BY ADELE CASANOVA
You may ask yourself, “Do I need my own fan club?” The answer is yes! Everyone thrives with a base of friends and acquaintances who admire and respect them. Your fan club is the network of family and friends in your life who support you through positive feedback. The more genuinely you serve them as a respected, trusted friend, the more they can support you in return.
As we each work to develop our own unique self-identity, we base it partially on the ways others acknowledge us. We want to be accepted and taken seriously. To do that we need to develop attributes like honesty, respectability, integrity, and sincerity. To develop these attributes here are seven key behaviors to practice in your daily interactions with others:
Recognize Others Equally– Make the assumption that everyone has something of value to offer and show that you are willing to listen and acknowledge individuals equally. This is particularly important in group settings where unequal respect and attention to others will be obvious. Striving to make a person look and feel accepted in front of others by acknowledging his or her importance is a key practice in developing respect of others.
Listen Effectively– Listen carefully when others are speaking. Lend your full attention. Focus on them, using direct eye contact, with an open mind ready to absorb what they are telling you. Don’t catch yourself only thinking of your response instead of carefully evaluating what you are hearing. Practice a brief pause before responding. Consider the other person’s statement fully. Your responses will be more thoughtful, and you will experience fewer regrets over possible misinterpretations or thoughtless remarks.
Accept Responsibility– No whining, making excuses or shifting blame to others. If you make a mistake, admit it right away and express sincere regret. The longer you wait to acknowledge an error on your part, the more difficult it will be to eventually do so. People are generally more willing to forgive when a mistake is admitted to honestly, with regret, than if something is covered up or if blame is shifted. You will feel relieved and everyone will be positioned to move past it.
Avoid Gossip– Nothing can discredit you quicker in the eyes of others than gossiping about your friends or family. The number one rule to remember if you are tempted to engage in gossip is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Of course, you would not want to be the subject of gossip! Be wary also, of those who gossip, or speak critically of others, as they very well may not prove to be reliable people with whom to associate.
Deliver on Promises– It is easy to make promises off the cuff during a conversation, but be aware that even what you may think is an insignificant promise, can be something meaningful to the other person. Repeated breaking of your word on small, or big, promises creates a lack of credibility that can be hard to rebuild.
Protect Your Own Privacy– Choose carefully with whom you share your personal woes, and judge wisely how much you reveal about your personal life. We all need a special friend we can confide in when life seems difficult, but broadcasting family or financial problems to everyone you know can be an unpleasant burden.
Be Available to Others– When your friends or family face a true crisis or illness and they reach out to you in need, be available. This is when it really counts in establishing genuine empathy and caring for others.
By practicing these behaviors, you will become known as a person of sincerity. These behaviors will encourage you to live with integrity, staying true to yourself. You will become to your friends and family someone to admire, trust and respect. You will build your own fan club!