Monthly Archives: July 2009

10 Ways to Win More Friends and Be More Popular

There is a world of people out there just waiting to get to know
you. That may seem implausible, but it is true. There are many
people who would like you and want to be your friend if they
only knew you.

And so, part of winning more friends and being popular is
getting out there and meeting more people. There are
several other ways to win more friends and be more popular
but let’s start right there.

1. Get out and meet new people

Of course, you can make friends with people you have met and
had a little to do with for years. But the chances are that
if you have known them a while and you still don’t count
them as friends, they aren’t the kinds of people with whom
you would want to strike up a friendship.

That means, to make more friends, you have to get out and
meet new people. Find a new interest or hobby and get out to
relevant gatherings so that you can meet like-minded people.

2. Strike up conversations

Talking with a stranger can be difficult, but until you have
had a conversation with them, you can’t know whether or not
you like them. You can’t make them your friend without
talking with them.

This is easier if you have met over some mutual interest,
like at a concert, sports meet or club. If you have met
someone this way, you already know that they share a mutual
interest with you so you can talk about that.

Even if you just make a comment about what you think on the
topic, the chances are that they will reply with a comment
of their own, and then you have started a conversation and
you’re on the way to becoming friends.

3. Be a good listener

Friendship is based upon communication. That is a two-way
street. So, as well as having to be able to start conversations
if you want to win more friends and be more popular, you
have to be able to listen to the answers that you get so you
can respond to them appropriately.

Conversations need to be two-way processes. In order to make
friends, you have to get to know people quite well, and you
can only really do that by not only talking to them, but by
listening to what they say to you.

In order to have the confidence to talk to people and to
have them ask you questions too, you have to:

4. Like yourself

Again, you may not find this easy, especially if you have
had a lot of negative feedback in your life, but you need to
do it. It sounds like a cliché, but if you want other people
to like you, you really do have to like yourself first.

If you like yourself, you will project yourself differently
and deal with people in quite a different way to how you
would if you didn’t like yourself. If you are negative or
down on yourself, you are more likely to evoke feelings of
pity rather than friendship.

So, learn to like yourself and make it easier for other
people to like you and be your friend. Start with finding
just one thing that you like about yourself. Make as much as
you can of this attribute and let it buoy up your confidence.

5. Know yourself

If you are truly going to like yourself and not compromise
on your happiness in order to say you have friends, you need
to know a few things about yourself. You need to be honest
with yourself about what your ideas, values and beliefs are.

Are some of these beliefs blocking you from making friends?
These could be all manner of things: offensive ideas, negative
self-beliefs which stop you talking to people etc.

On the other hand, are there ideas and beliefs which you
really hold dear and don’t want to change? These things
should be reserved in your personality even as you seek
friends. It would also be a good starting point to think of
finding potential friends who share these ideas, too.

6. Smile

If you smile at people, it helps to make them feel more
important and valued. People like and respect people who
value them, so you will appear much more positively in their
eyes if you smile at them.

Smiling makes it look like you are having fun, and
consequently, as if you would be fun to know. People will be
attracted to that and want to get to know you better. They
may even be intrigued and wonder what your secret of
happiness is!

7. Stay true to yourself

Part of liking yourself and being able to smile openly and
be receptive to new friends is in staying true to yourself.
You can’t really like yourself if you change yourself to fit
in with the ‘in’ crowd, doing things that you don’t agree
with. So don’t do it!

Having found what you like about yourself, keep it that way.
Of course you can adapt slightly. Friendships, like all
relationships, require adaptation to another person, but in
doing that, you shouldn’t lose sight of who you are.

You shouldn’t do things you don’t agree with, just to make
friends. They aren’t the right friends for you if you need to
change yourself that much for them to like you.

8. Be selective about your friends

More friends are not necessarily better than good friends. With
good friends, they will know the real you and like you for
who you are. They will share your interests and at least
some of your opinions.

Those are the people who will make you happy, so choose your
friends with care. Don’t be talked into doing things you
don’t want to do, just to have their approval.

