Some people have this ability to make a positive, long-lasting impression on others. For some reason, they’re like magnets, and many of us tend to like them.
What they do is not just smiling, listening, or being kind. In fact, I’ve noticed there are a few things these people tend to do differently and which make them stand out. All these things have to do with going beyond what most of us do when it comes to connect with others.
What follows are five habits that can help you leave a lasting impression.
1. Being There for Someone Not Just With Your Words but Also With Your Actions
Six years ago I spent three months in Los Angeles. During my last few days there I was feeling a bit down in the dumps, as my time there had been amazing and I knew that experience was coming to an end.
I had a super friendly room mate, Jennifer; we got along really well. She understood how I was feeling and two days before I left she told me, “Hey, let’s go eat pizza tonight, this time it’s on me!” That nice gesture not only made me smile, it warmed my heart.
We are all good at saying “I’m sorry,” “I wish I could do something.” However, some people go beyond words, they know that a small, kind gesture can make someone else’s day — sometimes even their week.
2. Laughing At Yourself
I mentioned this in another article as well. And I can’t stress this enough. Laughing at yourself and not taking yourself too seriously is one of the best habits you can form.
When you use humor and self-directed laughter, people tend to find you more likable, because you are not putting yourself on a pedestal and, as a result, they perceive you as more accessible and easy to talk to.
And, as psychotherapist Douglas LaBier, Ph.D. explains, it’s good for your mental health too.
3. Trying to Be Better than Your Past Self, not Better than Others
I don’t know about you, but I admire people who don’t compare themselves to others and compare themselves to their past self, instead.
These are the people who are into personal development and challenge themselves every day — because they want to be better, they want more from themselves, and they know that can achieve more.
You see, when you compare yourself to others, when you look at other people’s achievements with jealousy, you focus your energy on something which is outside of your control.
When you make a consistent effort to achieve the best version of yourself instead, you focus your energy on something you can control.
4. Making Sure Your Compliments Are Genuine
Compliments can make someone’s day. However, as professor Leon F. Seltzer explains, there’s a big difference between authentic and fake praise. And most people can recognize the latter.
Fake compliments, always have ulterior motives. Even when your goal is just being more likable. Even when you just tell someone you like their shirt while you think it’s horrible — it may sound innocuous, but it’s manipulative.
An authentic compliment, instead, is given without needing anything in return. You say something because it’s what you truly think or feel in that moment.
If you tell someone they’re the best, and you don’t specify at what, your compliment can feel empty. If you tell someone they look amazing and they know they look like crap that day, they might think you have a hidden agenda.
If you express your admiration for someone at work who put a lot of effort on a project — and you believe they did an incredible job — your compliment will be authentic. It will sound genuine to the person who receives it, because they probably know they did a great job.
5. Being Vulnerable
Vulnerability is scary. However, it can also be powerful. Many have this misconception that vulnerable equals weak. Instead, the opposite is true.
As Brené Brown explains, vulnerability takes courage, a lot of courage, because it’s emotional exposure; however, it’s also what makes us truly connect with others.
People who are not afraid to be vulnerable, are also the ones who are not scared to show their authentic self to others, to share their weaknesses and to admit their failures. They are the ones who connect with others on a deep level and leave a lasting impression.
People who avoid vulnerability instead, often close the door to love, connection and joy without even realizing it.
Some simple habits like showing a friend you care not just with your words but also with your actions, laughing at yourself, and being vulnerable, can help you leave a lasting impression and better connect with others. Like I said, it’s all about going beyond what most people do.
Originally published in The Truly Charming