A Simple Guide to Popularity

All of us want to be popular among our family, peers and teachers, but very few of us know the simple tips which make us better-liked than others. We usually look up with admiration to people who are more popular than us and sometimes even envy them.

It may interest you to know that we only have to follow some simple rules to gain popularity. Read and follow this simple guide to popularity and gain admiration within your social circle in no time.

Share and care

Generally, people who have a high graph of popularity are quick to share their blessings with their acquaintances. Whether it is a book, a gadget or a meal, they like to share their belongings with people around them and even happily give these things away, whether as a gift or a loan.

meal, they like to share their belongings with people around them and even happily give these things away, whether as a gift or a loan.

Popular people also love to share their joys and sorrows with friends and family. They are sympathetic when they find their friends in a problem and always try to be first to congratulate others in their moments of joy. They are quick to show people in their circle that they are an important part of their lives.

Caring for people around us endears us to their hearts. A kind word, a sincere advice and a helping hand in difficult times, and sometimes even a gesture as simple as offering to carry someone’s load, are small acts which have far-reaching effects.

Try to visit the aged in your family, especially when they are not well or at least call them from time to time. These small acts will make a special place for you in their hearts.

Always remember that a soft voice, which expresses a logical view, is more effective than a loud one. Soft-spoken people are usually popular as everyone feels more comfortable in talking to them.

Politeness always pays

Being polite is the easiest way to win over someone. It may be holding the door for the person who enters a room or car, offering your seat to an elderly person who cannot find a place in a bus or standing up when someone older than you enters the room. These are endearing gestures, which people do not forget easily.

Always try to be the first to greet friends when you meet them. Take interest in their activities and ask simple questions to show that you give importance to them. Listen politely and never interrupt someone when they are speaking. Always wait for your turn when you are in a discussion.

Remember, ‘Thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘sorry’ are magic words which are a mark of politeness and good upbringing. Using these words habitually will add to your popularity.

Be a good listener

Most of us seem to be in love with our own voice. Instead of listening attentively to what our friends or peers have to say, we like to speak non-stop without caring whether people around us are interested in what we are talking about or not!

Most of the times, it is better to take interest in what people around us are discussing. When we listen with interest, we are bound to gain knowledge and learn to perceive things with an angle different from ours. When friends are talking about their problems, only if we listen attentively, we will understand their troubles better and be able to give out a word of advice where needed.

While discussing a current issue or a hot topic, we usually get over excited and raise our voices to try to drown out those around us. Always remember that a soft voice, which expresses a logical view, is more effective than a loud one. Soft-spoken people are usually popular as everyone feels more comfortable in talking to them.

Light the world with a smile

Have you ever wondered why you take an instant liking to a new teacher if she enters the classroom with a smile on her face? Often we have to go to a party or wedding where we know very few people. On entering the venue, as we look around for a seat, we are instinctively drawn to a person with a smiling demeanour. We are more comfortable with a doctor who wears a smile on his face.

Remember that a smile has a magnetic and endearing power. It is also highly infectious and has the power to cheer up people around us. Learn to smile even if you don’t feel like doing so. All of us have problems, but wearing a sulking look will not solve them in anyway. People who have a smiling face are definitely more popular than those who habitually wear a frown.

Be helpful

Helping out people around us is a very endearing habit. You may help a classmate in subjects he/she finds difficult, help your mum by sharing her workload, take care of your younger siblings or run an errand for your grandparents or an elderly neighbour.

You may be better than your parents or grandparents at computers, tabs or cellphones. Never complain if they ask for your help repeatedly. Consideration for others with a quick helping hand is a simple quality which makes one popular.

Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Kindness is cool

Speak lovingly with your younger siblings and cousins, and be kind to them. Take interest in their activities in order to show how much you care for them.

Never be harsh or rude to your maid, driver or any other person employed by your parents. Listen with sympathy if at times they discuss their problems with

you. Help them out whenever you possibly can.

Give away your extra toys, clothes and books to the needy people around you. They will be more than grateful for your compassion. Remember that kindness always pays back positively.

Personal grooming is paramount

At first thought you may feel that this tip is not related to popularity. But in my opinion, a person looking fresh and neatly dressed is always better liked than those who do not care about their personal hygiene. We usually shun people who smell of perspiration, have a foul breath or are generally untidy.

