Copilot Teen Q&A: How Can I Become More Popular?

By Iuri Melo

This is the best question I’ve heard in a long long time, and I’m glad that you all feel comfortable enough to ask it. So when you asked the question, “How can I become more popular?” The first thing that came to mind is the Broadway Play “Wicked.” I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, but here is the gist of it. The play is based on the Wizard of OZ and about an unlikely friendship that happens between the good witch of the North, Glinda, and the wicked witch of the west, Elphaba. At some point, Elphaba, who in the play is a little socially shy, asks Glinda, who is very sure of herself, about some advice to become a little more popular… What follows of course is a great song about being popular. Let me just read a couple of lines, and then let’s get down to how we can become more likable and popular:

“-you’re gonna be popular!
I’ll teach you the proper ploys when you talk to boys
Little ways to flirt and flounce, ooh!
I’ll show you what shoes to wear
How to fix your hair
Everything that really counts to be popular
I’ll help you be popular!

You’ll hang with the right cohorts, you’ll be good at sports
Know the slang you’ve got to know
…It’s all about popular
It’s not about aptitude, it’s the way you’re viewed
So it’s very shrewd to be very, very popular
Like me!”

If you’ve never heard of “Wicked” or listened to the soundtrack, I think you would enjoy it, but I realize that musicals might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Couple more quick things before I drop some pro-tips on how to become more popular and well liked.

I realize that being popular or well liked by others is a natural desire and something that many people dream about or want to have happen in their school, in their sports teams, in life, etc. It’s wonderful when others like you, want to be with you, respect you, and want to be like you. On the flip side, it’s challenging if you feel like others don’t like you, don’t want to be with you, or don’t respect you. This can be a lonely feeling that can leave us wondering if we will ever have true friends, or meaningful relationships in the future. So if you want to be more popular… this is ok… it’s normal, but I want to give you a warning as well.

Being popular is one of those things that if we obsess about, if it’s the only desire that we have, I think it will actually work against us. What I’m trying to say is this: don’t make your focus about being popular or obsessing about how others view you, or think of you, or whether they admire you, or like you. Instead focus on things that you can do, that can help you to become admired, respected, liked, and I guess, more popular. It’s a focus thing, focus on what you can do, focus on how to improve your talents, your skills, your courage, your social skills, your ability to bring value into people’s lives; focus on being valuable to other people around you, and as you do that, you’ll most likely find that your “popularity” will rise. So in other words don’t focus and try to manage what other people think and feel about you, because that will absolutely drive you mad and paranoid, and instead focus on how to manage and build you, and you will indirectly become more popular.

Ok, so let’s talk about what skills and abilities you can focus and work on, that will increase your popularity. One more quick thing… Remember that popularity is subjective. What I mean by that, is that what you think is popular, or what Betsy Sue thinks is popular, or what Treyvon thinks is popular, are totally different things. Remember that you are not here to entertain the whole world. Realize with a smile that not every person will prefer you, admire you, choose to be with you, or agree with you. It’s ok to not be the center of people’s universe. There is a whole world full of people who will absolutely dig you, and love you… but it won’t be the whole world. So when other’s pass on you, or choose someone else, or straight up ignore you, just realize that that is what is expected, and because you have a correct expectation, you can move on, instead of staying stuck in your head thinking to yourself, “why doesn’t so-and-so not like me?” and instead you will just realize… “Hey, this is normal. People get to choose their circle of friends. They get to choose who to follow, like, and admire, and I don’t have to be the choice for everyone, so I can move on,” and move forward.

Ok, enough of this, let’s get to the tips, tip boy! Ok, here they are:

