How to get everyone to like you, from your kids to your boss

Who knew high-school popularity weighs so heavily on our adult lives? It’s what sparked “Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World” by Mitch Prinstein, board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology.

In his book, Prinstein explores the way our popularity as teens hugely impacts our relationships, careers, and happiness as adults.
We chatted with Prinstein about what makes us likable to different types of people. Responses are edited for space and clarity.

Good Popularity vs. Bad Popularity

One form of popularity is called status and doesn’t really emerge until adolescence, Prinstein explains. “We may remember these types of alpha males and females as most well-known, influential, cool. But also as being mean or bullies.”

It’s the type of behavior that will gain you social media attention or fame.

But if you want to be liked by the people you interact with in real life?
The ‘good’ popularity, says Prinstein, can be nurtured through genuine connections with others and attempts to make people feel included.

Likable people make everyone feel heard, valued and included. They don’t give in to everyone else’s whims, neither do they dominate others or make them feel weak.

Prinstein’s best tips on how to make these people like you

Your boss
Show that you care about the team more than yourself
Be enthusiastic and energetic – positivity is contagious

Your new group of coworkers
Ask lots of questions to find points of common ground
Be funny
Make everyone around you feel like an important member of the herd

Your Kids
Show them compassion and patience. They may not like you very much when you need to discipline them, but that’s OK.

Snack On This Popularity Quiz:

Head over to Dr. Prinstein’s website to take the quiz and find out which group you were in based on how likeable you were as a kid. The group predicts your relationship, your career, and your happiness decades later


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