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Tim Ferriss was talking with professional volleyball player Gabby Reece on his podcast, and she mentioned a principle she tries to live by in her daily life: Be the one to go first.

What does she mean by this?

If Gabby passes someone as she is walking, she will be the person to say hello first. If she makes eye contact with someone, she will be the person to smile first. In Gabby’s experience, “going first” almost always works out in your favor.

Humans Are Reciprocal

I think this is a great principle, and I’m trying to implement it in my own life. The reality is most people are kind. Human beings are social animals. We need and desire connection with others. Human beings are also reciprocal. It’s how we are designed. Babies mimic their parents, and adults smile and respond when you say hello and reach out. It’s what we do.

Struggling with Relationships

I can’t tell you the number of people I meet who are struggling with dating, making friends, etc. I ask questions like:

“Are you reaching out to people on a daily basis?”

“Are you meeting 5 new people every week?”

“Have you joined a dating service?”

Usually the answer is no.

The Habit of Going First

Get in the habit of initiating contact, saying hello, smiling, and asking questions. Even if it’s just something small, like saying hi or asking “how are you doing today?” Get in the habit of reaching out and going first.

If you’re more introverted, or not used to connecting with strangers, this can feel incredibly uncomfortable. Move forward anyway. The more you reach out and initiate, the easier it will feel. Go first each day for a couple months, and it will feel like second nature.

You never know who you will meet, and what a connection might mean for your business or personal life. Be the one to go first.

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