How to Be a People Magnet

You know her—she’s the girl everyone wants to be near. She has the ability to make anyone feel like the most fascinating person in the world, and that’s true whether you’re her best friend or just a casual acquaintance. Even adults seem to light up when she’s around. So what’s her secret, anyway? It’s simple: She’s genuinely interested in people, which makes them feel important and special. Of course, they can’t help liking her in return. Want to be more like her? Keep reading—we’ll show you how.

Ask Questions & Listen to the Answers Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and thought, Wow, that person is really interested in what I have to say? Chances are she was asking questions about what you thought or felt and paying careful attention to your answers. How can you do the same? If you know what someone is interested in, start there. (“Didn’t I see you in the school play last weekend?”) If not, ask about something they’re bound to have an opinion on. (“How do you like the costumes for dance recital?”) Everyone has things they’re passionate about. If you land on a topic that someone’s excited about, bingo! Ask more questions. You might even find out about something new you can be excited about, too!

Remember What’s Important to People During a recent school lunch, 13-year-old Katie told the girls at her table how disappointed she’d been that her swim team hadn’t placed in the meet they’d competed in over the weekend. Katie explained that she thought her coach had done a bad job, and that this wasn’t the first time she’d felt this way. Her friends listened patiently as Katie blew off steam. “Sometimes,” she added, “I feel like quitting the team.” The next day, one of the girls asked if she felt any better about the meet, and if she was still thinking about quitting. Katie immediately felt happier. “It actually cheered me up,” Katie says, “because she remembered how important the meet was to me.”

Use People’s Names Everyone likes to hear her own name. Get in the habit of remembering people’s names and using them often. If you have trouble remembering names, you’re not alone—lots of people do. There are little tricks that can help, though. When you’re first introduced to someone, make a point of repeating the her name aloud. Really focus on it as you smile and look her in the eye. You might even picture it written in marker across her forehead, or make up a silly rhyme in your head to help you remember it. Using her name once or twice more in the conversation will also help to fix it in your mind.

Say Nice Things Is it hard to picture yourself walking down the hall handing out compliments to your friends, classmates, and teachers? (“Nice jacket, Principal D!” “Love the earrings, Popular Girl!”) Of course it is—you’d feel more fake than a three-dollar bill! But no doubt there are little things you notice—and, yes, admire—about the people around you. And what better way to make people feel special than to tell them so? “Your poem was really good. I especially liked that line about...” “That’s such a cool bracelet. Did you make it?” “I think it’s so great that you always stick up for kids who get picked on...” Just be specific about what you like: “That shirt makes your eyes look so green.” Or “Wow—I wish I could sink a jump shot like you!” As long as you’re sincere, you can’t go wrong.

Make an Effort to Include People You know how good it feels when your friends include you in things, like planning to dress alike on School Spirit Day. You can do the same for others, and even spread the good feelings outside your circle of friends. If someone is quietly hanging around the edges of a conversation, bring her into it by asking her opinion. If you’re walking to the library after lunch, invite someone you don’t know well to join you. Not only will you make others feel special, but you’ll open the door to making new friends, too.

Watch Your Body Language Your body sends messages just as surely as your mouth does. When you’re interested in what someone had to say, you most likely smile encouragingly, meet her eyes, and lean in to hear more. On the other hand, if you’re bored, you probably stare into space, tap your foot, and fidget as she talks. So make sure your body is always sending the message you want it to send! Keep in mind, too, that human touch is powerful. Briefly placing a hand on someone’s arm while you’re talking to her is a great way to convey warmth and friendship.

Remember, raising your likability is about being genuine about who you are and how you show your interest in others. Everyone wants to feel special. By letting them know the ways in which they’re special to you, you’ll become extra-special to them. They’ll want to be around you—it’s as simple as that.

 

Do YOU have any tips to share on how to be a people magnet?