People Person: How To Be One Without Compromising On Your Principles

People Person

If you want to extend your circle of influence you must learn how to work with and through people. Here are some ways to become a people person without compromising on your inner principles. 

One myth is that being a “people person” is a quality that you are born with, it cannot be learned. Apparently, it is who you are but in today’s modern and high-tech world, people can fake knowing how to handle difficult situations. Not only can a people person wear different masks they can also pretend to be great at being a conversationalist. They can appear to be someone who is gregarious, outgoing, and enjoys being around people. But in reality, a people person is not an ass-kisser or a peoples person, instead, they know how to communicate with others when things get tough. 

HR Recruiters are famous for being people persons themselves. Eventually, they would want to know how you’ve handled tough situations in the past because there’s a chance it could happen again in your new workplace. Telling a recruiter that you get along with everyone because you’re a people person is another way of letting them know that “I don’t want to tell you what happens when I don’t get along with people.” 

Being a quote on quote people person who’s all friendly and lovey-dovey is completely unrealistic because to think a person has lived their entire life getting along with everyone is just a flat-out lie. Whether you’re working with a team, getting ready to plan your wedding arrangements, working behind a counter as a store cashier, or any kind of job of being around people – just know that being a people person is not about being an extrovert. It is more about opening up yourself to tough situations and being deeply rooted in more solution-driven strategies. It’s not about talking someone’s ears off or being a social butterfly. 

What Does It Mean To Be A People Person?

What Skills Does A People Person Have?

They Build Trust: 

A people person is looked at like a social bring butterfly who is skilled in influence, interpersonal facilitation, creativity, and team leadership. Ultimately, a people person is someone who enjoys interacting with others and communicating with them by fostering emotional quotient skills. These skills make them more approachable and in a group of people, they appear as a support system.

A people person therefore has the skill to help build trusting relationships with teammates, co-workers, new friends, etc. 

The question we need to ask is if people skills are innate or are they something you can definitely work on developing? 

They Listen: 

A people person has taken their time to practice and master the art of listening. 

A people person possesses leadership skills because they know when to lean in and listen before interrupting others to jump to conclusions. Through years of practice, they can show attentiveness, care, and eagerness when listening to their teams and customers.

They Act:

All talk and no walk are not the characteristics of a people person. When their co-workers share their challenges, they know the least they can do is introduce them to another peer that may have the answers or provide guidance. 

They Are Not All Extroverts:

A people person doesn’t have to be an extrovert if connecting with others in a large group isn’t their mode of operation! 

3 Signs That You’re Not a People Person

Being a people person earns you a tick mark, a check, a total friend request accepted from society. Everyone wants to be a People Person (whether they actually are or not) because you’re relaxed and easy to get on with; it means you have lots of friends — that you’re POPULAR. But if you find yourself making a face or feeling like you can’t relate to the sentences above, it’s not going to look great for a job interview. That being said, there are some incredible qualities about not being a people person! Being a people person usually points towards an extroverted and sociable personality. But here’s the real truth about social butterflies and extreme people pleasers: 

They tend to be extreme extraverts who are often anxious, 

They tend to be needing other people as an outlet for their own high energy, n

They need others as a distraction from themselves (and their fears), 

And they need to make others laugh as a means of feeling funny, liked, accepted and even loved. 

Extraverts can find being alone as draining, and scary, whereas you thrive in these environments. That being said, you still need to find the balance, so here’s a test to see if you’re a people person: 

TEST NUMBER 1: 

  • I’m quiet and shy, 
  • I don’t mix easily. 
  • I dislike going to parties unless I know the people who are coming well enough. 
  • I take a long time to make friends.
  • You avoid rash decisions.
  • You avoid getting into relationships with people who aren’t good for you. 
  • You’re moody, isolated, prefer to work alone despite having good communication skills. 
  • You prefer to keep people at an online distance.

Did you say “YES” to most of these questions? If so then it’s because of these 3 telltale signs: 

Anxious

You find social interactions awkward, overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. Do you tend to worry you won’t have anything interesting to say and that therefore people will find you boring and avoid you? You turn down invites whenever you can — or you withdraw at the last minute.

Self sufficient

You need time by yourself to re-energize and enjoy creative pursuits and fill your tank. Quite honestly, when you get any downtime you’d rather go for a hike in the hills (alone) or make something or read a book.

