I’m sitting here having a typical lunch. Now, my typical lunch is a little different than most people’s typical lunch.

During my typical lunch, I talk to everybody – waiters, busboys, hostesses, everybody. I get to know each of them as they walk over to my table. I find out who they are and what they’re all about.

I connect with each of them in some way. The reason why I am able to do that, is because I say what’s on my mind.

For instance, I was sitting with my dog Daphne in the outdoor cafe area at a California Pizza Kitchen restaurant recently. I have sat in the outdoor cafe with Daphne about a thousand times before without any problem.

The manager comes over to my table and says that dogs aren’t allowed in the restaurant. I said “No problem, but how about on the other side where the public benches are located?” The manager said, “No, dogs aren’t allowed anywhere in the restaurant complex.”

I explained to the manager that my dog had been allowed in that outdoor area for the last five years, and that even the owner (whom I have met) has never said anything about it. She wouldn’t budge, and did not allow me to sit there with Daphne.

I guess she is somebody who is very stringent about the rules. She is all about the rules.

A lot of people will not break rules – ever. They believe that rules are set to be abided by no matter what.

In this situation at the restaurant, a lot of people would get frustrated dealing with that woman. I don’t get frustrated with her, and with people like that.

I basically dismiss people like that. They are not the kind of person I want to talk to again. They are uptight, and not someone who resonates with me.

What I did, though, was use that moment to bond with someone else at the restaurant. A waitress walked by and asked me where my dog went, and I said “Your uptight manager . . . (and told the story) . . . She must be awful to work for.” The waitress started laughing.

So what I did there was to say things that people are already thinking. I say what’s on my mind. When you say what’s on your mind, there is a good chance it’s on someone else’s mind as well.

I also comment on what people are doing. I pick up on the obvious, and I connect with people that way.

People love when someone says what they themselves were thinking. People like to talk about the things about which nobody else would talk.

Why don’t most people talk about these things? It’s because we monitor ourselves 24/7. We’re always thinking about what to say, instead of just reacting to someone.

If you would just react to people when they speak, you would never run out of things to say in a conversation. The conversation will always flow, and will be fun, different and interesting.

When I told the waitress how I thought the manager was uptight, the waitress was probably thinking “Oh my God, she IS so uptight!” I bonded with her just by saying that.

You can always bond with people over the obvious. You repel people by talking about the non-obvious.