5. How to make people like you (Part 1)

How you can make people like you



Why are some people popular and others neglected?   Have you ever asked yourself that question?  At one time, I thought to have people like you; you need to be successful, rich and powerful.  With those qualities everybody wants to be your friend.  Life is simple, just make lots of money and have lots of things, and people will like you.

         I thought it was pretty obvious, look at people like Donald Trump.  Doesn’t everybody want to be his friend?  What about Oprah and other successful people, don’t people want to be their friends?  Everybody cares about what they think, most people like them. What is their secret, why do people like them?  I figured it was because they were successful, that’s why people like them.

         Only later when I found Jesus Christ did I understand, if people like you because of your money and success, then they really only like what you have.  They don’t necessarily like you, they like what you can offer them.  For this reason scripture, tells us to be no respecter of persons, but to look at the heart of the person, not the outward appearance.  Even Samuel fell into the trap of looking at the outward appearance when he was told to anoint the son of Jesse.  Because its part of our fallen nature to be interested in those who appear “successful” in the eyes of the world.  God on the other hand looks at our hearts.  God told Samuel to not look at the outside.


7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  I Samuel 16:7


         Jeremiah clearly illustrates this human dilemma, how should we view the world and people?  Its very easy to put our hope in flesh, because we have a fallen nature.  Our fallen nature gravitates to what the world offers.  Yes, we can have people appear like us for our appearance and possessions! That is what the world offers, but do they really like us?

         Samuel was told to not look at the appearance but the heart.  The Lord told Samuel, God at looks at our hearts.  So if God looks at the heart, what better example do we need? 

         We should strive to have people like us based on our heart.  When we come to Jesus Christ, we are born again; we are changed on the inside.  The Spirit of God is dwelling in us, we have a new heart.  If we let the love of God shine through our lives, people will like us, because of who we are in Christ, not what we have materially.


         Dale Carnegie in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, list six principles to make people like you. Though he does not present this in a Christian light, he does reveal the yearning of significance, and how we can answer it.  In the process of letting the light of Christ shine, people will like us because of our heart, not what we possess.         

1. Become genuinely interested in other people 

         The statement sounds so simple, yet it is profound.  Personally, I thought the key to getting people to like you, was to be so interesting, people would want to like you.  What is more interesting then having great wealth, everybody would be interested in me then.  When I first read the advice of Carnegie’s book, I was amazed!  Everybody was like me, they were interested in themselves.  I was no different then anybody else.  My whole goal was to make people interested in me that was also what everybody else wanted.

         He illustrates this point in a way most people can relate too.  He tells the story of how his dog, Tippy, won his heart as a young boy, by showing a genuine interest. He writes,


      When I was five years old my father bought a little yellow-haired pup for fifty cents.  He was the light and joy of my childhood.  Every afternoon about four-thirty, he would sit in the front yard with his beautiful eyes staring steadfastly at the path and as soon he heard my voice or saw me swinging my dinner pail through the buck brush, he was off like a shot, racing breathlessly up the hill to greet me with leaps of joy and barks of sheer ecstasy.   

        Tippy was my constant companion for five years. Then one tragic night—I shall never forget it—he was killed within ten feet of my head, killed by lighting.  Tippy’s death was a tragedy of my boyhood.

        You never read a book on psychology, Tippy.  You didn’t need to.  You knew by some divine instinct you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. [1]


         I personally could relate to his experience, when I was fifteen, my dog, King, was hit by a car, I can remember holding the dog through the night, crying for his survival.  Why did I care so much about a dog?  Because as Dale Carnegie described it, the dog became my personal friend, he showed interest in me, he cared about me.

         According to Carnegie, the New York Telephone made a survey of 500 telephone calls, and they found the pronoun “I” was used 3900 times, more then any other word!  People are really interested in themselves, we are own most interesting topic.  

         This was an amazing revelation!  I remember reading this for the first time, thinking how true, he is describing me, because I know I am interested in the things which concern me.  I also realized by understanding myself, I can understand others, because we are all the same.  When I was in High School, I could remember becoming the but of jokes, because I was so persistent in talking about my nationality, Armenian.  Everybody knew about Armenia, because I made it my personal crusade to inform the world.  Were people interested in Armenia?  No, there merely thought it was funny, I thought a country most people never heard of was so interesting.  Later to my amazement, I found out most people thought the country of their origin was even more interesting.  Japanese thought Japan was interesting, Germans thought Germany was interesting and Egyptians thought Egypt was interesting. Wow, I guess I am no different.          

To serve or be served 

         What can we do with this principle of human nature?  People want people to be interested in them, including us.  This principle is an important one for anybody who wants to serve the Lord.  The world is filled with people who are consumed with themselves.  People who are trying to find meaning a purpose, thinking if somebody would only pay attention to them, they will have meaning.

         When we come to Salvation, through Jesus Christ, we have received from God  an amazing gift.  The gift of salvation, think about what that means, we are going to be in God’s presence in Heaven, forever.  What does God want us to with this gift?  Should we keep it to ourselves?  No, Jesus commands us to take this gift, the gospel, to the nations.  We are His servants, bringing salvation to a lost world.

         By taking a genuine interest in people, even though our flesh wants the world to be interested in us, we can serve the Lord. Being a minister, means to minister to others, being interested in others.  Scripture urges us to esteem others more then ourselves. 

