Networking Tip: Don’t Keep People At Arm’s Length

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Networking is all about connecting with people. How can you connect if you keep them at arm’s length? It’s impossible. But I can understand why you want to do it.

People Are Scary

Yes, people can terrify you. I feel that way many times. Too often I’ve had people hurt me so much that I want to keep them as far from me as I can. But that defeats the purpose of networking.

‘But they are so terrifying!’

I cannot tell you how many times I have met mean and nasty people while networking. Some were hostile in general while others began to target me specifically. One turned on me because she felt like I was correcting her. Next thing I knew I was called all sorts of names and reported to the group’s admin.

All I did was quote a standard publication on what dialogue was. I took time off from social media after that.

The way people act is a very good reason to keep them at arm’s length. But in networking, you have to go about this in a slightly different manner.

Letting Them Get Closer

Sadly, you have to let people get closer to you when you network. Again, I’m not one that wants to keep people close because, when I do, many hurt me. So I understand, but I’ve had to allow them closer than arm’s length during the networking.

Let me tell you how.

(Keep in mind that you don’t have to be best buddies with them. You want to keep your personal space, but you can interact with people online without having them invade that special area. Socialize with them regularly, but keep your personal life away from it all and don’t get too involved with anyone until you get to know them better.)

Keeping Boundaries

Boundaries are important. If you don’t have them, many people will get involved in areas of your life that make you uncomfortable or are too personal. The trick is to put up those boundaries right from the get-go. Otherwise, you’ll only find yourself on high alert.

You can start by not refraining from telling everyone everything about your life. They don’t need to know about your love life or your health issues. Some people don’t know how not to get nosy and tell everyone things they don’t need to know.

Also, if they want to help you with certain things, make sure it doesn’t cross those boundaries. Someone getting access to your website might be too personal. They’ll have access to something that should be held close to your chest.

You’ll be glad you kept up the boundaries while not letting people stay at arm’s length.

Written by

Writer for ten years, lover of education, and degrees in business, history, and English. Striving to become a Renassiance woman.

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