Once upon a time there was missionary who spent a year of his life serving the people of a poor African village. Over that time he grew to love the villagers and they in turn learned to love him.
As he was leaving the village for his trip back to his home country an elderly woman requested that she be carried to the foot of the missionary on her cot to bid him farewell.
At her request the men of the village carried her to the missionary as he was boarding a bush plane to depart. As he turned to look at her she beckoned him to lean closer so he could hear what she had to say. As he did, she whispered in his ear, “I like me best, when I’m with you.”
Do you want to know the secret to making people like you, and dare I say love you? It’s your capacity to make people like themselves when they’re with you. It’s that simple. That’s the essence of this entire book condensed into one simple sentence. The secret to making people like you is to help them like themselves when they’re with you. Period.
If you think about it, the secret to making people like you is not really a secret at all. Likable people leave clues. They do it by giving you sincere compliments and by listening to you talk about what’s important to you. They do it by elevating your spirit and by showing empathy and understanding. They do it in lots of different ways but in the end they do it best by helping you like yourself better.
Not long ago my wife asked me an interesting question, “Would you rather receive the perfect gift or would you rather give the perfect gift?” After thinking about the question for a few minutes I told her, “Well, as much as I would love to have world peace (which is always a good thing to ask for especially if you’re trying to win a contest) and a brand new bright red Jeep Wrangler with a sound system that only plays country music, I guess I would rather give the perfect gift.”
I’ve known some fantastic gift givers in my life and my wife happens to be one of them. Lucky me! According to her, giving someone the perfect gift is about paying attention. But the greatest gift, she says, is the gift you get when you see the joy on the face of the receiver.
There are great gift givers in this world but they are far and few between. The thing that makes them so great is their desire to know the recipient of the gift so well that they can’t miss.
When you give someone the gift of your attention, you will make them feel special, important. It is possibly the most precious gifts they will receive all week.
So, the secret to making people like you is this. Help people like themselves, and they will like you in return.