how to be popular

You know that person. The one everyone wants to be around, makes people feel amazing about themselves, and seems to have an effortless effervescence. Here are a few tips for how to be popular, in the best sense of the word. It's easier than you think to pull off. 

1) Stop complaining: Everyone has problems. But not everyone wants to hear about yours. Hanging with a Debbie Downer is the pits, so put your energy into focusing on the good and not only will you be a LOT more fun to be around, but you'll be happier, too. 

2) Listen: Actually REALLY listen. Not the listening where you're already thinking ahead to that killer anecdote that you just have to share, but give your undivided attention. Being that person who makes someone feel truly heard will make you stand out in the best possible way.

3) Smile: Smiling draws people in, puts people at ease, and elevates their mood. Best part? It even makes you happier.

4) Don't gossip: While you might think that your audience is on the same page, it's a risk not worth taking and 100% counter-productive to exuding goodness.  Here are 10 alternatives to gossip that will make talking behind someone's back a thing of the past.

5) Be positive: Focusing on the good (even if it's really tiny and really hard to find) makes you a lot more attractive as a hang-time pal. And being a positive influence in someone's life will make them happier, too. Trust us, it's science

6) Expect nothing: We all know that person who mysteriously comes out of the woodwork whenever there's something in it for them. But the person who gives and gives and expects nothing in return? That's a rarity. And a treasured one.

7) Be your authentic self: We all have quirks and idiosyncrasies, and, chances are, they aren't as weird or awkward as you think. Dr. Seuss said, "There is no one alive who is you-er than you." We concur, so let those endearing qualities shine through.

8) Don't compare: Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others. It's never an even playing field when you start playing that game. And it undermines your self confidence and slows you down. None of these are helpful to you in the short term or long term. 

9) Be humble: Your accomplishments might truly be amazing, but leading with them is not the way to gain favor. Better to show your generosity by lending a hand to someone in need than telling others how generous you are. Actions speak louder than words, you know.

10) Take a chance: Be the kind of person who's not afraid to take the plunge on something big. Even when it doesn't pay off people respect the person who's not afraid to try. Plus, it makes for some pretty interesting stories along the way.