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Why Popularity at Work Matters

Why Popularity at Work Matters

Why Popularity at Work Matters

    In high school, didn’t a part of you always wonder how the cool kids did it? Popularity remained an enigmatic aspect of human existence that ceased to be relevant once we threw our caps in the air…right?

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    There are scores of research studies on popularity in schools, and most have indicated that popular children are viewed as better students and make and maintain friendships more easily. In 2009, however, organizational psychologists Timothy Judge and B.A. Scott at the University of Florida demonstrated that popularity plays a significant role on success in the workplace. They defined popularity as being “accepted by one’s peers” and conceptualized it as a function of both an employee’s personality and the situational position within his group. As a result of studying two samples of employee populations, professors Judge and Scott reported that co-workers reliably agreed about who was popular on their team – and who wasn’t. Co-workers also felt that an employee’s popularity was associated with receiving more favorable treatment at work. Why? Judge and Scott suggest that popular employees are rewarding to interact with for both emotional and instrumental reasons. In addition to being “fun to be with,” popular individuals are thought to increase co-worker status by association and make it easier to get things done.

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    Meg Cabot just wrote a book for teens called How to Be Popular, but rest assured, I’m not going to make you read it. Instead, here are some painless tips for increasing your popularity on the office social circuit.

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    • Be interested in other people: Human beings love to talk about themselves and be listened to. By taking the time to learn about what a co-worker deems important and inquiring about those things, you’ll make her happy and encourage her to like you.
    • Shift attention away from yourself: Don’t chat on endlessly about what you and your boyfriend or girlfriend did over the weekend, and if a co-worker broaches a particular topic, don’t immediately turn the discussion to your own experiences. Instead of trying to be admired, be admiring.
    • Eradicate self-consciousness: People who lack confidence make others feel nervous and awkward. When conversing with co-workers, try to be natural and relaxed, without worrying about how you’re being perceived.
    • Organize team building activities: You don’t have to be your department’s cheerleader, but it’s nice to occasionally take charge of getting the group together for drinks or another fun activity after work or during the holidays. Most people like to be social, and the individual who takes responsibility for being the organizer usually gets popularity points.
    • Help whenever you can: Always be generous with your knowledge, expertise, and time without expecting anything in return. People like those who they can count on in times of stress and who are willing to pitch in without making a big production out of it.
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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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