Five Ways to Be More Popular
Many people believe the route to success is to be interesting--to show off or act like someone else.
For example, many teenagers can't understand why they are unpopular. They learned as children that to get attention they should act up a little; to be cute or interesting. Yet later on as teens, they find acting interesting does not make them popular.
To handle their unpopularity, these teenagers might despise people or become loners. Or they get involved in smoking, drinking, shoplifting, drugs, sex, guns and so on.
Acting interesting can ruin your adult life as well. Show-off employees, self-centered managers and pompous business owners rarely succeed. Why not?
Because the secret to popularity is not to be interesting, but to be interested!
"When a person becomes terribly interesting he has lots of problems, believe me. That is the chasm which is crossed by all of your celebrities, anybody who is foolish enough to become famous. He crosses over from being interested in life to being interesting. And people who are interesting are really no longer interested in life. It's very baffling to some young fellow why he can't make some beautiful girl interested in him. Well, she is not interested, she is interesting." -- L. Ron Hubbard
If you are an actor, you must be interesting while you are acting. It's part of the job. Seminar speakers must be interesting to keep the attention of their audiences. The best comedians, models and magicians are interesting, even fascinating.
Yet in real life, if you try to be interesting and only do things to get attention and admiration, people will get tired of you. You only feel good if people approve of you. You are not very helpful.
When your attention is more on others than on yourself, you feel less stress. You act and respond with more intelligence. When you are interested, you are extroverted and effective.
In each example, who do you think is most popular?
1. While on a date, Chris talks about his expensive car, his karate trophies and all his money.
Jim, on the other hand, compliments his date and asks about her family, her hobbies and her interests.
2. At your cousin's wedding, Aunt Maggie tells everyone how her wedding had 500 guests, a live band and 100 doves.
Aunt Judy is thrilled to see her nieces and nephews and learns all about their school accomplishments.
3. Jill and Toni both want the office manager job at an office supply store. Jill tells the boss about how great she is with people, with computers and with employees.
Toni asks questions about the last office manager, the office's problems and what the boss needs and wants from the office manager.
4. You tell Jacob and Tom, "I just found out that my business is finally making a profit. I'm so relieved!"
Tom asks, "Wow! How the heck did you do it?"
Jacob says, "Did I tell you about my first business? It was profitable the first week and . . . "
Five Ways to Be More Popular
To get people to support you, to like you, to open up to you, you must be interested in them.
1. Practice shifting your attention from yourself onto other people. Force yourself to observe them and understand them. You might be surprised at what you see!
2. Discover things about people that interest you. "What is interesting about Joe? What else is interesting about Joe?" Make a new habit of automatically getting interested in each person you see.
3. If you catch yourself acting like someone else, showing off or topping people's stories, you are being interesting. If instead you get interested, you will feel more natural, more like yourself. The fact is, you are most effective when you are simply being yourself.
4. When people make you nervous or shy, get interested in them. Take your attention off of yourself and put it on to them. With practice, this will make you calm, even bold.
5. Focus on how you can help the person in front of you. Replace your tendency to act interesting with a purpose to help. Your effectiveness and popularity will soar!
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