Across a Crowded Room
From First Impressions to Authentic Connections
Part I tells how to make a fantastic first impression by greeting people with gusto, remembering their names, describing your work in an interesting way, keeping a conversation going, listening actively, and gently moving from small talk to deeper things–in short, ways to be more present for other people. Making friends is easy, keeping them requires us to be authentic.
Part II is about authenticity–what it is and how to practice it in all your relationships. Gary describes authenticity’s spiritual dimension, which includes recognition of what it means to be a “self.” He shows the value of risk, gratitude, tolerance, and forgiveness in giving shape to the free and ever unfolding beings we all are.
Excerpt from Across a Crowded Room
In a perfect relationship, the need to forgive would never arise. Because no relationship is perfect, we make a conscious choice to release the perpetrator of an injustice from further judgment, to put aside our resentment and desire for retribution, and let healing begin. We neither annul nor sugarcoat the offense. Instead we recognize it as part of the ebb and flow in the life of any relationship and agree to move forward rather than dwelling on what cannot be undone. We acknowledge the reality of the injury but accept the contrition of the person who caused it as sincere and make room for another chance.
This kind of forgiveness is authentic because it takes account of the relativity of life, including the imperfection of all our relationships and moral judgments. It also acknowledges that all of us inflict injuries on others and, therefore, stand ourselves in need of pardon. Without forgiveness, love is doomed. Without love, few of us would find much to live for.
“Busy? You’ll love Gary Michael’s book because it doesn’t waste time on academic theories that have no use in the “real world.” You’ll learn fun and fascinating ways to connect with other people in professional and social settings, and how to get every introduction off to a good start so you can turn strangers into friends. Read it and reap!”
— Sam Horn, author of “Tongue Fu!” and “ConZentrate”
“Gary Michael shows how to make friends and keep them forever. Readers of this book will enjoy more confidence in opening relationships and joy in nurturing them.”
— John Haien, Professor of philosophy
“Anyone seeking to become more truly him or herself will benefit from Gary Michael’s discussion of authenticity. Through personal experience which he candidly relates, Dr. Michael has attained profound insight. He shares it with humor and lucidity.”
–Dr Judith Briles, author of “The Confidence Factor”
“The authenticity section was eye opening. So simple and so straight to the heart of the matter. And revelation like I have never seen in a first-person narrative — in characters in a novel, yes, but not from the author’s soul right onto the page. Very courageous. The chapter on intimacy showed me a clear path, in a simple way, to the realization of what I’ve always sought in a relationship.”
—Eileen Charles Hyatt, Professional Mediator, Facilitator, and Conflict Resolution Coach