There are certain qualities that people tend to respond to more than others. These qualities can be highly important when trying to form and maintain friendships.
The following points should help you become s-cool quicker than you thought possible! (Sorry - I was dared to write that!)
1. Be reliable. If you say that you'll do something, do it. If you say that you'll meet someone at 6pm, meet them at 6pm. Reliability and trust come hand-in-hand and it's almost impossible to form a friendship where there's a lack of trust.
2. Be thoughtful. If something important is going on in one of your friend's lives, or you met them the night before and had a good time, giving them a quick ring, writing them an e-mail, or simply sending them a text message will mean a great deal.
3. Be positive. People enjoy being around people that are optimistic and enthusiastic. Being too cool and relaxed is not always the right way to act. Remember, enthusiasm is highly contagious and up lifting.
4. Smile. This makes you appear friendly and approachable. O.K - smiling too much may make you look stupid and too eager to please, but not smiling enough is just as bad - if not worse!
5. Relax. Appearing totally at ease and comfortable with yourself will make people feel totally at ease and comfortable when they're around you. If you start to feel tense, there is a good relaxation technique in the "Cheer-up!" article. Have a go!
6. Avoid negative gossip. It is almost certain that if you talk about someone behind their back, they will find out - and you never know what the future might hold!
7. Speak clearly and reasonably quickly. By doing this you will sound interesting and enthusiastic, rather than boring and patronising. If people can't hear you properly because you are mumbling or speaking quietly, they will soon get annoyed! If you are asked a question, always pause before you answer. This gives the impression that you value their interest and want to give an accurate response.
8. Be interested in others. Placing the limelight on someone else is one of the best ways to make and maintain friends. As well as making them feel special, it also makes you feel less self-conscious and shy. Remembering the names of people that you perhaps don't speak to very often is very flattering. Attentiveness is very irresistible!
9. Don't corner people verbally. Give them a way out. Instead of saying, "Do you want to go to the cinema next week?" gently suggest it - "I think I might go to the cinema next week, if you feel like coming
10. Don't fidget nervously. You can't appear confident and relaxed if you're wriggling or fiddling with something. As well as making you seem nervous and uncomfortable, it makes it awkward for the person you're with.
11. Don't take yourself too seriously. Laughter is very infectious and helps to ease tension. We lose our inhibitions and produce the feel-good hormones that increase self-esteem.
12. Pay compliments. Everyone likes to be appreciated and flattered. If you avoid looking as though you're sucking-up, and the compliments are genuinely meant, it gives people a huge boost!
13. Accept compliments. Courteously accepting a compliment is a lot more attractive and considerably more polite than rejecting them.
14. Do favours. Don't automatically assume or expect them to be returned, but putting yourself out for your friends is extremely flattering and will more than likely be returned out of gratitude and respect.
15. Be honest. I'm sure you've heard this before, but "honesty is the best policy". Occasionally, a little white lie may be in order - perhaps to protect someone - but being up-front and sincere is definitely an admired quality. It stops people bottling things up and makes people feel as though they can confide in you.
16. Be independent. Don't smother or depend on others too much. Independence is irresistible, but be careful not to isolate yourself too much - the correct balance needs to be found.
17. Use eye contact. Looking into someone's eyes when you speak to them is a lot more involving than looking into space. It indicates that you really want them to hear what you have to say and that you value their opinions.
18. Maintain friendships. Close friendships take a lot of time and effort at the beginning - don’t lose them. It doesn't matter how busy you are, a quick phone call keeps friendships alive.
19. Listen. Don't interrupt when someone has something to say. It makes it seem as though you can't be bothered to hear the whole story and that you are trying to cut them off. Respond to what they tell you with appropriate facial expressions, as this shows them that you are tuned in and genuinely aware of what they are saying.
20. Look after yourself. All that advice about exercising, eating healthily and relaxing really does pay off. We may not all be blessed with natural beauty, but drawing attention to your good points and playing down your supposedly bad points makes you feel good about yourself - which tends to make others feel good about you, too.
Keep checking "Get the latest on…" for articles on how to take care of yourself - they really do work!