9. Put yourself out for people

True friends don’t just make small talk. They help each
other. So, if you want to be more popular, you should be
there for the bad times as well as the good. If you have a
friend who needs you, you should be willing to help them.

It may be as simple as giving someone a heartfelt compliment.
That will make them feel good and make them want to be
friendly with you.

Of course, there is no need to compromise your standards or to
bankrupt yourself to help a friend. Sometimes all that is
necessary is for you to be there to listen to them as they
tell you their troubles. Sometimes they may call on you for
practical as well as emotional support. Good friends give
this support to each other.

10. Give friendship time to develop

Friendship isn’t born in one or two conversations. It
develops over time. Trying to force the issue of friendship
will actually push people further away from being your
friend.

Relax and trust that you are someone worthy of friendship.
Smile and appear as if you are open to friendship by talking
to people and listening to what they say to you. Look for
friends in the people who share your interests and stay true
to yourself. You will soon attract people to you and develop
friendships with them. Let it happen.

Now, get out there and win more friends and be more popular!

10 Ways To Be More Confident When Meeting New People

Meeting new people isn’t always that easy. You don’t know
what they will think of you and for most of us, that is a
worry. It’s important that people like us. For that reason
as much as anything else, we don’t always know what to say
when we meet new people.

It’s therefore understandable that you might lack confidence
when meeting new people.

Mainly, we lack confidence when meeting new people because
we want to impress them. Nobody likes to be rejected, and it
is the fear of rejection, even from a complete stranger,
which makes us nervous when meeting new people.

Once you understand what it is that is making you nervous
about meeting new people, you can overcome that nervousness.

Here are 10 tips which will help you to feel more confident
when meeting new people:

1. Take someone with you

In most situations, you don’t have to go alone when you have
to meet new people. You will probably feel much better about
meeting them if you have a friendly face beside you, because
you already know that your friend knows and likes you for
who you are, so it softens the potential blow of being
rejected by these new people.

With a friend by your side, it doesn’t matter what these new
people are like; you will still have at least some support.

2. Remember these new people you are meeting are only human!

Everyone has their faults. That includes the new people you
are meeting. Stop worrying that they are perfect people and
a standard up to which you should hold yourself. You don’t
necessarily have to live up to their standards and ideals at
all.

3. Don’t assume you are being judged

Why would you be? If you have met for some common interest
or cause, it is far more likely that these new people will
be concentrating more on that than on judging you,
particularly in a negative way. Just try to be yourself and
trust that this is good enough, because it really is!

4. Try to relax

Of course, relaxing is easier said than done when you are
feeling nervous about meeting new people. However, if you
aren’t relaxed, your brain will focus more on your panic
than on what you want to say.

Your brain will start to shut down rather than focus on what
you want so say, so you will actually create a worse
impression of yourself than if you were able to relax a bit,
so it does pay in meeting new people to try to calm yourself
down a little.

5. Prepare some things you want to say

Everyone has experienced the situation mentioned in the
previous point, where you become so nervous you are
tongue-tied and literally unable to speak, or at least
unable to think of anything to say. Prepare for this.

There are two kinds of scenarios you can prepare for here.

The first one is the easiest, where you know in advance that
you are going to be meeting new people for a specific
purpose. That may be a business meeting, arranging for some
work to be done on your house etc.

In this kind of scenario, you can quite easily write down
and rehearse the information you want to give them and the
things you want to ask.

Let’s think now about the types of meetings with new people
where there isn’t a specific purpose. These are usually
social gatherings.

You can prepare a list for these too, only this time it will
be a more generic list of light inoffensive topics to talk
about and also some questions to open a conversation with
and get people talking.

6. Keep that list with you

Remember that list of topics and questions you made? You
can take it with you for the meeting. In fact, if you are
going to a business meeting or setting up someone to do some
work for you they will expect you to make notes and bring
them with you as you talk.

