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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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