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Simple Tricks To Help You And Your Kids To Find Friends

One of the most prevalent problems of the computer age is isolation and loneliness. In order to build and maintain relationships there are a number of simple skills, which can be learned, to enhance the opportunity to find and keep friends.

All likeable people behave in certain ways. They literally have a "magnetic" personality drawing others to them. The advantages of being likeable are numerous, including higher grades and income, self-esteem, better health, longer life and happiness and well-being. Here are the five tricks you or your child can do today to increase likeability.

1. Be helpful. Studies show that "helpfulness correlates more strongly than any other attribute" with being well liked, says Haara Estroff Marno, author of Why Doesn't Anyone Like Me? Be aware of opportunities to help on a big scale, such as volunteering for projects and assisting others. Give service and teach your child to look for small ways to help others on a daily basis.

2. Liking who you are. When people feel good about themselves, they are more content and less likely to personalize every situation and comment. Develop a skill or hobby that makes you feel good and that brings joy, you don't have to be perfect at it. Just enjoying an activity and doing reasonably well will boost anyone's self-esteem. Make it a habit to end every night on a positive. Either in a journal or verbally list five things you are grateful for or that you have succeeded at in the day. Develop an attitude of gratitude.

Focus on the positive and celebrate and acknowledge your successes.

3. Say hello first. Friendly people put others at ease. Many people are hesitant to say hello because they fear rejection. But think about it, have you ever gotten mad at someone who says hello to you? Even if people don't return the greeting, they may just be pre-occupied. There is an unofficial rule about customer service that can apply to life as well; smile if someone comes within 10 feet of you, greet with a word or nod anyone within 3 feet of you. Smile with your mouth and your eyes. People who smile are perceived as friendly and approachable. A smile says, "I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you." To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.

4. Be aware of the message your appearance says about you. Whether we like it or not, people are judged by they way they look and act. If they look enough like everyone else, they will be more acceptable. If they stick out, they risk not fitting in. Those who develop their own unique style of dress must have the moxie and confidence to carry it off. Then it is an attribute. Your appearance, table manners, tone of voice and respect of space sends an instant message before you have a chance to explain who you are and to build a relationship.

5. Recognize the power of body language. Verbal language is the language of information and is only recognized and remembered 20%. Non-verbal or body language is the language of relationships and is acknowledged and remembered 80%. If your body is not responding according to your message, no one will hear or believe what you say. Practice and role-play so that your facial expressions, posture and hand movements are in accordance with the message you want to share with others.

We like someone because, we love someone although. So give people a number of reasons to like you.

© 2004 Judy H. Wright, Personal Historian, Parent Educator and Author - www.artichokepress.com

This handout has been prepared by Judy H. Wright, Missoula, MT parent educator and author. You may have permission to make copies for other parents and teachers but the entire article, including the signature line, must be included. A complete list of parenting books, aids, workshops and a FREE ezine is available at www.ArtichokePress.com. To contact us, please write judywright@artichokepress.com or call 406-549-9813.

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