Act like you have been there before

When I was a younger man, I was often starstruck.

I had the good fortune early in my career to meet people who, in their circle, were famous or at least respected. And because I was insecure as hell, I would try to show them how much I knew and that I wasn’t just a punk kid who had bluffed his way into the room. (Despite my being a punk kid who had often bluffed himself into the room.)

Maybe you have seen people like that – eager to show their worth, eager to show they belong, and so they hog the space and generally look desperate.

That was before I learned that relationships are more important than fame and that relationships take time to develop and nurture. I would try to tell the person everything I knew, and I would end up verbally vomiting on them.

One day somebody took me aside and told me what I was doing. Then they gave me a powerful piece of advice.

“If there is someone you know well, you don’t worry about telling them everything you ever want to tell them, because you will see them again. Your problem is that you are afraid you will never see this famous person again, so you have to tell them everything, and instead of looking wise, you just look desperate. So don’t tell them everything the first time you meet them. Act like you have been there before, and like you assume you will be coming back. This increases the odds that you actually will be.”