People annoy you

You have a low tolerance for people’s quirks and habits. 

Quite often they tend to be boring to you — or at least the things they want to talk about do. You’d rather stare at your phone than chit chat around the water cooler about celebrity news. 

Fortunately for you, sounding like an introvert who is against human interaction on a large scale has to be measured against how you PERFORM in your day-to-day life. So we can retake the test. 

TEST NUMBER 2: 

Making your way in the world has far less to do with how you feel about being with other people like your co-workers, neighbours, senior employees, toxic family members and more about whether you are capable of showing a (genuine) interest in them to LEARN from them. Ask yourself: 

  • Can I ask a sincere question of another person (without scanning the room for the emergency exit)? 
  • Can I stand still long enough to listen to their answer?
  • Can I ask a relevant follow-up question? 
  • Can I make someone think or smile or feel something?

If you said mostly “NO” to these questions, then you might be too self-involved. The world is an interesting place and most importantly, if you’re not up forever hearing those stories, you’re missing out; you’re stunting your own education. 

So next time you’re with others, challenge yourself to become more curious outside of your head. This will just ease you in if you try it for 5 minutes. 

How To Become A People Person Without Compromising Your Truth

Without any comprises of your inner principles, ethics and way of life, you can practice your interpersonal skills through insightful one-on-one conversations/actions with your team members. 

Being social isn’t formally part of the job description, but the beneficial effects that come with it are so worth picking up this skill. You don’t have to become a different person but learn to engage using the tips listed below. The tips listed below will help in nterpersonal skills that will minimize conflict, establish trusting relationships, and overall create a positive life and work experiences.

Remember the details. 

One thing that will make you cool is learning to hold onto details like your friend’s dog’s name, books they are reading, or shows they’re binge-watching. It’s the small things and details like this that count and that show you care about an individual beyond their work.

Be true to yourself. 

If you are feeling vulnerable, don’t be afraid to share it with someone! But share on your own terms. Vulnerability can be a strength of yours when you channel it in a healthy and honest way. For example, sharing your stories and experiences helps in sharing trust and signals to others that it’s acceptable to be vulnerable and real. This puts everyone at ease. 

Radiate positivity. 

Be aware of your facial expressions when you speak to people. 

You can also try and go out of your way to compliment others on things that you GENUINELY find interesting or unique. 

For example, If you find a peer’s new Zoom dinner interesting, ask for their recipe or if you think their background interesting or fun, compliment them! A little positivity goes a long way.

Turn sympathy into empathy. 

Sympathy is feeling for the other person. Empathy is stepping into the other person’s shoes. Telling someone you feel bad for them is less effective than telling them you empathize. For example, if you’re interviewing a potential candidate, think back to a time where you went through the interview process. Tap into those past experiences to resonate with your peers.

Ask, don’t tell. 

This creates an open space for discussion, not dictation. If you want a task to be done by your teammate, simply ask if they’re available or willing to add this to their plate. Don’t just assume they can and will do it!

In addition to that, think about the one topic people like talking about the most? Themselves. So the more interest you show in the other person the more he or she finds you interesting. After all, when somebody demonstrates genuine attentiveness toward you, you don’t turn your back and walk away. 

Find inspiring people. 

Watch a video of influential speakers like Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., or Steve Jobs. Observe their body language, facial expressions, tone of voice. Adapt and refine gestures and techniques that feel natural to you.

Avoid the robot response.

Instead of following the robotic question-answer sequence of, “How are you?” “Good. How are you?” you can be a bit more truthful if you actually had a bad day. There’s no need to put on a shield all the time and be a superhuman because a people person is not afraid to be personal. In fact, they rarely sound like a broken record. 

So when somebody asks you how you are, you could say, “Actually, I’ve had better days. I spent entirely too much money last night ( if you think this is too much information then don’t say this) and have nothing to show for it but a hangover and an empty wallet — and I put my shoe on backwards this morning.”

With a response like this, there’s bound to be some follow-up conversation now. 

Be quiet and just listen.

One major drawback of most people is being in a conversation with their friends and family or even co-workers only to notice the mistakes or join in for rebuttal when someone sounds wrong. 

Other people bring their next thought in the back of their mind forward even before the other person didn’t finish their sentence. 

What this indicates is that the person isn’t listening but rather thinking of how to respond to you. 

When this happens, simply slow down my rate of speech to see if the other person will chime in.