Keep your nails trimmed neatly and hair properly brushed. Shower daily, brush your teeth twice a day and be sure to use a deodorant when going out. You do not have to spend a lot on these things; only adopting healthy habits will make you well-groomed and attractive to others.

Try out these simple and easy tips to be better liked in your circle. I am sure you will find your graph of popularity rise in no time.

Published in Dawn, Young World, October 7th, 2017

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THE BRAND DIVIDE! http://dawn.com/2011/06/12/lifestyle-the-brand-divide/

          

Times have changed! So have our values! Today the amount of respect one gets in society is directly proportional to the price of the designer clothes one is wearing, the price and model of his/her cell phone and wrist watch, the brand of his/her shoes and in case of women the number of diamonds glittering on her fingers or ear lobes! We no more value people for their honesty, truthfulness, patriotism, academic qualifications or contribution towards the welfare of society. All these qualities have taken a back seat in the fast moving and materialistic world we are living in.

The brand mania has taken our society by the storm! We spent (or throw away) money without even a second thought on branded consumer goods like clothes, shoes, bags, watches or cell phones just to mention a few of them. Clever marketing tactics have hoodwinked us into believing that the more we spend, the better quality we will get, but this is not always true. I admit to the fact that to compete and succeed in the markets, branded goods usually maintain their quality. But this does not mean that cheaper alternatives of nearly the same quality are not available.

Only a few years ago, brand was a word usually used for a foreign made consumer good with an internationally recognized logo. Names like Levis, Wrangler, Nike, Rado, Reebok, Christine Dior, Yardley (to name only a few), were only within reach of the high income class. But now the scenario has changed completely. Local brands are storming the markets and fleecing people by charging exorbitant rates for their goods. Although their target consumers are the privileged class, but the not so privileged are also trapped by their advertising campaigns.

Until a decade back, most of us were content with buying lawn suits from our neighbouring markets as lawn was basically considered a summer comfort fabric. Some more budget conscious women preferred to wait till the end of the season sales, when they would buy and store their lawn suits for the next summers. Today the branded lawn suits have completely swept us off our feet and it is becoming sort of a status symbol to buy and wear these suits.

 The fashion designers, models and television celebrities are making the most of this mind set. They wake up one fine morning and announce their brand of lawn and start campaigning for it. The response they get depends upon their fame and popularity. Women rush to be the first to buy these exorbitant prized lawns as their exhibitions start. We see educated women throwing all norms of etiquette to the air as they push, shove and bustle against each other to be the first to reach the cherished material. And with a sense of great achievement they throw away hefty sums for a single suit! In their eagerness to win this rat race, they completely forget that only a small percentage of our population can afford this luxury. In a way, the brand mania is increasing the gap between the high and middle income classes, creating a sense of frustration and deprivation.

Amina, a homemaker says, “With my husband’s salary and the money I earn by giving tuitions at home, we can live a comfortable life. But I feel a sort of inferiority complex when I can not buy the designer dresses which every other women seems to be talking about. So, some months I give into impulse and get some branded stuff for myself. But I immediately start regretting this waste of money, as I have to cut down on the food expenses to make up for the gap created in my monthly budget thus compromising on my family’s health.

Nadia (name changed for the sake of privacy), a mother of four, laments, “When my two sons were young I used to get them jeans for around three to four hundred rupees. But now like their peers they demand branded jeans which cost anything from 2500 to 5000. How can a white collared family like ours afford such luxuries? Although at times I have to fulfill their demands, but more often than not I have to put my foot down and say a firm no! I fear that this may create an inferiority complex in them as most of their friends spend hefty sums on clothes,” she sighs.

I asked a student of Dow Institute of Medical Sciences, why he and his friends keep such expensive cell phones? He replied with a sheepish smile, “I can give you no particular reason for this mind set, it maybe peer pressure but expensive cell phones are a craze with our generation. We want the latest ones with unending options, most of which we seldom use (or need)! These too have to be changed at least twice a year or we will have to face the raised eyebrows of friends”.

Some people belonging to the middle income group are also seen eager to buy expensive branded goods. This may be due to the social pressure, or it may be a deep rooted sense of insecurity or inferiority complex. They may want to prove that they are not as hard pressed for funds as people take them to be! Whatever may be the reason for this sheer wastage of money, those of us who are not trapped into going for brands must learn not to feel under privileged, unfashionable or poor! All of us have the right to chose how and where we want to spend our hard earned money wisely!