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7 Secrets of Being Popular

7 Secrets of Being Popular

Why are some people effortlessly popular and well liked? By contrast, other people, no matter how hard they try, never seem to be able to gain the same trust and respect. Even if we may not like to admit it, most people secretly crave the respect and admiration of other people. These are some factors which can lead to a natural popularity.

1. Don’t Try to Be Popular.

It is a mistake to try and become popular. When we seek to impress others and please them, it inevitably encourages us to offer false flattery and think about what they want us to do and say. When we behave like this our ego comes to the fore, and we hide our real self. This kind of behaviour may temporarily impress some people, but, in the long term it is not sustainable. We have to base friendship on being our natural self, and avoid extravagant attempts to rise in other people’s esteem.

2. Think of Others more than you think of your self.

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People appreciate those who are considerate of others. If you only talk about yourself and your achievements, people will merely start to try and avoid you. We naturally respect people who are willing to spend time listening to others. This means offering goodwill to everyone, not just a select few who have a high social standing.

3. Be Your self.

It is a strain pretending to be someone you are not. When we seek to please others expectations there is an insincerity in our thought and actions, – people can soon see through this. If we learn to be content with who we are, we allow our natural spontaneity to come to the fore, this is what will naturally attract other people.

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4. Have a big Heart.

Learn to be magnanimous in your dealings with other people, forget small mistakes, but appreciate the positive contributions that other people make. This is one of the most important factors in determining how people appreciate us. If we are always judging others with our critical mind, people will naturally feel slighted. If we go out of our way to appreciate the good qualities of others, then people will warm to our generous spirit.

5. Reduce Your Ego.

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Do you seek to impress people, through appearing to be wise, and to drop names and important achievements into the conversation? When you magnify your ego, you only increase your popularity with yourself. If you can work without demand for outer recognition and praise, people will warm to your natural humility. Let actions speak louder words; if you do good things, there is no need to act as your own self publicist – you’re not a politician standing for an election. (It is interesting that politicians are very rarely popular, despite the fact they spend most of their lives trying their hardest to court popularity)

6. Humour

To gain popularity we need to be self depreciating and not take ourselves too seriously. Humour is one of the most significant attributes that people appreciate in others. It is said humour is one of the most important things women look in a man when choosing a relationship. This does not mean we have to be a stand up comic with a long list of jokes; in fact we should be careful of boring people with a long monologue of tired jokes.

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7. Follow Your ideals quietly.

People look up to those who have a solid character with the attributes of honesty, kindness, strength and humility. But, at the same time these are ideals to be lived and not talked about. Quite often we see some people talking about how others should live a good life. Yet these proud moralists, may be better advised to concentrate on their own conduct before lecturing others. The secret of popularity here is to be honest and self giving without the necessity of correcting others. The most powerful way is to merely lead by example; if others follow, fine; if not that is fine as well.

Photo by Ranjit Swanson, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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