I like to notice not just people's words, but their delivery, body language, the associations they make between topics, and sometimes the words they leave out. Coz when you pay attention to these things, you can understand what people really care about. And when you understand that, you can be a really good sociopath. OR… you can respond with honesty, respect, and humanity, and your conversations will get awesomer. Real connections will follow...
In relating to people, my tool of choice is humor. It usually follows a simple formula: (1) Study current social surroundings (2) Figure out what people really want in that moment (3) Make an honest remark about (2). Like many Semites before me, I don the cloak of self-deprecating humor. And it works pretty well. In polite company, I will often be the guy that says the funny thing. One on one, I will be the guy that keeps a smile on your face :)
In conclusion, let’s cycle thru some other things I am not: (A) A bro (but I do a really good impression of one) . (B) An athlete (don’t worry, I still exercise avidly and love the outdoors) . (C) A hipster (I'm not gonna even touch that 'Favorites' section) . I’m still figuring out exactly how to describe myself, but if I'm sending you a message it probably means I’m more interested in you :)