Tuesday, June 26, 2012

But I Want to be Popular Too

Let's face it. We all want to be popular. Popular with friends, relatives (well, maybe not relatives--just kidding), coworkers, bosses, and so on. Popularity is associated with fun times, success, prosperity, and a whole array of other positive thoughts and emotions. After all, when you think of the most popular boy or girl in high school, what pictures come to mind? In the case of the girl, you might envision the prettiest girl with the best smile and personality, perhaps captain of the cheerleaders. For the boy, you might think football quarterback, best athlete, or just plain best looking kid with the highest academics. Granted, these descriptions might not match exactly what came into your mind, but I think you get the point: when people conjure up images of the "popular ones," they tend to think "the best looking," "the best dresser" or something along this line.
None of us though has any control over the genetics part, and therefore we may not have been born one of the so called "beautiful people," who are paraded like starlights on the covers of magazines; nor fortunate enough to have been endowed with unrivaled athletic talent. However, it is indeed true that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." After all, have you not had the experience of meeting a very handsome man or woman of such abrasive qualities that you would not think to be associated with this person, despite all the good looks? On the contrary, have you not met people who, despite just average looks, average physical builds, or average talents, possessed some magnetic charm that forced you to absolutely fall in love with them, if even in a platonic way?
Being born beautiful, rich, or with exceptional talent does not guarantee popularity. Having these attributes certainly gives you a huge advantage, but how many times have you come across or read about someone who is beautiful and talented, yet is an absolute boor: crude, ill-mannered, excessively self-centered, egocentric? Any or all of the these? You would think that such individuals would get down on their knees everyday and thank God for having blessed them beyond measure; yet often thankfulness is severely lacking in these individuals, and they are the epitome of recycled dross. True. Rich people can buy others and even buy popularity--to a certain extent. But this is not true popularity as the old cliche is appropriate: "Money can't buy class."
In its deepest sense, that saying is true. To drive my point home, I refer to the blockbuster remake of the movie "Titanic." In that movie the character Cal, Rose's fiancé, was rich, educated, and even dashingly handsome. He had it all--on the surface. Yet as the plot developed and the successive layers of his personality were revealed, something of a different ilk was exposed: boorishness. Cal did not impress favorably, neither did his character bespeak popularity. He was beyond arrogant, and his demeanor was downright irritating. In the end, he lost it all including his life. As Rose recounts the history, we learn that during the Great Depression Cal committed suicide after he lost the only things that made him feel a sense of worth--his material possessions.
In my years of observing people interacting with others, I have catalogued seven keys which are employed by those individuals we would classify as being popular. These keys are cut from common sense and age-old wisdom, yet surprisingly they are rarely used by the majority of people. Those who understand these keys and employ them consistently are the so called popular ones. Essentially, the keys allow one to make good impressions on a consistent basis. As one makes good impressions, one becomes popular. The keys are the door openers to making good impressions. Possess the keys, use them effectively, and you are on the road to instant popularity.

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