That should take some pressure off you and ease your nerves.
You won’t have to worry about forgetting what you want to
say. You can always check your notes.

If you are in a social situation, you probably won’t want to
whip out your written list from your pocket to consult it,
but you won’t need to. For social situations, you will need
to prepare some generic topics and questions that will suit
a variety of situations.

7. Treat yourself to a new outfit

You will approach meeting any new people a lot more
confidently if you are happy with the way you look. It’s
surprising how good a new outfit will make you feel,
especially if it is one picked especially for the occasion
so it is really appropriate for it.

You don’t have to spend a million dollars just to feel a
million dollars. However, wearing clothes you know are in
good condition and which suit you and are appropriate to the
occasion, should really help to boost your confidence when
meeting new people.

8. Be true to yourself

Being yourself can be a little easier said than done,
admittedly, but it is important. If you are nervous about
meeting new people, often you will over-compensate by trying
to impress them. That can cause far more problems than it
solves.

In meeting new people, you should always stick to your own
moral code and the things you believe in. If people don’t
like you for who you really are then they aren’t good
friends for you and you don’t need them.

Trying to be someone that you’re not won’t feel so good in
the morning when you have done things you don’t want to do,
or when people find out you were only really faking it.

Faking never gets you anything but heartache and trouble,
but if you are acting in a genuine, natural way, and people
are getting on well with you, this will really boost your
confidence.

Even if people like a fake representation of you, it won’t
boost your confidence as you will never know if they like
the real you. There just is no sense in faking it.

9. Accept that some people won’t like you

You shouldn’t be scared of the fact that not everyone will
like you. You don’t like every other person in the world, do
you? There will no doubt be people whose morals and opinions
you disagree with. That doesn’t necessarily make them bad
people; they are just not your type of people.

You are free to dislike some people and that does them no
damage whatsoever. The same is true of people disliking you.
It doesn’t do you any harm, and you may well not like the
ways in which you would have to change yourself to get their
approval. It’s not worth it.

Liking yourself is far more important than having other
people like you, but the great thing is that if you like
yourself, you are more likely to have people like you.

10. Get out there and practice

Like most things, meeting new people gets easier with
practice. You should start the easy way, saying hello to the
person at the checkout, making small talk with the newspaper
boy, etc. You can try out these techniques on people where
it really doesn’t matter if you make a lasting positive
impression upon them.

This way you can sharpen your skills so that you are better
able to try them out when it really matters.

So there you have it, 10 ways to be more confident when
meeting new people. You can start in small ways, and really
build on that confident feeling so that you never worry
about meeting new people and talking to them again.

10 Ways To Be Much More Confident At Work

If you are confident at work, you will be happy to express
your ideas and opinions. You will know that you can do your
job and do it well. You will be able to deal with those both
above and below you in the work hierarchy in an efficient
and pleasant way to achieve what you want to achieve.

If you tackle your work confidently, feeling you can ask for
help where you need it, the chances are that you will do
your work better than if you lacked confidence, so sometimes
building your confidence at work is about letting yourself
open up about the things you don’t know how to do so well.

However, workplaces can be somewhat daunting, so it can be
difficult to be more confident at work. That is, of course,
unless you read this article. Below are 10 ways to be more
confident at work that anyone can practice.

1. Know what you need from other people

This comes into play in several aspects of being more
confident at work. First, no-one knows everything, so don’t
be afraid to ask for help. We will return to that point later.

Second, you can’t expect other people to give you what you
want from them. You need to be honest with yourself about
what you want people to do, and state that clearly. That
way, you can expect your co-workers to give it to you.

2. No-one knows everything

This is linked to point #1.

Remember that the people who gave you your job were
confident in your abilities or they would never have hired
you. Take the chance to regularly upgrade your skills and
you should be able to approach any tasks with ability and
confidence.

It isn’t a sign of weakness to admit that you don’t know
something. Far from it; it shows real strength that you take
the steps to plug the gaps in your knowledge rather than
ignoring them, or worse, denying them.

