprising Power of Social Outreach

Shrinking the physical distance

Technology helps us to still be very close to others socially, as long as we use it to shrink our distance from others.

Engage in more deep and intimate conversation, or connect through a more intimate medium that uses your voice rather than text.

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The Surprising Power of Social Outreach

The Surprising Power of Social Outreach

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-surprising-power-of-social-outreach/

blogs.scientificamerican.com

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Key Ideas

Barriers to reaching out

Even in times of isolation, you can do more good than you may think by reaching out to others. And before that, you have to get over the impulse to underestimate how positively others will respond to your action.

We fear how the other person will respond. We think, Will this be awkward? Will they want to talk to me? But these concerns are exaggerated and they build a misplaced psychological barrier to reaching out to others.

Shrinking the physical distance

Technology helps us to still be very close to others socially, as long as we use it to shrink our distance from others.

Engage in more deep and intimate conversation, or connect through a more intimate medium that uses your voice rather than text.

Underestimating the response of other people

Underestimating how others will respond to us reaching out does not end with more meaningful conversations; it extends to almost any action we perform to reach out and connect positively with others: expressing gratitude to another person, writing compliments, performing random acts of kindness, etc.

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Spreading connection

70% of our happiness comes from your relationships with other people. And the social distancing situation has left some with zero people around them. 
So reach out. Extended time without social contact is bad: Send a text, make that phone/video call, anything you want to let people know you care and are thinking about them.

Spreading help

Ask people if they need anything.  There are people out there in need of a little more than well wishes right now. And when people see others helping, they’re more likely to help. 

Also, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

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Trusting your instincts

Your first impressions are usually pretty accurate. But whether they are wrong or right, first impressions affect us in a big way and we are slow to change them.

You have to be willing to update them quite rapidly. 

Reading first impressions
  • Studies show that if someone seems extroverted, confident, religious or conscientious, they probably are.
  • We all pay more attention to pretty people, and so we tend to take the time to evaluate them.
  • If you want to know if someone is good at their job, watch them do it for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Funny people are smart: Effective humor production acts as an honest indicator of intelligence in humans.

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