5 Ways to Be More Pleasant

By Dr. Perry, PhD

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” ~Confucious

1. Pay attention to detail
Let’s face it, people love to be noticed. Whenever you meet someone new, take a moment to identify what makes them unique. Make sure to look for positive attributes so you don’t end up pointing out that someone has poor posture or dirty shoes. Maybe they have a nice smile or pretty eyes. Everyone likes a compliment when it is sincere. I am always looking for something special about every person I meet. And, I will never hesitate to let them know what I find!

2. Ask people about their passion
Who doesn’t like to talk about their passion? Not only will you come across as more likable because you are happily letting someone else take center stage, but you can learn a lot about who they are! It can be quite beautiful seeing someone talk about their passion. And, don’t be afraid to share your passion with them too. You will always shine brightest when talking about something you love!

3. Do small (5 minute) favors
We will always be more likable when we can be flexible with our time. It is always a nice gesture when someone takes a moment to help another person. Maybe you have a skill that no one else does. Why not take five minutes to help someone in need? Sometimes a five-minute favor can be asking how someone’s day is going. A lot can happen in five minutes. Like my Dad still tells me, “People are like comets, a single touch can send them in an entirely new direction.”

4. Use a flooding smile 
When you greet someone, don’t start off with a huge enthusiastic smile. First, with a neutral and natural expression, make eye contact with the person. Second, identify who they are. And third, slowly flood a warm and pleasant smile in their direction. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Here is what most people do. They see a person and greet them with a smile that is bigger than life. That is great if you are in sales. But, when it comes to likability, sincerity is your best friend. If you are the one receiving the smile wouldn’t you want to know that it is not a one size fits all kind of smile?

5. Meet people where they are
When people come to you with their problems it is important to remember they are not necessarily looking for you to provide a solution. In general, people just want to know that someone hears and understands them. By saying, “wow, that sounds really difficult,” you will accomplish 100 times more than by saying, “really? here is what I think you should do!” It’s simple, meet them where they are at.

I hope you found this helpful. If you have questions or are in need of support please click here.

Dr. Perry

“We specialize in a solution-focused approach to psychotherapy, specifically treating depression, anxiety, relationship issues and narcissistic abuse.”
Verified by Psychology Today

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57 responses to 5 Ways to Be More Pleasant

  1. Good, beautiful and true says:

    Needed to be reminded about all of these. So important to keep relationships running smoothly!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Tanya Cliff says:

    I absolutely loved this!

    Everyone likes a compliment when it is sincere. I am always looking for something special about every person I meet. And, I will never hesitate to let them know what I find!

    Even a small gesture in this area can make a big difference in a person’s day. I am glad that you remind us to make it sincere. There are a lot of opportunities to be creative with compliments. For instance, when my children were very small and behaved themselves on an outing, I always appreciated the occasional strangers who would compliment them (or me). Those things simply made my day.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Singledust says:

    this is so special, such a genuineness in the words ….but as i read it i see its more of making the other person at ease rather than making myself likeable….very gentle and subtle….thank you for sharing from your heart. my favourite #5 meet people where they are at, thats so profound

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Number 5 is my favorite and something I try to remind myself to do regularly. I always feel a little let down when people immediately try to start fixing the problem. I (and I think most of us) just want the listener to be present with the struggle not the solution.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Miriam says:

    Your post flooded me with warmth, much like that flooding smile you spoke about. Wonderful post with so much truth here and so many simple things we can all do to brighten up someone’s day. Thanks for the great reminders. (By the way, your dad is a wise man, I love his quote). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      ah, your comment has done the same for me Miriam. Thank you for the kind words about my dad. I feel very fortunate to still have him with me. Even though I am an adult I still call him to pick his brain about different things often. Wishing you well 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This is great advice, I love the smile part especially. I struggle with the last part because I am a fixer, I often have to remind myself to just be a good listener instead of trying to solve everyone’s problems! I definitely just want to feel like I’ve been heard when I’m hurting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi Serena, I have to remind myself of this too! I think it is in our nature to want to provide solutions. It sure can be stressful when we feel like this though!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I love #4 – The flooding smile. I strive to do this when I start with #5 – Meet People Where They Are. Unfortunately, some people think something is wrong when I’m stepping into conversation with them to ‘Meet them.’ Ugh!