The point here is to just be present, at the moment, and responsive in your next discussion.

Beware of your tone. 

If you don’t think that your tone or voice modulation matters, see if you can tell the difference between these two statements: “I can’t believe YOU did that!” and “I can’t BELIEVE you did that!” 

Notice the difference? Both of these sentences express surprise, but the former conveys more condescension, targeting the listener with the emphasis on the “YOU”. On the other hand, the second one is more praiseworthy and a true surprise! 

So all in all, remember that it’s not all about what you say, but how you say it that matters. By learning to use these tips in your next encounter, you will slowly watch your people skills develop each day! 

Don’t Go Overboard: Celeb Advice On People Pleasing

Sometimes your need to be a people person can consume too much of your energy and leave you depleted. Sure, it’s great to be an accommodating, generous person who wants to make other people happy. But sometimes the need to please and approval means a price to be paid for being too nice. Your fear of rejection doesn’t mean that you spend so much time taking care of others that you run yourself ragged, neglect your own wants and needs, and lose your sense of self. 

Some of the most successful people know that in order to lead a creative, authentic, and happy life, you have to ditch being a major people person and find a balance between pleasing others and being yourself. 

Ed Sheeran

I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. 

Jim Carrey

Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory. 

Eleanor Roosevelt

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do. 

Sheryl Crow

The singer songwriter was treated for breast cancer four years ago but her story of surviving cancer changed her way of life forever. Crow said:  

“The entire experience was a real source of remembering who I am. It was about looking at my life and realigning it. I was someone who could never say no. I had to learn to say no, I had to learn to be OK with not everyone liking me because I was a people-pleaser, a caretaker, and I had to unlearn that. The first thing I had to learn how to do was to sit, be quiet and hold an emotion, and not to do that thing of staying busy and not thinking about it, because you wind up not experiencing the lesson. So I allowed myself to grieve, to feel scared, and I came out of it feeling like I’d been liberated”. 

Lao Tzu

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her. 

Aristotle

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.

Viggo Mortensen

If you’re trying to please everyone, then you’re not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don’t think, in the long run. 

Shannon L. Alder

When you stop living your life based on what others think of you, real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self-acceptance opened.

Paulo Coehlo

When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself. 

Elizabeth Parker

The only thing wrong with trying to please everyone is that there’s always at least one person who will remain unhappy. You. 

Brie Larson

“My empathy is the thing that has brought me closer to people, [and] has brought me all over the world and in crazy situations and beautiful situations. It’s also the thing that can leave me feeling kind of raw and vulnerable at the end of it. And so as I’m 27 and starting to learn more about myself and how to take care of myself…It’s figuring out how to do that and feel strong in that, and feeling strong and knowing when a boundary has been crossed or I’ve reached a certain limit and not beating myself up over it when I don’t find the perfect balance.”

The actress also said that for a long time, she was concerned about what people think, and that she’s learning how to deal with that. Brie said that she’s a gooey person and wants to stay gooey, and that cutting herself off from these emotions would stop her from being a sensitive and empathetic person. The takeaway here is for those who have always worn their heart on their sleeve: Keep your heart open, but not at the cost of your own wellbeing. You don’t have to please everyone.

Benefits Of Becoming A People Person:

  • Finding the energy to newly turn into a “people person” is a lot easier said than done, especially if you don’t like to put yourself out there. That being said, being a people person isn’t about turning a switch and changing your personality—it’s all about making small, actionable changes in your personal life. This also extends to your work life. It’s normal for you to dislike people in your workplace because no one is perfect. That being said, if you really dislike ALL your co-workers, then you will never progress. 
  • Progress happens when you can LEARN to get along with a vast variety of people and also be able to deal with difficult situations without getting too emotional or hiding in a shell. 
  • A “people person” knows that by talking through the situation, you can turn others around with your delicate powers of persuasion. Only a “people person” can do this.

There are lots of individuals who love being around people whether they are introverts or extroverts. In conclusion, at some point in our careers or personal lives, we will work with someone that we just don’t like – it could be your peer, your security guard, your neighbor, or your mother-in-law. And we don’t want to spend time trying to build a relationship with them, but we do need to all get along without creating more stress for ourselves. This is why you could change your behavior to have people-person skills when the jerks of the world come along. You can also develop people-person skills when you learn that you cannot turn around everything and make it go your way always. The more you learn, the more you grow. 

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