8 Ways You Can Change How Other People Perceive You

There are an awful lot of things that are not in the control of any person, no matter how hard we might try.  Then again, there are plenty of things that are well within our control.  One of those things is the way people you come into contact with see you and think about you. 

Of course, we can’t literally control what other people think.  That’s some Professor X superpower stuff right there.  But even though we’re not telepathic, we almost always have the ability to change other people’s impressions of us by what we do and say.

Sounds easy, right?  It is.  You just have to remember to do it, that’s all.

  1. Smile more.

    Do this when you’re meeting someone new, when you run into someone unexpectedly, when you’re interacting with the cashier at Target — basically all the time.  People like people who smile.  If you do it consistently, everyone from your work acquaintances to casual friends-of-friends will think of you as that super friendly guy or girl that they can’t help but like being around.

  2. Genuinely listen, even when you don’t want to.

    Okay, sometimes it gets exhausting having to actively listen to someone who just won’t stop talking, but you’ve got to.  Hear what they’re saying, contribute to the conversation at appropriate moments and ask them questions pertaining to what they were just saying.  It makes you seem like you’re really interested, even on those occasions when you’re just not.  Folks love that.

  3. Remember things.

    This has to do with listening, but going the extra mile.  Remember little things that people say, like when your boss mentions that his wife has to have knee surgery or when your cube neighbor won’t stop going on about this trip to Mexico she’s going to take.  The next time you think of it, ask your boss how his wife’s doing, or ask your cube neighbor how her trip was.  Unless you’re particularly close to either of them, the information won’t make much of a difference to you, but it’ll make a huge difference to them, knowing that you remembered and that you cared to ask.  Brownie points!

  4. Stand straight and tall.

    Strong posture makes you come off as confident and friendly.  This is a hard thing to change if you notice you naturally slouch or just don’t pay attention to your posture.  Nevertheless, try to take note of it every time you remember, and eventually it’ll become second nature.

  5. Do your best not to complain or bad-mouth anyone.

    When you’re with your best friends or your close family, go ahead and vent all you want.  That’s what close friends are for, right?  But in a work environment, with people you don’t know very well, or in public, don’t get on the complain train.  Bitching, moaning, and talking crap about other people are great ways to make people think that you’re a negative person and a backstabber.  

  6. Make little gestures.

    Bring a dozen donuts into work, write a card to a friend when she confides in you that she’s had a rough week, or drop by your grandparents’ house just because you haven’t seen them in a while.  These gestures don’t take much time and effort, but they have a huge impact on the people you do them for.  Plus, just doing them will make you feel good.

  7. Pretend you’re Kate Middleton.

    I know it sounds stupid, but stay with me on this one.  Imagine that you’re Kate Middleton.  Do you think she’s allowed to step outside her house without looking fabulous, without having a smile on her face, and without carrying herself with grace and charm?  Of course not.  If you pretend you’re Kate and think about the persona she presents every single second she’s in public, you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to come off similarly pleasant.

  8. Seriously, smile more.

    It makes you so much more affable and approachable.  You don’t have to go around grinning from ear to ear like you’re trying to win Miss America, but be aware of how your face looks when you’re not actively doing anything with it.  If you have resting bitch face, or if your default face is just sad, making an effort to at least put a little smile on your face while you go about your business is going to make a world of difference.  People you don’t even know will see you walk by and notice the smile.