Did you find it easy to be popular when you were younger?
Some of us did and others didn’t. But, as we get older, the prerequisites for being popular change! Some of us are celebrating, while others are unsure what to do next.
So let’s have a look at some behaviors that we need to let go of as we get older to create better connections with others.
I’m sure you can think of a time when you got stuck overthinking. What if…?
Constantly overthinking things can make you seem unsure and hesitant, which might not vibe well with others, who appreciate confidence and spontaneity.
Being too caught up in your thoughts can also make you seem less chill and approachable, making it harder to connect and become more popular.
It’s important to focus on the present rather than dwelling on every detail. I was a renowned overthinker, who was always worrying about the future.
What if this happens or what if that happens? What if I’ve said the wrong thing? What if I’ve annoyed that person? What if, what if, what if?
Luckily, there are many practices that I’ve found, such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness which have helped me to learn how to stay in the present.
The book ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, has risen to fame in recent years, teaching people how and why it is important to stay in the now and not overthink the future.
So forget the what-ifs, and start living in the now, and you’ll find that people enjoy your company much more.
I know when I was younger it was cool to be negative. People looked at me as if I was a weirdo because I was quite a positive person.
But now, thankfully, this has all changed. Positivity is now encouraged and embraced by the older generations.
I’ve got a friend who is constantly moaning about something or other, and it gets me down sometimes and makes me not want to hang out with him as often as other friends who are more positive.
Constant negativity can make it harder for others to enjoy your company and get along with you.
On the flip side, showing gratitude and positivity brings good energy to the table, making you more attractive and popular among friends who appreciate good vibes and a positive outlook on life.
Both negativity and positivity are contagious, which one would you rather catch?
3) Comparing yourself to others
How many times have you got to a party, looked around, and compared yourself to everyone else there?
“Her hair looks so much better than mine”, “Wow, her outfit is so cool, she looks so much better than me”, “He already owns his own company! I suck still working in a job I hate”, etc.
It’s natural, but not helpful for your self-esteem, or potential friendships.
Once we get older we realize that we are all on unique journeys. And that where we are in life right now is because of all the things that have happened to us in our past.
None of us are meant to be in the same place as each other at the same time, and those people who are, say, ahead of you can be mentors instead of competitors. If you see others in this way, you will instantly become more popular.
A good friend of mine has just completed her yoga teacher training and didn’t feel very confident in going out into the world to teach just yet. Instead of comparing herself to some of the other students, she asked them to help her.
And guess what?
Instead of continuing to feel useless, my friend became more confident, and she solidified a good friendship and found a mentor.
We hear people say “You do you”. And really, we should all just go with it, and be happy with who and where we are right now.
Have you ever made up something about yourself just because you thought other people would like you more or think you were cool?
We all do it, especially when we’re young. Thankfully, as we grow up, we don’t need to do this anymore, and actually, the roles reverse, because people would rather you be honest and authentic.
When I was in high school, I pretended that I had done so many things that I hadn’t because I thought that if I was honest I might get laughed at or teased.
As I grew older, I slowly realized that when I was accidentally honest about some weird thing I liked or had done (sometimes these things just slip out right?), people were either interested in what I was saying or it didn’t bother them at all.
Gone are the days when you get teased for liking pop music, Pokémon, stamp collecting, or chess!
So get out there, and let your true self shine!
Who doesn’t love a good gossip? But how many times has gossiping gotten you or someone else in trouble?
There are always those people you know you can’t talk to about certain things – because they are renowned gossips. This doesn’t earn them a spot at the popularity table.
Spreading gossip can quickly earn you a reputation as someone untrustworthy and drama-prone, which isn’t exactly the recipe for popularity.
People appreciate those who keep it real and focus on positive connections, so steering clear of gossip helps you build more authentic and meaningful relationships.
6) Being judgmental
How often have you judged someone and then been proved wrong about your judgments? I have so many times.
When I was younger, a friend and I would sit in the mall and just watch and judge people. But for what? It didn’t make us feel any better about ourselves.
It actually made me feel worse, especially on those days when I was unwell and had to drag myself out to get something in mismatched clothes and my hair all a mess, I would wonder then if others were judging me in the same way. Not great for my self-esteem.
Being overly judgmental can create distance between you and others because, let’s face it, nobody likes feeling constantly scrutinized.
Embracing an open-minded and accepting attitude helps you connect with a diverse range of people and fosters a more inclusive and popular social circle.
7) Lack of empathy
Have you heard the saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”?
Empathy is the capacity to understand and share the feelings or perspectives of another person, often involving the ability to feel and comprehend the emotions of others.
Even just being able to say, “That must have felt…” can help you to become more empathetic.
I had a friend who often dismissed others’ problems with a casual “just get over it” attitude, failing to recognize the emotional weight of their struggles.
This lack of empathy made him seem indifferent and unsupportive, causing friends to feel misunderstood and undervalued. People in our friendship group began to avoid inviting him out with us, and in time, he was barely a part of the group anymore.
Being unable to put yourself in someone else’s shoes can make you seem distant and disconnected.
Building popularity involves showing empathy and understanding because these qualities draw people closer and make them feel valued. I know that this is how I feel when my friends are empathetic, and it’s something I look for in a new friend. How about you?
Changing these behavior patterns will not only foster meaningful relationships but will also enhance your likability. Because people are naturally drawn to those who radiate positivity, authenticity, and understanding.
And don’t forget, it’s cool to be kind!