    On another note related to #5, I just learned a new technique last night at my first improv class and it is a 2 parter:

    1) If a person is ranting (and our initial reaction is to jump in and fix), bring your closed hand to your mouth and put your index finger knuckle on your lips as though you are thinking. This helps to keep oneself from jumping in and interrupting.

    2) When they’re finished, repeat what they said “So, this is what I heard..”. Then ask them if:
    -a) they just wanted to vent
    -b) need help to fix it
    -c) just wanted someone to sympathize.

    It works like a charm. The person feels that they’ve been heard.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Rowena says:

    These are fabulous points, which I’ll pass onto my kids as well. I like how we each have different perspectives and suggestions and it’s good to brush up on our inter-personal skills.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Aloha Eric,
    I have a dinner engagement tonight with another couple … your comments have helped to remind me about honing my communication skills … it will be fun going back to the lab (dinner) and testing out the premise. Namaste, Bob

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Tina Park says:

    Awesome post! I totally agree with you on that last point. I find that more often than not, people come to me for a good rant and for my sympathy, rather than a solution. Having great listening ears go a long way!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Good points Eric, people with problems are usually sorting them out themselves but often need a kind listening ear to talk to. Many people need sympathy and friendship. If they require help they will ask you. I am a good listener.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. milkyminx says:

    ‘People are like comets, a single touch can send them in an entirely new direction.’ — I smiled reading this quote of your dad’s, Eric. The imagery is vivid and powerful. Thanks for sharing it.//mm

    Liked by 3 people

  13. What a great post, I definitely agree about the smiling, such a small gesture but you can visibly see people light up! It feels great to be so connected via a simple facial gesture 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Peyton says:

    Great tips. I find that people are losing these type of skills with social media. It is too easy to get along without really meeting someone.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. sargondorsai says:

    I’ve always tried to practice these things in my life. I enjoy hearing people talk about their passions. The enthusiasm that someone has for something they truly enjoy is a delight to hear. I enjoy asking them about their day, even if it’s just a quick visit. Well written. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Diana says:

    Love this! Last one so important! People generally don’t want a solution, unless they ask for one. They just want someone to listen. They need to vent, to hear themselves talk. Etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Viral T. says:

    I’ve recently started to do vlogs but not posting them to YouTube yet. I get to see myself in front of a mirror like platform and practice a vlog style conversation. I need to work on #4 because my smiles fluctuate and need to be in control on how wide my smile is depending on who I greet. Thanks for the advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Number 5 has really resonated with me. I am guilty of being over opinionated and offering out advice. I’m the eldest sibling and I’m always asked for solutions. My parents always ask for solutions so I’m just programmed to get into solution mode. It’s not always the best way.

    Great blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. quandarysite says:

    These are really five amazing points. Got inspired. It is really great to know others perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. anya786 says:

    Thank you for a great post! I think being likable means to be empathetic and full of compassiom which this posts shows greatly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Generation Confused says:

    This is so true and yet so simple as many have already said. Great reads! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. As for point five, it reminded me of a talk I hard from a priest once, actually. He talked about how challenging it is to help parishioners, and he discovered that you have to 1. Know the person first 2. Love the person in a way that is completely detached from your desire to change them THEN 3. Offer help when they ask you for it. I think it’s a pretty good blueprint for interacting with people in general, on a daily basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. quendylynne says:

    This is exactly what we need. There are so many easy “little” things that we can all do for others and ourselves that will become BIG things!

    Liked by 2 people

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