I Left a Female Friend of Mine at a Nigerian Bar. Here’s What Happened.

Discover the power of appearing to be interested in other people

Michael Ndubuaku


Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash

I left a female friend of mine at a bar somewhere deep in Eastern Nigeria.

She knew only two words of Igbo, the local language, Ee, and Mba (yes and no).

Noticing that she was alone and obviously far from home, a drunken man approached and started speaking to her.

She responded occasionally with an Ee or Mba.

When I returned later, my friend was still in conversation with the drunk.

Only using the same two words.

The drunk found my friend to be a very interesting person, without her needing to say much. Simply because she listened to him.

Then it hit me.

In conversations with anyone, would it not be better to intentionally listen to what the other person has to say? As opposed to trying to put on a show of your brilliance.

That way, they’ll be interested in you without you saying a word.

To be interesting, be interested.

In April 2022, I delivered a presentation to a state government in Nigeria for a project I had proposed a few weeks back. It was short and straight to the point.

From the looks on the faces of the officials, during and after the pitch, I knew they were impressed. The questions and comments that followed served as confirmation.

The fact that they were hanging on to my every word was confusing to me because I scarcely said anything they couldn’t already see for themselves. I simply orated what was on the screen, paused, and gave them space to either ask questions or fill in the blanks themselves. As expected, they did more of the latter.

At one point, an official even began answering her colleague’s questions on my behalf. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The truth of the matter is that besides the fact that the presentation was well put together, I was unprepared. There were too many things on my schedule at similar times and because this presentation seemed like the easiest task on my…