The more you learn, the more confident you can become. It
also shows respect for your co-workers that you would ask
them for information or their opinions.

That takes us on to the next point:

3. Foster good relationships with your co-workers

Part of having confidence is in knowing that people support
you and agree with you. If you know that your co-workers are
going to listen to you and respect your ideas, you can feel
a lot more confident at work.

If you want your co-workers to listen to you and respect
you, then you will need to listen to them and respect what
they say too. Building up good relationships in this way
makes any dealings with your co-workers easier so you can
approach them more confidently.

If you appear confident, the people who work with you will
in turn be more confident in your abilities.

4. Be clear about task demands

You can only approach a piece of work confidently if you
know what you have got to do. If you take the time and
effort to find out exactly what is required of you in any
particular task, you can approach it more confidently.

You can learn anything new that you need to learn; you can
delegate tasks to a co-worker who may be better at that
particular aspect of the work than you; that way, you can
facilitate teamwork much more confidently.

5. Communicate clearly and with authority

Your communication shows your confidence, and it also
illustrates how confidence can be a self-fulfilling
prophecy. If you can speak your mind confidently, and
clearly say what you mean, people will understand you much
more easily.

That usually means that they will act appropriately upon
what you tell them. That gives you affirmation and so your
confidence increases.

6. See questions as positive

If you are sure about what you want to say, and can
communicate clearly, you should be able to welcome questions
from your co-workers. You know what you’re doing so these
questions are no threat to you. Approached positively,
questions can really help you.

It isn’t our responsibility, other than to communicate
clearly, to check that everything you say has absolutely
been understood by everyone. Your co-workers share the
responsibility, so relax. If you encourage questions, they
will tell you if something isn’t clear.

It isn’t necessary to apportion blame if misunderstandings
arise. Without blaming anyone, if you encourage questions,
you will give people space to seek clarification and your
communication can be smooth once more, again reinforcing
your confidence.

7. Remember that other people may be nervous too

When you lack confidence at work, don’t think you’re alone
in that. Everyone has certain situations where they are
unsure of their abilities and don’t quite know what to do.

Once you stop seeing other people as a threat and realize
that they are exactly like you, the more confident you will
feel in dealing with them at work.

You could even admit to others around you that you are
nervous. Something like ‘I’m a bit nervous about this
meeting, are you?’ would nicely break the ice and you will
probably find that people not only share your nervousness,
but that some have some really useful advice to share too.

8. Smile!

Body language speaks volumes. Smiling makes you appear
confident and relaxed. Everyone knows that, but did you also
know that smiling can positively affect how you’re feeling
too? Try it, next time you are feeling nervous. Smile and
feel your mood lifts as you start to think happy thoughts.

9. Remember that it’s OK to make mistakes

You are more than the job that you do. Within your life, you
fulfil many roles and succeed at many things. Just because
you may have made an error with something at work does not
mean that you are a stupid, worthless person. It doesn’t
even mean that you shouldn’t be doing the job that you’re
doing.

Mistakes are not a refection of your personality. They just
mean that you are human. Very few mistakes can’t be undone.
Almost every time, you can put right any mistakes that you
make, pretty easily, even if you need some help, and no real
harm will be done.

10. Challenge yourself

You can really boost your confidence at work by taking on
special projects. If you have a choice about the projects
you tackle, pick something that you feel very strongly
about. That will give you chance to show your bosses, your
co-workers and yourself what you’re really capable of.

If you utilize these ten tips in your everyday working life,
you should soon feel that you can be more confident at work.
You will know what you are capable of and have rid yourself
of the fear of taking risks, because you know your bosses
and co-workers appreciate what you do and respect your
abilities.

You don’t need to be able to do everything; no-one can. But
with confidence you will happily bring in other people to
help you where you need to.

You will be better able to do your work and communicate with
others. Approaching your work with confidence will help your
work go well so you benefit from a self-fulfilling prophecy
and so your confidence at work increases.