There are certain people you interact with that just seem to get it. This whole living thing that is. Operating in social situations and understanding how to play into human emotions are natural things for these people. They’re socially gifted, emotionally intelligent, and incredibly easy to like. But then again, they’re also easy to hate because they’re So. Darn. Likeable.
You probably know exactly what type of person we’re getting at here…
But, alas, the world would be a miserable place without these people around. And luckily for you, all is not lost. If you pay attention to how this special group of people interact with others, as well as yourself, you can learn a great deal. In fact, if you work at it enough, one day you might actually become one of them. Wouldn’t that be a trip?
Here are some of the most important skills you can pick up from a person who’s just really good at being a person.
To this special breed of people, small talk isn’t just small talk; it’s an opportunity. It’s not just a way to break the ice, pass the time, or make the situation a little less awkward. It’s how these people learn about others and uncover the smallest pathways to connection. These connections are then used to build relationships and form bonds.
A people person makes others feel really good about themselves, and one of the simplest ways they accomplish this is by maintaining eye contact. Anyone can do this, but many people won’t because they feel uncomfortable or awkward doing so. However, these negatively charged feelings are 100% unnecessary. Anyone who likes to be listened to (which is everyone) appreciates eye contact, and the longer you can hold eye contact, the better the other person will feel.
It’s difficult to remember everything anyone ever says, but if you really think about it, no one actually expects you to do that. They just expect you to remember something – basically, the bare minimum. And a good people person gets this. In other words, they won’t bother memorizing the entire conversation front to back; however, they will make it a point to remember something important from a previous conversation and then bring it up during the next interaction. This will do two things:
- It will let a person know you were paying attention.
- It will make a person think you care.
Active listening is probably one of the most important skills you can ever pick up, because when you listen well, it pays off. But this requires you to actually – you guessed it – listen. Observe a good people person, and you’ll notice it right away. Their body is positioned towards you, and their facial expressions, body language, and verbal responses clearly indicate that they’re carefully listening to everything you say.
Using that great eye contact we brought up earlier, people who are well liked always greet everyone. They smile, they maintain that eye contact, and they appear to be genuinely motivated to greet you. It’s not a depressing ‘Hey, how are you’ as you continue to walk down the hallway – a greeting no one will actually respond to. Instead, they stop, they look at you, and they smile. This is a greeting that will make you feel like they actually want to say hello to you and a greeting that happily pulls a response out of you.