“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” ~Dale Carnegie
So listen, no one is liked by everyone—but most of us secretly wish we were. Whether or not you’re into the whole being popular thing, you need friends—and you need friends who aren’t your husband.
I know it’s hard to hear, but listen up: studies show that women who have close girlfriends are happier, healthier and live longer. No joke.
“The famed Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life,” reported Gale Berkowicz in a UCLA study on friendship among women.”In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight.”
Right. So it doesn’t make you weird to want to be liked by everyone. But do you have to stop being who you are or go against your personal morals to make it happen? Nope. Absolutely not.
There are simple steps you can take to help you stand out to others in a positive way. And the best part is you won’t need to answer to your conscience.
Follow these guidelines and become popular with your morals intact:
Tell the truth–but be nice about it. Others appreciate when you’re honest. However, the way you say things matters greatly. You can make your point politely to avoid unnecessary drama.
- If someone has done something offensive, you can point it out in a subtle way. Avoid making declarations in a crowd.
- It sometimes helps if you state your concern as a question to the other person. Give them the chance to figure out what you want to reveal to them. They’ll appreciate you even more.
Develop a well-rounded knowledge base. The more things you know, the more easily you’ll fit into crowds. Having factual feedback makes you a point of interest and a “go-to” person for others.
- Be careful to avoid sounding like a know-it-all. People can feel intimidated by that slightly arrogant approach.
- Although you want to be likeable, gain the additional knowledge for yourself. Being well-rounded makes you a more marketable person. Other opportunities can come your way as well.
Volunteer your assistance. When you take the time to offer your help, it shows that you’re interested. Whether in a personal or professional circle, volunteering your assistance leaves a mark in the minds of others and makes you more likeable.
- Avoid being too pushy, as if craving attention. Make a subtle announcement of your capabilities and willingness to help.
- Sometimes, providing assistance without being asked can be amazing. Just be sure to not intrude on others, as it can sometimes be viewed as offensive. Instead, point out that you recognized a need and decided to offer your assistance.
Ask people what THEY think. Let them know you value their opinion. Whether good or bad, people like to feel important! Without being too dramatic or pushy with the approach, get some real help when you need it.
- Let’s say you have a presentation to do. If you know a particular co-worker is good at presentations, ask them to rate the one you prepared. Take the feedback constructively, and say thanks at the end.
- When you ask someone for help it shows that you recognize their strengths and it’s a great start to fostering a positive relationship.
As you follow these tips, you’ll see that gaining popularity isn’t about just doing whatever others want to do and going along with the crowd.
That strategy could, indeed, bring challenges to your moral code. Instead, by enhancing your personable nature, you can expect greater popularity in return.
Avoid dwelling on trying to make people like you. That never works. Just work toward enhancing your positive qualities and helping others to feel good about themselves. You’ll shine in any crowd!
“So many people prefer to live in drama because it’s comfortable. It’s like someone staying in a bad marriage or relationship – it’s actually easier to stay because they know what to expect every day, versus leaving and not knowing what to expect.” ~Ellen DeGeneres
Do you know someone who always has some kind of drama happening in their lives? You know the type. You can find them on your friends list on Facebook–just look for the ones who always seem to be looking for some kind of attention.
They’re posting about how terrible things are in their lives, and they are PISSED OFF at the world–or they think the world is “against” them. They just won’t stop their bitching–and you can sort of understand why.
From the outside, you have to assume life must be pretty tough for them. Statistically, they are more likely to express negativity than any other emotional concept.
They are the people who always “expect the worst and hope for the best.” These people apparently aren’t aware that you DO get what you expect. So they bitch. They moan. They complain. And still, nothing changes.
These people? Their thinking is quite flawed. I know because I WAS them not so long ago. Of course, that was before I understood that generally, we get what we expect.
