I’m flipping through the Stephen Covey classic, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and realizing that I don’t do many of the habits very well. I tend to be more reactive than proactive. I tend to succumb to the emotions and urgency of the moment rather than “beginning with the end in mind.”
So that’s depressing.
But reading his book sent me down a rabbit hole of the habits of various types of successful people.
Are there 7 habits of wealthy people? Are there certain habits that healthy and fit people embody? Are there specific skills and behaviors of people who are smooth like Will Smith in Hitch?
I think the answer is yes to all of those questions. I’m still working on the habits of the rich, but I do have a pretty good understanding of the habits of healthy and sociable people.
So that’s exactly what I want to write about today: The 8 Habits of Highly Sociable People.
Likable people are more likely to get promotions, jobs, sexy ladies, birthday party invitations, and free Chipotle bowls.
And if that isn’t enough to get you interested in learning these skills, I’m not sure what is.
1) They Make Others Feel Like They’re “The One”
There’s this guy that used to dance with Kels, and you can’t help but want to be around the dude.
He’s the most magnetic, energetic person in the room. The dude glows, and everybody vies for his attention (including me).
He makes you feel like you’re “the one.”
Let me explain; He gives genuine compliments, and shows love and interest in everyone he’s around.
Last time I saw him, he was introducing me to people as a “brilliant writer.”
I’ve gotten B’s & C’s in English classes my entire life, and Kelsey has to text me after every blog I publish showing my grammar and spelling mistakes, yet he has me feeling like a cool blend of Hemmingway and Mark Twain.
David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, writes on something called the SCARF model. SCARF is an acronym for a model to tap into people’s psychology for the use of good or evil.
The “S” stands for status. When we build people’s status, they respond more favorably to us. That’s what this guy does to a T. He puts people in the spotlight. He makes them feel bigger than they see themselves.
It’s hard to take ourselves out of the spotlight and put others in it because we feel like we won’t be seen, but that’s not how it works. The more spotlights you set up on other people, the brighter yours gets.
2) They’re Inclusive
Have you ever been hanging out with a group of people and they’re talking about something you don’t care about? You have nothing to add to the conversation, and you have a hard time staying engaged?
Highly sociable people are conscious of this. They have an uncanny ability to bring people into the conversation. They ask for others opinions, or they strategically switch the conversation to something everybody can talk about.
They have a heightened awareness of who the outsider in the group is, and make an effort to get him or her involved.
My mom is one of the best people I know at this, and she is also among the most sociable people I know. I remember being a kid, and she would make up these games both my brothers and I would like to play even though the three of us didn’t all like the same things.
It took creativity, and it took a sense of inclusivity.
Next time you’re in a conversation with somebody, try asking what they think, or relate the topic to something they’re interested in.
3) They’re Freakishly Present
One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody gets on their phone mid-conversation. It drives me crazy.
I’m sitting here sharing a hilarious story, and you dive into Snapchat? Not cool, man.
In a time where looking at our phones has become a habit, a knee jerk reaction to boredom or anxiety, it’s almost become socially acceptable to zone out on Twitter during a dinner or conversation.
Stop that shit. Stop it right now. Likeable people are freakishly present. They’re listening (a novel concept, I know), they’re engaged, they care about the person across from them.
My neighbor is amazing at this. He always remembers what people have going on in their life. He listens intently, and is extremely engaged. He’s also one of the more likable people I know.
Next time you’re talking with someone, ditch the phone homie.
4) They’re Authentic
“Authenticity is the degree to which people think the public face you have adopted fits who you really are inside.” Art Markman
Authenticity is when what you say, and what you do, match up with what you believe on the inside.
This is not a novel concept, I know. Be real, do you, show up authentically, keep it 💯 are all little tidbits of info that are great, but don’t offer any practical “how-to.”
The problem with a lot of self-help advice is they give you the idea, but no tools to implement. Here a two ways to practice being authentic.
