How to Be Popular

Do you want to walk into your classes and have others give you a friendly greeting?  Do you want to know how to be really popular in the truest sense?  It’s important to know how to be popular and how to hang out with the “cool” girls or guys can be two very different things, and you can accomplish either or both of those goals!  Oftentimes, the “cool” kids that people think of as “popular” aren’t actually well-liked.  This article gives you 7 easy steps to help you be popular in the truest sense—meaning how to make friends and get people to like you.  Follow the steps below to learn how to make friends and how to make people like you:

  1. Remember the Most Important Rule of True Popularity—People are Mostly Interested in Themselves:   In any situation, if you have conversations that encourage other people to talk about themselves and you give them sincere (not fake!) compliments, you’ll become genuinely popular very quickly.  Always ask people about themselves, what they are doing or planning to do, and to tell you about things that interest them!  When they start talking….LISTEN!  Talk less and listen more, and everyone will love talking with you!
  2. Start with a Sincere Compliment:   One way to meet someone new or greet someone you already know in a friendly way is to think of one compliment you could sincerely give them.  Every person usually has some admirable qualities, and if you don’t really like that person you may have to work to find them or think of them.  But nobody is really all bad.  People love to hear nice and affirming things about themselves, so when you are meeting or greeting someone, start with a nice compliment—preferably one that gives the person a chance to talk about themselves!  Be specific with your compliment and the other person will know they can believe it is sincere.  Here are some examples—all after “Hi, how you doin’?”:

i.      That is the coolest outfit.  I saw something similar to it in Lucky Magazine.  Where did you find it?

ii.      I heard you won a writing award.  Congratulations!  How did you do that?

iii.      You played really well last night at the game.  That was pretty awesome.

iv.      I bet you are going to do great on our exam on Friday.  You always do so well in this class.  How did you get to be so good at….(biology, honors chem, Spanish, etc…..)

v.      See you got your hair cut…Looks great!

  1. Smile!  (Even If You Are Unsure Whether People Will Smile Back):   Almost everyone responds well to a friendly smile!  You might find it hard to smile at someone in a friendly way if you aren’t sure your smile will be returned.  Don’t worry about it.  Just do it…even if you are afraid people will think you are weird.  A lot of people become shy or uncertain if they don’t know if someone will like them.  Have you ever seen a popular, well-liked person who frowns, scowls, or who is cold and distant?  I bet not!  Someone can be cool and distant and be “cool,” or hang with the “popular kids,” but they are not likely to be genuinely well-liked.  Being “cool” and being “well-liked” are two different things…and you can have both genuine popularity (i.e. being well-liked) as well as being one of the “popular” kids (i.e. being part of the “cool” group), or either one you want!  Greeting anyone in a friendly way starts with a friendly smile, and it is just natural for people to like the kid who always finds something to smile about and who makes things light and fun.
  2. Look People In The Eye When You Talk With Them:  If you are feeling uncertain, it’s natural to look down or look away from someone when you speak with them.  That is why it is important to have good eye contact when you speak with people.  If you look people in the eye when you speak with them (not in a creepy, staring kind of way, but just maintaining good eye contact), then two things happen:  First, they will know you are confident!  Second, they will know that they are important to you.  Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was looking away the whole time?  You might have thought they were distracted, or that they were not interested in what you had to say.  That is the last thing you want people to think about you if you want to make friends.  A friend (or someone who you want to turn into a friend) needs to feel like when you are speaking with them, they are important to you.  That makes them feel good, and making others feel good is the whole key to being well-liked!
  3. Get Together With Others Outside of School:  It’s really important to get together with others outside of school.  That allows them to get to know you in a social setting.  It could be in sports or other school clubs, or it could just be getting together to go to a movie.  If you are a kid who works really hard in school, you might find it hard to find the time, but you can form study groups and even the most dedicated study geek needs to take a little time off to blow off steam with other real, live human beings.  Sports are a great way to make friends, because you get to practice together.  Step up and offer to hold the end-of-season party and some regular parties for your team, and you may find yourself team captain!  If you are a gamer, step away from the computer and interact with real people in live time!
  4. Give People a Chance:  If you are busy criticizing people, either by trashing them to others or just thinking badly about them to yourself, you won’t be really popular.  People naturally like people who like them, too.  So warm up to people and give ‘em a chance!

If you are interested in hanging out with the cool girls or cool guys, see the Great Advice Girl’s related articles on “How to Hang Out With the Popular Girls” or “How to Hang Out with the Popular Guys.”

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