The magic phrase that helps you make friends
My good friend once shared with me his secret formula for building rapport with people he’s just met: He tells them that he’s sleepy.
“I’m so sleepy. I could really use a nap right now…”
He said that, in almost every situation, the reply goes something like this: “Yeah, I’m really sleepy too…”
Ta-dah! Just like that, he’s magically established common ground with the other person.
The funny thing is, my friend confessed that he sometimes uses this relationship-building technique even when he’s not feeling sleepy!
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t get enough sleep. But when it’s time for bed, you’re just not that tired. And besides, there are so many other things you can do while you’re awake.
Sleep just seems so… boring.
At the same time, you realize that if you don’t go to bed on time, you’ll wake up feeling exhausted and grumpy.
To sleep or not to sleep—what a lifelong struggle!
Why sleep deprivation is selfish
But what if I told you that you’re being selfish every time you deprive yourself of sleep?
I know that might sound a little extreme, so allow me to explain.
One Wednesday night a few years ago, I stayed up a couple of hours later than usual. Not surprisingly, I woke up on Thursday morning feeling groggy.
Throughout that Thursday, I was less friendly, positive, kind, encouraging and considerate than normal. This is because I was consumed with thoughts about me, myself and I.
“I am so tired.”
“I really need to get some coffee.”
“When will I have a chance to take a nap?”
“How am I going to make it through the day?”
Even though it hadn’t been my intention at all, I’d become more self-centered, and hence had made other people’s days worse.
There was no denying it: My lack of sleep had affected others.
The consequences of sleeplessness are even more serious if you’re in a position of authority, because when your exhaustion causes you to become more impatient and irritable, you directly impact those under your charge.
Your sleep isn’t about you
In many ways, sleep is a mini-representation of life. Sleep isn’t just about us; it’s about others, too. Similarly, life isn’t mainly about us. It’s really about others.
There are literally billions of people on earth, and you’re just one of those billions. It often feels like everything revolves around you—your social life, your health, your education, your career, your family, your finances, your future, your life—but that’s simply not true.
A great life is one that’s focused on adding value to others, not yourself. Moreover, a great life shouldn’t be characterized by perpetual busyness or tiredness.
Getting sufficient sleep is something most of us struggle with—I know I still do—but it’s important to realize that we really do contribute to the happiness and well-being of others when we’re well-rested.
So let’s make a conscious effort to sleep more. We really will make the world a better place. 🙂