“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” ~Zig Ziglar
Transform Your Life With This 4-Step Approach to Complaints
Complaining can completely ruin your life by taking all the happiness out of it. Spending time criticizing everything is the easiest way to become dissatisfied about anything that crosses your path. When you constantly complain, you develop a negative mentality about everything. That leads to discontent and inner misery. Obviously you want to avoid those feelings at all costs.
If you’re displeased with life, make it your mission to change your situation! Flip things around: use each situation that you’re unhappy with as an opportunity to set a goal that will bring you joy, instead.
Turn negative expressions into positive actions with this four-step approach:
1. Challenge yourself to fix it. If something is really getting under your skin, make it your goal to fix it! Get to the root of the issue and make the necessary changes.
- It’s easy to complain about everything, but much more difficult to fix it.
- Let’s say your exercise partner is chronically late for your workouts. Instead of complaining about it, make some difficult changes. Find another partner. Sometimes tough love is the best way to go!
2. Find the positive in the situation. Compulsive complainers usually have difficulty finding the positives in a situation. You’re usually so tuned into the negative that you overlook the positive aspects.
- Try digging a little deeper than the surface. Take the time to find that “diamond in the rough.”
- Do you often complain that you haven’t received a raise at work? Take a moment to acknowledge that you’re fortunate to have a job, unlike many others in this economy. At least you know that the same bills you paid last month can get paid this month!
3. Practice contentment. Make contentment your goal for the next few weeks. It might be the solution to your urge to complain.
- Everyone can find something to complain about. However, you’ll only make yourself feel miserable by complaining.
- Think of all the blessings in your life and be content about them. For instance, if you’re in great health, try feeling contentment with that.
4. Solicit feedback. Constant complaining usually means you’re feeling discontentment and unhappiness. Sometimes looking inward is the best way to recognize the source of your misery. Ask your loved ones to size you up in a very honest way. Just ensure you’re ready to hear what they have to say!
- Are you surprised that your loved ones find you miserable? Is it a shock that they don’t consider you a pleasure to be around? That’s the reality of a complainer. You find so many faults with the world that you make others around you uncomfortable.
- Take the feedback for face value and use it to make really great changes in your life.
As a complainer who’s now “seen the light,” you’ll realize that there’s a lot for you to change. The good news is that you’re already in goal-setting mode. Make every effort to turn things around so the world seems sunny and bright instead of dim and gloomy–and your world might look a whole lot better.
“It’s OK to say no if you don’t feel moved by an opportunity—no matter how exciting it might sound to someone else. Happiness is a choice, but it’s made up of lots of smaller choices we need to make based on what we actually want.” ~Lori Deschene, TinyBuddha.com
Sometimes, life can feel overwhelming. Between the demands of a home, a family and/or a busy career, many people are finding themselves overworked and over-committed.
If you find yourself feeling this way, like you can’t seem to “get your head above water,” you might need to start re-evaluating your personal choices. It might be time to start saying no.
What’s so hard about saying no?
People-pleasers and victims of narcisissitic abuse are commonly among those who have trouble saying no to friends. After all, who doesn’t want to help a friend who asks for your help?
Unfortunately, there are times you simply need to say no when a friend seeks your assistance. Perhaps you’re way too busy or maybe your friend is asking you to do something that you’re uncomfortable doing.
It can be awkward to say no to a friend. No one wants to risk a friendship. You might be surprised to find out that it’s not that hard to say no and still be friends.
Follow these principles and you can say no without damaging your friendship:
1. Make certain you didn’t misunderstand. Misunderstandings are common. Maybe you didn’t hear what you thought you heard. Get clarification before you say yes or no.
* Maybe you’ll be able to say yes, if you first seek to understand.
2. Separate the issue from those involved. Once you’ve gotten clear on the issue and determined that you’re not getting involved, remember that you’re still friends. Being friends is separate from the issue at hand.
* Ensure they understand that it’s the issue or your own situation that’s preventing you from saying yes, not them.
3. Keep the focus on yourself, not your friend. It doesn’t go over well if you say something like, “I can’t lend you money because everyone knows you’ll never pay it back.”
