“My friends never hear me out”, “I can never get people to appreciate my ideas”, “No one seems to care about what I think”, “Everyone bosses over me and takes me for granted”… Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever wished you could change this?
So how do you influence friends? How can you bring them closer to you and value your ideas and opinions more? Here’s a start.
1. Show respect for their ideas
Even when you do not agree with them start with appreciating them. You can always add a “but I also think” and then state your point of you. If you start with a disagreement you’ve already biased your friends against you while when you start with an agreement you win their appreciation and willingness to listen to you. Make sure you never say “you’re wrong”. It is a sure way to put people off.
2. Admit your mistake if you make one
Sometimes we tend to cover up our faults because we think our friends will respect us less if they knew we’d made a mistake but actually good friends will respect you a lot more if you accept and apologize for where you went wrong.
3. Present your ideas in such a way that your friends think it was theirs
Everyone likes credit. If you don’t fall in that rat race and let others take the credit you will at least have the satisfaction of getting things your way. Don’t make it an ego battle about whose idea it was, enjoy and watch your plans work out.
4. Be empathetic
Listen attentively to what they are feeling behind what they are saying. If you can develop the art of letting others talk their heart out to you, be sure they are going to go the extra mile for you.
5. Avoid arguments
Arguments send out a lot of negative energy which is unhealthy for relationships. The ego battle that results out of every fight is a no-win one. So understand that you can always “agree to disagree”. Be mature and sensible about the fact that just because someone thinks or feels differently from you does not mean they’re wrong or that they don’t like you or value your beliefs.
6. Dramatize your ideas
Make them seem larger than life and exciting that people would get interested in getting to know you and your thoughts better. A simple example would be like if you want to invite some friends out for a picnic you could either simply ask them out saying “would you like to join me to the resort this weekend?” or you can dramatize it by saying something like “there’s this great resort 100km from here. It’s not only got the usual stuff like the swimming pool, club house, sauna etc but it is also close to a wild life sanctuary. I’m quite excited about going there this weekend. Would you want to join in?”
7. Get friends in a habit of saying ‘yes’ to you
You can make a start by asking them questions which are not only simple but also a sure shot yes. Once they get a feel that you’re usually going to come up with agreeable statements they would even accept some of the disputable ones.
Zig Ziglar said “if you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find that they’re very scarce. if you go out and be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” If you want your friends to hear you, be with you, respect you, do the same for them. The better friend you are to them the more attached and influenced they are by you.