- Mental Health
How to Make Yourself More Popular at Parties
There is a lot of truth in that saying that "respect cannot be commanded, it has to be deserved", and it's equally true about being liked and popular - inasmuch as we cannot take for granted our "irresistible charm". And neither can we expect our education, money, or status to make us popular at parties.
It's the vibes that we emit, the chemistry we create with others, our body language and ease, which work much more for us as a password to others' hearts than anything else about us. People come to parties to be entertained, not to be lectured, or otherwise smothered by our importance, so that's the basic thing to know.
Here we are talking about social skills, which are not only to establish our popularity, but also to enable us to enjoy that closeness with people, that dynamics of interacting from moment to moment. Popularity could even be viewed as secondary to that achievement of an experience which enriches our life - the experience giving us us proofs of how much we are valued in others' hearts.
Personality before Looks
Maybe in high school and at some later social gatherings you had an opportunity to witness certain individuals who enjoyed a big popularity even though they were not exactly endowed by nature with some particularly good looks.
For the same matter, you might have noticed some others who apparently had a lot to show, but were not really at the center of attention. In many cases, beauty may even turn out to be an obstacle to popularity, mainly because of the response of jealousy it may trigger in the same gender.
While we are at appearances, the same would go for the way we dress for a party. Getting yourself overdressed while everyone else is wearing casual may raise many eyebrows, possibly even inspiring a joke or two about it that will instantly give you a sense of somehow not belonging.
As a rule of the thumb, never go to a party with an appearance that would suggest "competing", or a show off. While it may get you a few diplomatic compliments, it certainly won't pave your way to anyone's admiration.
Don't Advertise Yourself
As you are contemplating an effective strategy for achieving popularity and all those intimate benefits generated by it, it's good to keep one point in mind: don't try to sell yourself for more than you are, or for less than you are. The less you are trying to make an impression, the more you are liked - and the opposite is equally true.
Those most likely to forget this rule are of a macho mentality on the male side, and those girls prone to affectation - with dynamic facial exchange of expressions and using hands for an intended effect of being more convincing. Their best chances are to be tolerated, not popular, and mainly in the company of their own kind.
So, let's rule this kind of behavior out as possibly contributing to popularity. I am presenting here certain features of human behavior in their extreme forms, but if you notice even a little of it in yourself, don't count on it to be helpful in any way.
Then, there are those types of personalities who just can't stop talking about themselves. No matter where the conversation may go, they always manage to bring it back to themselves, as if begging for attention, approval, or pity. Starting every sentence with an emphasized "I" clearly shows that the person came to the party just to seek an audience.
So, if you want to be popular, start asking questions, show interest for others. And when you talk, avoid tirades, those long stories that don't seem to have a point to them - unless you are asked to describe your trip or other experience that can't be told in a couple of sentences.
Talking with that Special Person at Party
As it oftentimes happens at parties of mostly singles, people discover someone with whom they want more than a passing fun normally provided by such gatherings. The above few points mentioned especially apply in such cases. Namely, don't try to put an impressive price tag on yourself, for it won't take you far.
Bite the bullet and resist every temptation to make yourself a star in her eyes. As you ask questions - and asking questions are always a good policy - let them be about matters that she already volunteered about herself.
So, if she mentioned a dog she has, ask about the dog, what breed, what name, that stuff. Whatever you do, never jump her with a battery of questions that will resemble an "interrogation". Ask her about hobbies, music she likes, but don't ask about her political orientation or her religion.
Also, avoid asking "why". Like why she is coloring her hair blond if she is a brunette. Or any other "why", which sounds like your entitlement to question her choices. Of course, she may volunteer any of such information, but it's not your good strategy to ask for explanations.
Avoid "Right-Wrong" Conversations
Don't insist on topics in conversations in which you can easily catch others being wrong. If you happen to be into front page political events and others around you are more into sports, music, diets, celebrities trivia, don't push your topic while lurking for a "shallow" comment which will give you a chance to shine with your being well informed.
That's one of the quite common mistakes that cost people a bad reputation at parties - this enjoying a mismatch discussion giving a boost to our ego and contributing nothing to the fun of others.
There are others in that category, who don't know much in any given subject, but display something that I like calling "village idiot syndrome". It's the type who knows very little but always "wins" his verbal competitions by a stubborn cynical attitude, putting his opponents down, short of insulting their competence.
Again, examine your own attitude; it doesn't have to be obvious in these extreme forms, but even a mild tendency to display such characteristics don't go well at parties. Party goers don't like smart asses who always pick a verbal fight, usually to feed their insecurities and a compensating overblown ego.
It can be quite addictive to drag others through mud of criticism and ridicule behind their backs, especially if you get yourself a partner for that dark passion. However, you can be quite sure that your partner is badmouthing you as well, so it's not exactly a winning game in socializing.
Of course, commenting about an absent person is not malicious if it means a genuine concern about her misfortune or some happy event in her life that calls for rejoicing. But even that may be twisted into an unhealthy gossip, like if we would say: "I feel sorry for her, she is trying to imitate my hair style with that thin hair of hers." Or: "I hope her husband finds a job soon, because lately the poor thing couldn't afford a decent hairdo".
At times, such a "friendly concern" also hides a competition between whole families, so by "being sorry" we are accentuating our advantages over her. No matter what the motivation, it certainly doesn't help our charisma one bit, with an additional point of a possible, if not probable backfiring.
Be Funny - but Keep It Impersonal
Humor is definitely a precious spice of communicating, and an almost sure stepladder to personal popularity at parties. Being able to make others laugh is a gift that will make you welcome at any gathering other than a funeral parlor.
Be careful though to keep your humor impersonal, let the targets be some general people and situations. I may work well only with some folks who may not take your poking jokes at them seriously, perhaps because of their general jolly disposition and an attitude of not taking themselves seriously.
But don't count on your personal jokes taken well with everybody, just because no one is openly showing a discomfort. Remember, you are not Don Rickles, that master of insulting humor, and your audience are not Dean Martin's "Roast Show" celebrities who could perfectly mask the impact of that verbal assault on their ego.
So, be funny, make someone's day happier, inspire those serious folks not to take life too seriously, and that alone may grant you a great reputation among the party goers. If anything succeeds to uplifts the spirits of people at a party, it surely is humor, music, and dance. And then of course, some folks may also need some chemical crutches to get into the mood.
Well, I hope these few pointers may be useful to you as you are contemplating a better popularity for yourself at your favorite gatherings with friends. Since you know the people of your life, you may improvise along these presented guidelines. So, good luck with your popularity, and enjoy every minute of it.