* Let them know that you care, but explain why you can’t help. It’s important that they understand why you’re saying no.
* For example, you could explain that you have a policy of never loaning money because it has ruined friendships in the past.
4. Be firm and clear in your “no.” Many of us give weak, wishy-washy answers that give the other person hope that we might change our minds. Avoid giving false hope and just give a clear “no.”
* A clear “no” ends the issue quickly. It’s like pulling off a Band-Aid with one quick pull.
5. What is the underlying need? If you can determine what he really needs, you can help your friend come up with another solution.
* Sometimes, a person in need doesn’t have the capacity to find more elegant solutions. You could be of great assistance by taking the time to brainstorm and look for other alternatives in which you aren’t involved.
6. Find another way to help them. Maybe you could help with the current issue in some smaller capacity. Offer other suggestions.
* Maybe they have another need where you would be happy to provide help and support.
* One of the keys to keeping the friendship is to ensure they walk away with something from you, even if it’s only advice and empathy.
* If they feel worse than they did before they approached you, the friendship is likely to be strained.
* How we feel about others is largely dependent on how they make us feel. Do what you can to make your friend feel better without compromising your limits.
It’s never easy to say no to a friend. But sometimes saying no is the only way to maintain a friendship. If helping your friend comes at too great a cost, you’ll end up feeling resentful, which can kill the relationship altogether.
Take care of yourself and say no when it’s appropriate. Be supportive of your friends and try to help in other ways if you can’t acquiesce to their request.
If you can show that you’re empathetic and offer help in another way, your friendship should remain strong. It can be an awkward situation, but sometimes saying no is the best option.
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“I love romance. I’m a sucker for it. I love it so much. It’s pathetic.” ~Drew Barrymore
Love it or hate it, romance almost always helps to keep the spark in a relationship!
You’ll likely agree, but maybe you feel like you lack an understanding of romance altogether. Have you tried your hand at romance, but still haven’t quite mastered it?
Romance is a topic that many people in a relationship feel uncertain about. So you’re definitely not alone with your insecurities.
It’s actually pretty easy to develop and refine your romantic streak. Romance takes nothing more than a little creativity and a genuine interest in treating your significant other in a special way.
Try these tips to spark your romance:
1. Consider what makes you feel loved. Take a moment to think about what made you get those butterflies in the past. What special act caused the romance to bubble over?
- Is there a special term of endearment your partner uses when speaking about you? Why not consider taking a similar approach?
- Perhaps those “I’m in love with you” hugs that feel different from the others could be reciprocated more often.
- Has your partner ever dedicated a song to the day you met and fell in love? That would surely make anyone melt!
2. Understand your partner’s likes. Being romantic can be as simple as doing things your partner likes. Create a bucket list of those things to make it easier to think of romantic gestures.
- Does your partner love to dine at a specific restaurant? Why not set a dinner date and have the restaurant bring out a love token on cue?
- Everybody loves massages! Offer a massage when your partner least expects it.
- Is there a favorite dessert your special person loves? Instead of buying it at the bakery, try making it yourself. There are likely plenty of recipes for that dish on the internet.
3. Be yourself. It’s possible you haven’t exactly mastered romance because you aren’t being yourself. It’s pretty difficult to “play a role” that you’re obviously uncomfortable playing.
- You’ve probably read that dressing in alluring lingerie is a surefire way to spark romance. But if you feel uncomfortable parading around in lingerie, you don’t need to. It will be blatantly clear to your partner that you’re not feeling it. And that’s the fastest way to kill romance!
- It’s absolutely important to show that your gestures are genuine. Always choose things that you’re genuinely happy doing. One of the most significant victories comes when your partner realizes you’ve done it from the heart.
- Sometimes all it takes is a little quality time. Show your partner that you’ve specially reserved time for just the two of you.
