“Move over, dear. I need to sit down.”, said fairy godmother Kayanne as she sat at the foot of Melissa’s bed. “Is all this making sense?”
“You say I need to show more interest in other people, smile more, and remember names.”
“Yes, you are already getting wiser,” said fairy godmother Kayanne. “You will notice that all 6 of these suggestions make you focus your attention on another person and off of yourself. Now pay close attention while I explain the next way to make people like you.”
4 – Be a good listener
I knew this lady once. When she talked, she talked all about herself. If she thought of something to say while another person was talking, she would not wait for him or her to finish, she’d bust right in and interrupt. She was either speaking or preparing to speak. That is NOT how to get people to like you.
So here’s the thing. If you want to be liked you have to be a good listener.
A good listener doesn’t’ just listen. A good listener listens and tries to understand what the other person wants you to know. To do that, you have to concentrate on what the other person is saying.
Do not interrupt the person who is talking. They really do not care what YOU have to say until they are done with what THEY have to say. In fact, they really don’t care what you have to say until after they feel you understood what they said.
Listening is very important when it comes to babysitting. Often, parents give their babysitters instructions before they leave. It’s important they feel you understand, or they will worry the whole time they are away. Smart babysitters write down instructions and repeat them back to the parents.
Also, if you haven’t noticed, children get frustrated if they feel that you are not listening to them. And a frustrated child will often misbehave.
Try a little experiment. Ask someone for their opinion about something. Then just listen. Focus your attention on what they are trying to say. Nod your head occasionally and say, “ah huh.” and “Really.” Don’t interrupt no matter how tempted you are. See if you can do it and notice the result. Do you notice any difference in how the other person treats you?
5 – Talk About What Interests the Other Person
If you want someone to like you, talk about what they are interested in.
You would think it should be the other way around. You would think: If I want you to like me, then I’ll tell you all about me – what I am interested in, my opinions, my experiences… But that’s not how it works.
If you are shy, you may not know what to say. Then you just stand there, feeling all stupid with your tongue tied in knots.
Here is my suggestion. First, find out what the other person is interested in. You might say something like: “So, what sort of things are you interested in?” Or, “What do you like to do?”
Then turn on your listening skills. It’s that easy!
If you already know what someone is interested in, simply ask them something about it: “So, how’s that chemistry experiment coming?”
People enjoy talking about what they are interested in, and they tend to like those who enjoy listening to them talk about it.
6 – Make the Other Person Feel Important
I’ve seen young teens say a cutting remark and then as if to turn it into a joke, say, “Just kidding.” I don’t want you to be that shallow. So I am going to tell you what to do instead.
Next time you want someone to like you, ask yourself, “What is there about that person that you can honestly admire?” That is sometimes a hard question to answer.
I was standing in line at the supermarket and I said to myself, “I’m going to try to cheer up that cashier. To do that, I need to say something nice about her.” So I asked myself, “What is it about her that I can honestly admire?” Then I saw something that caught my attention.
While she was pricing my items, I said to her, “I love your finger nails”. It was around Christmas time and her finger nails were painted like Christmas decorations.
“Did you do that yourself?” I said.
“Oh no. My sister did them,” she said as she beamed with pride.
“How long did it take her?”
“Most of last night.” she chucked.
We continued talking until after I had paid for my groceries. Had there not been other people waiting in line we might have talked longer. Our short conversation cheered us both up.
Now, my dear Melissa, I’m going to tell you a secret. If you do what I am about to tell you, you will make countless friends and have constant happiness. If you don’t, you will have endless disappointments.
Always make the other person feel important.
You see, the desire to feel important is the deepest urge in human nature. As you go about making people feel important, your life will become more meaningful and happy. So will those whose lives you touch.
Are you getting this, dear?
Even small children have a need to feel important. So as a babysitter, you should look for reasons to praise children. Watch for good behavior and reward it with a compliment like: Good job. I like how you did that. Thank you for being kind to your sister. You’ll see their behavior improve.
Fairy godmother Kayanne bid Melissa farewell and was gone with a *poof* leaving Melissa to finish the story herself, by practicing and getting good at doing all 6 steps. Perhaps you too will practice these 6 steps and the both of you will live happily ever after.
If you want to learn more, pick up the book, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie at your local library.