I recently wrote about how the human touch was so vital in networking.
On a related theme, a while ago I was interviewed for a magazine article about how to be popular. Here are my tips on how to do just that:-
1) What does it take to be popular?
Anyone can become popular and make friends easily – one does not have to be especially gifted in anyway e.g. brainy or good-looking.
Think about why some people you know are popular – you will soon work out what makes them this way.
Popular people are maybe always cheerful and fun. Or maybe they always know how to avoid offending people. Maybe they just make people feel good when they are around. These qualities almost guarantee that you will be popular.
Conversely, people don’t like to be around people who are always complaining, sad, critical, negative, talking about themselves, or around people who don’t have much control of themselves.
Popular people are generally friendly – so to be popular, be friendly! Even people you don’t know will usually talk to you if you appear friendly.
But you also need to show genuine interest in them if there is to be any long-term friendship.
2) Why do we all want to be popular?
We all have an inherent need to be liked and accepted. Appreciation by others is said by some to be an even higher need than to be loved.
3) Why is being able to laugh at yourself a good way of becoming popular?
People will know that you don’t take yourself seriously. It also shows a high level of self-esteem as you are not concerned about been seen as inferior or a fool.
To learn how to laugh at yourself more, simply visualise what’s the worst thing that could happen from others laughing at you.
If you are perturbed by those around you, then imagine them all being naked and laugh at their bodies!
4) Why does never “bitching” or gossiping about others make you popular?
Well, for a start, it shows you have integrity. People will always know where they stand with you.
If you find yourself in a situation where everyone is backstabbing someone, then hold back and do not get involved. Say something like – “well it takes all sorts” or “maybe under the same circumstances, some of us would be behaving just like them”
Be neutral and non-committal.
If the bitching continues, change the topic or just withdraw from the group and do your own thing until the topic is changed. Those around you with enough awareness of what is going on will thereafter see you as someone trustworthy, reliable and with integrity.
Anytime you have the urge to “bitch” about someone, just imagine that the person in question is actually able to listen to you! You might even be able to then switch and say positive things about him / her.
Actually, subconsciously the person being discussed picks up what is going on anyway – so always have positive thoughts about everyone – and watch your popularity stakes go up!
5) Why does separating yourself from the pack make your popular? Eg daring to be different and say what you really think?
People respect you for being who you are. It shows you have your own mind and you are courageous enough to stand by your opinions and go against the tide.
To know when this is the right thing to do, follow your intuition and literally go with your gut feeling. Ask how you would feel if you did not do the “right” thing?
Part of this is to actually know yourself in the first place. If you have already developed enough self-awareness, you will always know how to behave in any given situation. Then stick by your beliefs and values and you will always know what for YOU is the right thing to do and you will not be concerned about upsetting anyone with your stance.
6) How do you know when it is a good time to ‘say it how it is’?
If you have gauged the pros and cons of a situation and it resonates with your own feelings then do say it how it is. Since you already have the self awareness about what your opinion is about something, then just be prepared to “defend” your position.
However be careful not to alienate anyone by being ferocious about your stance over something.
Also, sometimes you will know that though you are right about something, it is best to let go and let sleeping dogs lie.
Being righteous and scoring points may not be worth the loss of say a good friendship.
Ask your self – do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?