What pops into your head when you think about how we impress others?
Money? A prestigious career? A beautiful face? Being famous?
If so, think about what could hide behind these top four impressive qualities. Behind the money: loneliness, lack of genuine relationships. Behind the career: a CEO can hate a 'prestigious' career as much as a toilet cleaner can hate cleaning toilets. Behind the beautiful face: constant fear of getting older and losing 'impressiveness.' Behind the fame: addictions and insecurity.
The scenarios above are not, of course, always true; there are many happy millionaires and beautiful people. But, I'd be willing to bet, the happy millionaires and beautiful people intrinsically know that we're not actually here to impress others, we're here to impress ourselves.
These 7 steps can help us do both:
1. Be Good at What YOU Do
This doesn't mean you have to be a hotshot lawyer, athlete or movie star. Throughout history, the careers, hobbies and other pursuits of the human race have been judged differently by different societies. Being a good housewife in the fifties was to uphold the ultimate image -- every girl's dream of nice appliances and a husband with shiny teeth. Yep... moving on. Suffice it to say, society's benchmarks for impressiveness are as fickle as teenage fashion states it to be.
If you make the best potato salad ever, you'll forever impress people with that skill. If you maintain a gorgeous garden, hold the best parties, give the most knowledgeable advice, if you can fix anything and everything -- whatever it is, if you've made a point of excelling at it, it's impressive and you're impressive to the people enjoying your skill!
Listening is, without a doubt, the number one skill a person can have when interacting with others. It's also, oddly enough, a rarity. The irony is, busy minds race ahead to think of witty responses, and therefore fail to fully concentrate on the information being presented. It's not very impressive when you don't receive a reply to your heartfelt expression, but, instead, get a witty antidote about the other person's situation.
This results in unimpressive conversations all round, as it's very obvious when someone can barely contain the need to talk, rather than listen. I'm reminded of that kid in school with his hand up, face red, straining against the desk in desperate urgency to deliver the answer to the teacher, meanwhile missing much of the lesson.
Maintaining eye contact, staying present and being truly engaged in what another person is saying will impress them -- 100 percent of the time -- because it will make them feel special. And chances are, you'll learn something valuable also.
3. Maintain Your Individuality
We're all interesting to each other because of our differences. 'Fence sitting' within conversations, agreeing with someone when you don't and pretending to like things that you don't may feel like the easiest option at the time, but it never is.
Most importantly, you're unlikely to feel impressed with yourself when you go along with everything for the sake of fitting in, and secondly, the courage to express yourself freely and embrace responses from others is what actually impresses others.
Be a pioneer for individuality and acceptance of such, admire those very qualities within yourself that express your uniqueness and delight in the flood of admiration you deserve to receive as a result.
4. Be Honest
You always know when someone is being sincere or not. The funniest, liveliest, most fascinating people are often that way, because they are being blatantly honest.
Whether it be with or about yourself, to others, in regard to the state of the world or your house or your partner's annoying habits, honesty doesn't have to mean cringe-worthy confrontation. Most often, when it really is sincere honesty, it means a good belly laugh at how seriously we take ourselves.
For some, smiling is the natural state of the face. For others, a smile only tugs at the cheeks when watching something funny.
A smile can come with you to any meeting with any person. A smile is always an amazing and impressive thing to witness. A smile always makes people feel comfortable, special and welcome. If you don't already make a point of smiling each time you say 'hello' -- not just to people you know who make you smile, but to strangers as well -- try it and see what happens.
6. Passion, Enthusiasm and Excitement are Cool Emotions -- Express Away!
The 'too cool for school' attitude is like a rampant weed suffocating the life out of all things fun. Not just in high-school either, adults play the game just as well. This attitude comes from people not wanting other people to think, that they think what the other person has or does is cooler than what they themselves have or do... make sense?
Passion, enthusiasm and excitement for and over anything portrays a happy life, a happy person. These emotions only spring from impressive desires, thoughts and acts. There's really nothing 'cooler.'
7. Hang Out With YOU
Last, but perhaps the most impressive step, is the ability to be alone with yourself. The ability to have fun on your own, to be quiet, to contemplate, to run, laugh, swim, go out -- anything at all -- but in your own company.
Come on, admit it, when you hear stories of people trekking around the world on their own, even going to the movies on their own, you're a little bit impressed and intrigued, right? How are they so confident and without fear of judgement?
When you're completely confident with YOU, the inner you shines through the outer you. You project sincerity and love. You project your soul freely, and, in turn, you are rewarded with seeing the truth behind the barriers hiding the souls of others.
And there's nothing more impressive than seeing another's soul, and knowing you're living directly from your own.
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