I have a confession to make: I couldn’t care less about celebrities and popularity in general. In fact, I’m somewhat against it.
Whenever I meet someone who’s popular, I’m treating them like I would any other person (I’ll explain why in a moment), and they seem somewhat disturbed by this.
What? This guy sin’t giving me the power I deserve?
They seem intrigued and automatically recognize me as someone with AT LEAST as much power as they have. And this – you guessed it – automatically raises MY status.
David DeAngelo calls this “not giving your power away”.
And why should we? What have THEY done for me to deserve my full attention?
You see, whenever I meet someone (old or new acquaintance), they start from point zero. It doesn’t matter who they are. If we get along, I give them more attention as we start to become friends. If we don’t, I ignore them.
This way, not only do they give me more power but they also give me more value. Because I make them snap out of that stupid “I’m me and I’m fabulous mode” and into the default “I reap what I sow” mode with which we’re all born.
Now, I raised your hopes in the title by telling you that being popular isn’t that important. If you’re not, the worst thing you can do is worry about it. I can see guys go into their shell whenever they feel they’re not the most important person in the room.
WRONG. That just shows they CARE. And they shouldn’t.
Look, if a person is popular at the moment, this doesn’t mean that:
A) They will stay that way forever
and B) That there’s no more power and popularity left.
Let’s take it one at a time.
A) Even the most popular people have issues. They get sick. They get cheated on. They have all sorts of things happen to them caused by people who are envious on their success. So it’s not all peachy.
When you’re in the presence of a powerful person, you shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about them no matter how many ass-kissers they have in the room.
Which takes us to point B. Just because they’re the center of attention, it doesn’t mean you can’t stand out in your own way. You can, you just need to assume you will and stop worrying about them. And, more importantly, you should never seem uncomfortable when there’s someone else in the room who gets all the attention.
Here’s what you SHOULD do (step by step).
#1. Don’t let it get to your head
You do this by practicing and by giving your mind legitimate reasons why the above statement is true. Whisper it to yourself if you have to until you believe it 0 I don’t care. Make it work.
It’s all about how you talk to yourself. You can say stuff like:
He’s not more important. He’s nice but he’s not smarter than me. He doesn’t seem to be very smart, I’m definitely more witty.
Why? Because your brain is getting all emotional and self-conscious and the only way to counter that is with logic. Lots of it, as emotions tend to be stronger than reason.
#2. Wait for your turn
You don’t want to take over a powerful person by force unless you can provide something of value to the group. That’s common sense, right?
But you can’t give up or just *wish* for the right time to come. You have to listen carefully to the conversations and interactions taking place and wait for the right moments to stand out. To practice, do it in your own head at first, then ponder over what you would have said.
Keep your eyes and ears open just like a hunter. You don’t want to miss your one chance of becoming the center of attention even if only for 5 seconds.
You have to develop a 6th sense; a feeling for where the interaction is going. You do that by observing everyone and figuring out where to interject. Learning to be funny is usually the best way to stand out when you’re not particularly popular. A good joke will always do the trick.
#3. Don’t start with a bang
This is a little tougher to gasp but think about it. If you’re in a room with a powerful person and a really shy and unimportant one, what’s your first impulse when you hear the latter suddenly making a mean remark, or talking really loud?
That’s right, you’d think they’re desperately trying to gain attention. It’s weird.
So while waiting for your turn, don’t be afraid to stand out from time to time with smaller gestures.
Maybe you’re out camping and you take the initiative to make the fire. That’s no move to gain popularity but it sure as heck put you in a good position to get there. People will be more open to listen to a joke by the guy who’s providing means for everyone to eat than they would someone who’s been sitting in a corner all night.