A) Practice Assertiveness: Decide where you want to go to dinner or what movie you want to see anytime you’re asked. Stop saying “I don’t care.” Practice caring, being decisive, and figuring out your wants, needs, and deires
B) Name Your Emotions: Have moment-to-moment check-ins with how you feel, and give your emotions names. This separates emotions from our identify (I feel anxious vs I am anxious) and it helps us practice developing a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we respond to things. It helps us learn our own desires, wants, needs, and tendencies.
5) They Don’t Complain
One of my best friends recently got slammed with a DUI. I was talking with him about the hours and hours of community service, the thousands in fees, and the inconvenience of having a void license for the foreseeable future.
This dude is one of the most likable people I know. Everybody likes him, and I have never heard a bad thing said about him. And here’s why:
1) He owned up to his mistake. He didn’t blame the police, didn’t justify, point the finger, or rationalize. He actually told the cop, “Just take me to jail.”
2) He deals with it. Step one is not to complain, to own your choices and the results they produce. Then step two is to deal with it. Owning your shit without taking action makes you a martyr.
My man didn’t complain, he owned his shit, showed up to community service for 12 weekends in a row, and started to make the payments for his mistake.
No more whining, complaining, or blaming.
6) They Don’t Care About Being Right
The only social skills book I’ve ever read that I truly dug was How To Win Friends and Influence People. I guess that’s why Dale Carnegie sold like a kajillion copies of the thing. Carnegie’s first rule when it comes to influencing others is to avoid arguments.
“Why prove a man wrong? Is that going to make him like you? “
I’ll help you with the tough ones. No, it won’t make him (or her) like you.
My group of dopey friends have been having the same group debate for 10 years. I’m serious. Who is better: Lebron James or Michael Jordan? Yes, that’s why we’re dopey and half-brained.
Half say MJ, half say LBJ.
Guess how many of us have changed our minds over the past decade?
Zero. Not one single person.
My dad always says, “People change when it makes a difference for them to do so.” Arguing, or proving that you’re right (even when you are right) will never make you likable or influence others to change who they are. Never.
We don’t inspire with facts. We inspire with actions. We inspire by touching people’s hearts, which make no logical sense whatsoever (ask anybody who has ever been in love).
Next time you’re out, and somebody is sharing a story, and you know they are wrong, try letting it go.
7) They Build Safe Zones
I’ve never vibed with frat guy humor. Whacking each other in the balls, insulting people on a personal level, or peeing in somebody’s beer has never appealed to me or my sense of humor. Farting in each other’s faces when they’re sleeping isn’t cool, bro.
To me, this represents a psychological hell. Always having to watch your back or constantly self-edit to make sure you don’t say something stupid because you’ll be put on blast in front of everybody sounds miserable.
Highly sociable people have a knack for creating a space where people feel safe sharing thoughts or attempting a good joke. They don’t make us feel stupid or inferior when we swing and miss.
In Charles Duhigg’s new book, Smarter, Faster, Better he talks about how the most successful teams in the business world create an environment of psychological safety. They do it by:
- Letting everyone speak
- Listening intently
- Being open and honest
- Not ever interrupting one another
Highly sociable people do the same thing. They are inclusive in groups, and allow everyone to share their thoughts. They actually listen, they’re authentic. and they don’t interrupt or need to be right. Sound familiar?
8) They Have Good Vibes Only
They’re more interested in building people up than tearing them down. They’d rather have fun than be right. They tend to engage with things and people they truly enjoy.
They don’t take themselves so seriously. They read DannyColeman.net 😎
They know they’re not perfect. They’ll risk falling in love. They’ll risk not being cool. They’ll smile at strangers.
They see the good in people. They give the benefit of the doubt. They eat burgers and French fries.
They build you up, inspire you, paint possibility, and they don’t shit on your ideas. They make others feel like they’re “the one.” They’re inclusive, authentic, and they don’t complain. They build safe zones, let go of being right, and most importantly, keep it Good Vibes Only.