  1. Be optimistic and positive about life and about people. When we approach life in an optimistic way, and we treat others in a positive light, this is a very attractive skill that will bring people around you, and make it easy for them to be around you. Your positive perspective and mindset will attract others to you, in part because they will feel safe around you. Behaviors and strategies like complaining about life and others; finding fault, gossiping, and criticizing others, is one of those skills that will not gain you a lot of popularity. So if you’re finding yourself only seeing the negative in others, blaming others, complaining all the time, and being pessimistic, it’s time to reconsider your skills and strategies, and try optimism instead.
  2. Invest time, focus, and energy into building and expanding your interests and talents. From Taylor Swift, to Picasso, to Logic, to Tom Holland, to mother Teresa, to Muhamad Ali, to Alex Morgan, all of these individuals dedicated a considerable amount of time learning and expanding their skills and talents. Skills and talents are attractive. Seeing someone’s effort, dedication, and their ability to perform is something that will attract a lot of people to you, and that will increase your popularity. One very short note here… I need you to clear out the cobwebs in your brain right now if you are getting caught up in the kind of self-talk that says “I just don’t have any talents, or skills, or anything worthwhile.” Listen up, I don’t care what you have or don’t have, but I know with 100% certainty that you can build, expand, and develop any interest that you may have. Whether it’s rock climbing, sprinting, playing the piano, painting a picture, singing, acting, or writing, the world is before you, and don’t convince yourself that there isn’t anything that you can do, because there is, but it requires time, effort, some patience, and a commitment to engage in the process of learning and developing something. Don’t get stuck in your head thinking, “Well, I just don’t know what I like, or what my interests are,” who cares, just pick one, or two, or three things, and add them to your life.
  3. Be a giver and a helper. Listen to me. In this life you have to be a giver. Don’t be a taker. Don’t be a mooch. Practice the simple concept of leaving people, places, and things better than how you found them. Offer to help people with their homework, with the dishes, with a tough situation, with their life, and you will always be welcome, invited, and sought out. So when you see your buddies, or siblings, or family members, or teachers, or coaches, or even perfect strangers, do what you can to leave them better and shining brighter.
  4. Go into life confidently. Look, I realize that you may not feel confident about a lot of things. This is normal. But I want you to know that you can build and nurture your confidence. Time + Experience + repetition = brings and builds confidence. Go into life with a growth perspective, that nothing is out of your reach. That with a little time and effort, you can create and grow genius. Go into life realizing that any skill, talent, or aptitude can be grown and nurtured inside of you. Realize that failure and errors are a natural part of the growth process, and not a determination of who you are and who you will be forever.
  5. Take a shot! All the people that I mentioned above, and every other person in this life that has reached any form of popularity, had to— at some point—  take a risk, or to take a shot. At some point you have to take the songs that have been playing inside your head or that you’ve been practicing in your room, and you have to take a risk, and place them in front of others, and be open to their criticism. You have to get in the game. You have to try out. You have to ask someone to that dance, to that date, to hang out, or do something. You have to ‘send it’ knowing that the ‘future or that luck favors the bold, or those who take chances.’
  6. Be open to criticism and feedback, but also be willing to develop your own style and creativity. Look, it is one of the great characteristics of success in life to receive feedback, criticism, and to be coachable. Quit being so dang resistant and offended every time someone critiques or provides some feedback. In fact, instead of being offended, just listen, consider the message, and get better. That being said though, there is something remarkable and very inspiring about people who develop themselves, who look in and do the work, who develop a unique style that transcends the opinions of what is popular in the moment, or the opinions of others, and is able to focus on creating something new… something individual… something unique. One of my favorite quotes is “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” So be open, but also be ‘unreasonable’ and create something new.
  7. Be friendlier! The other day I saw a sticker that I totally loved, it simply said “Be More Dog.” It was simple and brilliant. There’s a reason why dogs are so beloved throughout the world, why they bring so much joy and comfort to people. There is a reason why we are so attracted to dogs, and that reason is their enthusiasm, friendliness, and remarkable loyalty to us. My friend, “Be More Dog,” and watch your popularity and likability rise.

Thanks for listening in. One final thought for the road, remember that popularity is not the goal. Whether you are popular or not, is not a representation of your worth, your value, or what you will bring to the world. Instead if you maintain your focus on the things that I proposed in those tips, you will live a rich and accomplished life, with good friends and relationships, and you’ll engage deeply into skills, and talents, and these will then allow you to give and contribute to the world you live in and to the ones around you, and then yes… you will find yourself to be a rare person that others will want to emulate, and be around, simply because when they are around you, they will feel lifted, inspired, better, and loved. Now get out there and be popular!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Through Iuri’s extensive 20-year career as a Licensed Therapist, he has helped countless individuals and gained valuable insights into
the human psyche. As a published author of two books, Mind Over Grey Matter and Know Thy Selfie, Iuri has established himself as an authority in his field. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding work, and his passion for helping people is evident in everything he does. Iuri has expressed his admiration for people and their capacity for personal growth and transformation. He believes that positive change starts with improving our own psychology, and this is the guiding principle behind Copilot. Their mission is to inspire deep, lasting change in individuals by offering the best positive psychology service in the country. To learn more about Copilot and their approach to empowering individuals to live better lives, click here.

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