As a teen, it seems like the most important thing is being popular. All the popular kids at school, the "in-crowd" seem to have it all: money, clothes, good grades, good friends, flashy cars. Everyone wants to be friends with the popular kids! Here's the good news: You, yes you, can be popular, too! It isn't about money or social upbringing. It's all about one very crucial characteristic- People skills! Here are 7 ways to develop your people skills and start being the popular kid!
1. Be Friendly
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Popular people are on friendly terms with pretty much everyone--not only their peers, but also the teachers, the supervisors, the grocery store clerk, the janitor, the parents, the kids, and generally anyone who's even the tiniest bit nice. They're on good enough terms that they can hold a short, friendly conversation with anyone in the room. There's no reason you can't do that too! Talk to anyone and everyone who crosses your path. Keep it casual, stick with small talk and be polite. No one likes a prying person.
2. Be Willing to Step out of Your Comfort Zone
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If you're not popular, it's could be because you're not comfortable doing the things that popular people tend to do: cracking jokes, flirting around, and in general, engaging people. You might be a bit shy or quiet, but in order to get what you want, you need to change how you interact with people! At first, that might feel like you're being shallow or fake, but remember that being yourself is all about knowing what you truly want out of life. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be on good terms with most people! To be popular, you're going to need to take a few chances on a social level that normally feel uncomfortable to you. So be prepared to be bold, and watch the friends flock in!
3. Don't Try Too Hard
This may sound like a contradiction compared to the precious point, but there is a line between trying, and trying too hard. Surprisingly, many "popular" people don't put too much conscious effort into it. They simply are themselves. If you're desperate to be popular, it will be obvious and people will think you're a fake. It helps if you find a group of friends that shares your interests, whom you can easily be yourself around. Then as you become more and more accustomed to hanging out with people, you can branch out and start talking to different people. But be careful not to abandon your old friends!
4. Consider the Way You Dress
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Would you want to be seen hanging out with someone who wore clothes that were unkempt, out-of-style and wrinkled or dirty? Of course not! Your clothes don't have to be imported from new England, but they don't have to look like something you dug out of the garbage last week. Sweats are OK for running around the house, but if you leave your house, take some thought into how you look. This is especially important if you want people to take you seriously. Dress like yourself, but not the version of you that got out of bed 5 minutes ago!
5. Have Confidence in Yourself
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Everyone has flaws. Don't let that stop you! Even if you feel that you just aren't good enough or could use improvement, keep believing. And use that leverage that you COULD be better to work harder towards it. Just don't be insecure. Love yourself and believe in yourself. Don't sit in the corner. Get up, and get into the spotlight. You will shine beautifully, and others will notice!
6. Stop Thinking about Yourself
Of all the people skills that popular individuals have, the one that none of them can do without is empathy. How well do you relate to other people? If you're so caught up in how they perceive you that you don't consider how they feel, then you're being self-absorbed. Stop worrying so much about how you look, and how you sound, and start thinking about how other people are doing. That's the true key to being popular, being interested and caring about others. People want someone who cares about them. Ask them how work or school is going, how their family is doing and so on. Then relate. Talk to them about how you or someone you know had something similar happen to them, and how they dealt with it. Find common ground and bond together!
7. Be Helpful
Popular people don't just know everyone--they're on good terms with everyone. They establish those terms by helping people out, and they don't usually do it in big, noticeable ways. They do little things such as offering someone a pencil when they need it, or closing the neighbor's gate when it opens after a strong wind. They hold the door open and wait for the person behind them. But most often, they listen to people when they talk, and they offer to help somehow. If you truly care about people, you'll want things to work out for them. If there's nothing you can do to help then, at the very least, let them know that you're hoping the best for them!
With these tips you'll be well on your way to popularity and more friends! But remember, be yourself and don't become so absorbed in trying to get popular that you become shallow. The only thing you really need in order to be popular is a good set of people skills, and these tips have got you to a great head start!
Top Photo Credit: garrettgjohnson