4. Create lasting memories. Make plans for an outing that you can reminisce on together years down the road. Being able to recall your romantic gestures helps to keep the spark alive!
- Find ways to relive special moments.
- If you’ve arranged a special occasion, why not get it videotaped? You and your loved one can watch it over and over.
- Make a special event an annual occurrence. If it’s something that allowed the romance to spark, it’s a great idea to do it every year at the same time.
With these creative yet simple tips, you’re guaranteed to have ongoing romance in your relationship. Just remember that love and genuine desire to make your partner happy are key. Then it’s smooth sailing the rest of the way!
What are your favorite ways to get romantic? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!
When I was in college, I rented a basement from a friend and her boyfriend.
Things went great until their relationship began to deteriorate, at which time my friend moved out.
We all agreed that I would continue to rent the basement, at least until they decided what to do with the house.
In the few weeks I lived there after my friend moved out, her boyfriend began to go into my things while I was gone, taking things and doing who knows what else.
He made it no secret either–on several occasions he confronted me about various items or information he found among my private belongings.
And then, one day, I woke up and found that he’d climbed into my bed while I slept. That was the last straw. He had violated my privacy and now he was violating my personal right to choose who was allowed in my bed.
Since I couldn’t wait until I found an apartment to move out, I crashed on a friend’s couch for a few days while I located a new place.
When I finally did, I was very happy–except for the overwhelming anger that kept looming in my subconscious. Every time I turned around, something reminded me that he had hurt me, violated me, upset me. And that he wasn’t the only one who, by the time I was 19 years old, had done so–some in even more harsh ways.
Negativity begot negativity, and I started seeing more and more of it in my life. I struggled with it for months, falling into depression after depression. I felt like I was completely worthless, drowning in my own thoughts.
One day, as I sat wracking my brain about how to get over this anger, I thought I heard something. I was alone in my apartment, with the exception of my cat.
And I know this is going to sound crazy, but I would swear to you that I heard someone whisper, “You have to forgive him,” in my ear.
And, more strangely, I knew immediately what the “whisper” meant.
Even though I’d stuffed it all down and tried not to focus on my anger for all of these months, it still stayed there, like a parasite, nibbling away at anything positive that came into my life.
So I picked up my notebook and started writing him a letter. I told him why I was so angry at him and what he did that hurt me so much. I told him why I thought he was wrong. I called him every name in the book and said cuss words that I invented for the occasion.
And at the end of the letter, I told him that I forgave him–not for him, but for myself. Because I deserved to live in peace, without the negativity of my past with him (or anyone else, for that matter) corroding my beautiful world.
When I finished the letter, I felt an amazing sense of peace come over me, almost immediately. And, while I’d fully intended to mail the letter (or at least an edited and polished version of it) to that man, I never did. It turned out that I didn’t need to.
Once I’d written down my feelings, owned them, and moved on–the healing began. Such a simple act allowed me to release months of pent up feelings that were holding me back. I was finally able to begin to feel GOOD again, and suddenly my life was back on the right track.
How about you?
Are you holding a grudge? Do you have some old anger lingering in your heart? If so, it’s time to begin to heal. We all know logically that we cannot change the past, so why live there?
Here’s my challenge for you today. If you are plagued by anger or holding a grudge that you just can’t shake, try writing a letter today to the source of your frustration. Say what you mean, and don’t censor yourself. Let it all out.
And then, offer your forgiveness.
Then, if you like, write a more “reader friendly” version of your letter and mail it to the person or people who have hurt you. But more likely, you might find that the simple act of getting it all out is enough, like I did.
The bottom line here is that if you are holding on to toxic anger, it’s only hurting YOU. The person or people you’re angry at are probably not aware of it–and if they are, it’s not affecting them nearly as significantly as it is you.
The best revenge, they say, is living well–so if you don’t want to let go of your anger just for your own sake, then let it go to be the bigger person.
I’ll leave you with a final quote from Catherine Ponder.
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
What do you think? Do you have someone to forgive? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!