Loving and accepting yourself is paramount, but being someone others enjoy having around can also help make you happier and more successful.
A Harvard study suggests that, at work, being likable matters more than being smart or competent. Researchers found that most people prefer to work with someone they like than with someone they don’t like, even if the person they don’t like could do a better job.
Scientists also have solid evidence that strong social relationships — a direct result of being able to get along with people — has been proven to increase someone’s survival odds by 50%. That’s twice as much as exercise, and just as powerful as not smoking.
So, while it’s vitally important to have a positive self-esteem, the esteem of others’ goes a long way in your health, success and happiness too.
Now, how do you increase your people skills? Here are five strategies that have been proven to work:
Expect the best
Be a social optimist and expect that the new people you meet are going to love you. You will subconsciously be more open and warmer with those you are talking to, and of course, be much more approachable.
Is someone talking to you? Then sit upright, put the phone away, and make eye contact. Giving people your undivided attention will make them feel important. And everybody likes to feel important.
Are you awesome? Have you just come back from a trip around the world? Good for you, but don’t tell everyone. Research shows that self-promotion tends to backfire, and that sharing stories of your incredible adventures may actually lead to people excluding you.
Ask For Advice
When you ask people for advice, it makes them feel like experts. Never miss an opportunity to ask others for tips, whether it’s for an upcoming trip, a great place to eat, or feedback here on Wonder. They’ll love it that you thought to ask them in the first place.
Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested you.” So ask questions, try to really get to know people. They’ll be surprised (and delighted!) you want to know more about them.