The one and only way to win people’s heart is simple, make them feel special. From our parents to our bosses, spouses to our kids, what we most often get to hear about are things we didn’t do right. It’s a rare occasion when a compliment comes in. Perhaps, if we were showered with compliments, frequently, we would lose their value too. And the cherry on the cake is our negative self talk, while, others criticize us, we don’t spare ourselves either. Most of us, indulge in self bashing when we realize our faults. Amidst, all the negativity, when we come across someone who listens to us, praises our efforts, points out the good things we have stopped seeing about ourselves, we are immediately won over. These people are not very different from the inside, than the well-meaning critics in our lives they just have a different way of saying and going about things. Here is what we can learn from people, who have learnt the art to make others feel good around them:
1. Become a Good Listener
‘Hearing’ is one thing, and ‘listening’ is altogether another. When you listen to others, you ask questions, which, makes the other person feel you are actually interested in what they are saying. That you are not zoned out, not registering and just, nodding your heading. One thing people love, is talking about themselves and their problems. If you make them feel ‘heard’, you make them feel secure.
If you can recall details down the conversation or at a later time about what a person said and relate it with their current behavior, they will be impressed that you remembered. If you can recount people’s likes and dislikes, they usually don’t think it’s because you have a good memory, rather they see you as someone who cares, who listens. As most people are too self absorbed, so if I go to a restaurant with a fairly new friend/acquaintance, who orders my drink specifically without ice, as they probably made a mental note from the last time I mentioned I did not fancy ice normally, you can be sure that I’d appreciate and be grateful to them. It is a very small gesture but a very thoughtful one. And one which would certainly secure them a special place in my heart.
2. Be Genuine
People are very sensitive to picking on ‘feigned’ interest exceptions like the thick headed variety (such as Alan in ‘Hangover’) always exist though. But if you feign interest, because of some ulterior motive, most people will be quick to gauge and distance themselves. So it’s necessary to be altruistic in your intent, when listening to others. Genuineness becomes apparent, with your listening and retention. If you can demonstrate the patience and curiosity to stay quiet and let people talk, putting in a sympathetic comment when needed and always making time to listen to their issues, despite your busy schedule you will soon become their turn-to person. Most people will not have time for you, every time you reach out, to them. Even the best of your friends will not be available all the time, the rare people who do make an effort to and make up for times that they were not available, are the ones bound to pull at our heart strings.
Another way smart people usually deduce, whether someone is sincere or not, is by the fact, that sincere people will be honest. They will not keep praising you all the time, they will call you out, when they feel you are being unreasonable. However, they will do so subtly, which brings us to the next quality exhibited by such folks.
Whenever, you see a drawback or a fault, instead of directly reprimanding be tactful with your words. You want to get your message across without hurting any feelings. You can maybe, start by doing the particular thing in a correct manner, in front of them. If they are smart, they will pick on it and without getting offended rectify their mistake. Or you can share your own experience that you used to do a certain thing incorrectly too, till you found the right way to do it. Such indirect attention, avoids defensive, responses. People are more susceptible to learning, when they are shown acceptance of their mistakes and made to feel comfortable. On the contrary, if you are to hold it against them, with a fatal tone to your voice and hang it like a death sentence, they are bound to retaliate, the message is lost, neither party gains.
If you master, this one art of being honest and upfront about the other person’s shortfall, without provoking a negative response, rather one that makes them correct themselves, then my friend you have found the secret ingredient to making just about anyone love you.
Be more approving instead of critical. Since almost everyone around a person, including, their own selves are, mostly dwelling on their setbacks, be the different one among them. Call their attention to all the good things they have to offer and encourage them to work on their strong points, they will feel motivated and thankful to you, for pointing out, what they themselves had become blind to. Being generous with your praise, might not take much out of you but it could lift someone, who had totally lost self confidence. Never under estimate the power of kind words. Even, if you feel somebody gets it a lot, or they already know that they are good, don’t let that stop you from appreciating them. For no matter, how well rounded we may seem, deep down we are all hungry for gentle, loving words. So never shy away from uttering them, no matter who the person, in front of you is. Appreciate others and they will appreciate you.
5. Stay Away From Touchy Topics
If you know someone is having a tough time regarding some particular thing in their life, never go there, unless they voluntarily open up about it to you. For instance, a person struggling to find a job, or someone fighting a terminal illness, don’t bring those topics up. As they may be uncomfortable talking about them. Because if you broach topics that put another person, ill at ease they will want to avoid you like the plague.
In case, they bring it up themselves, initially try to be dismissive, nevertheless, if you feel they really want to talk about it, tread with caution. Let them do the talking; there are times when people want to be heard without any input from you. A comforting touch or compassionate smile may be all that is needed.
People, who are truly liked by others, are very sensitive to reading the expectations of others. They will most often than naught respond in a manner, that the other person wants them to respond in. It takes devotion, to develop this kind of human understanding. One can only try, keeping in mind all these qualities. The fact that you sincerely tried, becomes evident in your behavior and without you knowing it, people will start displaying an affinity towards you.