Very often, we look at socially successful people and only notice the obvious. We see what everyone else can see: they have many friends, lots of access, people willing to help them, they socialize often, and they have a social life people envy them for.
In this article, let's look beyond that, and explore some of the stuff people rarely acknowledge. The way I see it, these are habits that are mostly responsible for why these guys and gals have the friends they want.
Are you ready? Let's begin…
They Don't Explain Themselves
They know that you're not perfect, the most famous people aren't perfect, and no one ever will. They accept themselves for the good and for the bad.
And if you're not willing to accept them as they are, then you're never gonna be a friend. Because they know that real, honest friendship is based on acceptance. They have no time for people who half-like them or half-accept them.
They Know What Their Values Are, and That's Why They Never Cling to Anyone
Because they have a clear idea of what they stand for, what they will and will not accept in their life, they stand on firm ground. They know that no one, no authority figure, will ever come and tell them what's acceptable and what's not. No one can figure out your values for you.
That's why they never seem to too impressed with anyone. They can admire people yes, but that will never shake them off their composure.
They Get Frustrated, Afraid, and Impatient
… and they don't hide much of it.
The key to living a miserable emotional and social life is to suppress your emotions. Socially successful people know that. They express emotions, knowing that it's just part of life to have problems, to feel bad from time to time, and have bad days.
When hanging out with friends, there is absolutely no need to try to look like you… have life entirely figured out.
They Offer Support When You Need It Most
Socially successful people have lots of empathy; they can smell your emotions a mile away. They know when you're worried; you don't even have to tell them.
When you're down, you're unsure; you're not in a confident place, that's when they come. They seize the opportunity to make the most difference and offer the most value. They offer support and encouragement when you need it most.
What I love about this is that they know how to offer support, without being too patronizing. They artfully make small talk, yet you feel very good about it.
They Know What You Care About
They know that on a day-to-day basis, you have a bunch of things that are top-of-mind for you. They know that if they want to connect with you, and be good friends, they need to meet you on these matters.
They address these things as soon as you meet them. They prove that they care about what you care about, which means they care about you.
They Invest in People, Before Expecting Any "Return"
Many people fear that if they open up to others, they risk being taken advantage of. They have learned that many people are selfish and won't replicate your favors and care.
Socially successful people know that you have to give before you can get. And, they also know that you don't have to give lots of value to someone you're just getting to know. You can make small steps, and see how it goes. Being "nice" is a great way to reveal who you're dealing with.
You don't need to show how "clever" you are, just be generous at first and it will quickly reveal if you're dealing with a "sucker".
They Poke Fun at You, for Your Own Good
That's right. There is a time for serious and a time for fun. And when you meet a friend like that, he or she can remind you that the time for being a serious adult is certainly not when you're socializing.
That lighthearted attitude reminds you not to take life too seriously, and therefor see your problems and worries from a different light.
This list is not complete. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and got some inspiration for your own social life. When you meet a socially successful person, please remember to look beyond the obvious, and notice how they treat their friends.
As always, if you want to receive tips like this on a regular basis, you can get them here: Free Social Skills Newsletter.
– Paul Sanders