3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himselfPhilippians 2:3 

          By showing an interest in others we are being obedient to the commands of Christ; remember Jesus showed an interest in us, while we were lost.  He set the example for us to follow, 

4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  Philippians 2:4-9 

    Jesus showed a genuine interest in us by taking human form, the form of a servant, choosing to die for us, because he cared about us, He allowed himself to be humiliated.  In verse 5, we are commanded to have the same mind with Christ, to think like He thought.  If he was willing to serve why shouldn’t we?  Learning to put others first, means too temper our excitement about ourselves, when we are saved we have riches beyond anything the world could ever offer.         

How to show genuine interest? 

         Genuine interest means, real interest not contrived, insincere interest.  If we understand the value of every soul, knowing each person is made in the image of God, everybody has a story they want to tell.  We can learn to appreciate everybody’s unique story.  Ask questions about a person’s life; learn to find out their story.

§  What nationality are you?

§  Why did you choose your profession?

§  What hobbies do you have?

§  What books do you like to read?

§  What do you think about God?

§  Have you ever read the Bible? 

All of us have sincere interests, try to find out what interests people?  Sometimes this is hard to do because we are so used to thinking about what interests us.  The difference between Jesus and Herod was not only their identity. It was interest, Jesus was interested in others Herod was interested in himself, Herod had his own family, his wife and sons killed.  Herod is a picture of what the world is, self-interested and self-consumed, we do things which benefit us. 

Jesus on the other hand instructs us to be involved in others lives, especially those who cannot repay us.  Living life from a point of service is a direct contrast to the ways of the world.  When we live in the flesh, we expect to be first, we expect to be the center of attention, we invite people to parties, who will then invite us to parties.  Everything is from the vantage of self-interest. 


8 "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 "and he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 "But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 "And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."  Luke 14:8-14 

         We as servants of Christ are to approach the world with humility.  We can take  a personal interest in those, who can’t take a personal interest in us.  We should not expect to be paid back, because its not about self, we are servants of Christ.  Our mission is to reach a lost world. 

         However the dividend of being humble, and putting others first is exactly what the world seeks.  When we become interested in others, they become interested in us.   Why?  Because, we are giving people what we all crave, significance.  We are telling them, you matter, I am interested, and they in turn want to know about you.  When we do this sincerely, it can have eternal implications, helping lost people find the savior. 

Sincere[2] versus insincere

                  The principle of being interested in others is also used by people who are not sincere.  Politicians and salespeople have a reputation for “not really being interested”, but only showing interest.  Absalom showed this 3000-year ago, when he tried to take the kingdom from his father David, he used feigned interest to win the heart of the nation. 


2 Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, "What city are you from?" And he would say, "Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel." 3 Then Absalom would say to him, "Look, your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you." 4 Moreover Absalom would say, "Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice." 5 And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. 6 In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.  2 Samuel 15:2-6

         In the end, we represent the kingdom of God, to a lost and dying world.  When they see us, the see what we represent.  If we come across phony and insincere, it’s not hard for people to tell.

 2. Smile

         When someone has a sad face, how do you respond?  Are you drawn to the person?  Or does the sad face say, “stay away I am not happy! “.  Are you more or less likely to approach someone with a sad face?  Well if you are like most people, you’re inclined to keep distance. 

         What about a smile, how do you respond?  Of these two faces, which do you think is friendlier?  In many ways, our faces are a walking billboard to our emotions; they let the world know what is happening on the inside.  

Dale Carnegie illustrates this point with a letter from one of his students, Mr. Steinhardt, he wrote,


      I have been married for over eighteen years....and in all that time I seldom smiled at my wife or spoke two words to her from the time I got up until I was ready to leave for business.  I was one of the worst grouches who ever walked down Broadway.          When you asked me to make a talk about my experiences with smiles, I thought I would try it for a week.  So the next morning, while combing my hair, I looked at my glum mug in the mirror and said to myself, ‘Bill you are going to wipe the scowl off that sour puss of yours today.  You are going to smile, and you are going to begin right now’  As I sat down to breakfast, I greeted my wife with a ‘Good morning, my dear,’ and smiled as I said it.        You warned me that she might be surprised. Well you underestimated her reaction. Se was bewildered. She was shocked.  I told her that in the future she could expect this as a regular occurrence, and I kept it up every morning.        This changed attitude of mine brought more happiness into our home in the two months since I started than there was during the last year.         As I leave for my office, I greet the elevator operator in the apartment house with a ‘Good morning’ and a smile.  I greet the doorman with a smile.  I smile at the cashier in the subway booth when I ask for change. As I stand on the floor of the Stock Exchange,  I smile at people who until recently never saw me smile. 

        I soon found that everybody was smiling back at me.  I treat those who come to me with complaints or grievances in a cheerful manner.....I share my office with another broker.  One of his clerks is a likable young chap, and I was so elated about the results I was getting that I told him recently about my new philosophy of human relations.  He then confessed that when I first came to share my office with his firm he thought me a terrible grouch—and only recently changed his mind.  He said I was really human when I smiled.[3]


Are there reasons to be sad?  Sure, and during those times there is nothing wrong with expressing the emotion.  However, when we know Christ, we have every reason to rejoice.  We have treasure beyond anything this world has to offer, we have no reason to be anxious. 


6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

 A smile in fact should go along with our Christian walk, when we really understand what we have in Jesus Christ, how we can not smile.  We are saved, saved from the judgment of God, we now have an eternal inheritance, in Heaven.  Lets rejoice and celebrate, who we are in Christ, through our smile we can show the world.


22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-25

 The power of smile is captured in the Value of a Smile at Christmas


It cost nothing, but creates much It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give, It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.        None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for  trouble.Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to  anybody till it  is given away.And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a  smile, may we ask you leave one of yours? For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give


[1] How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie,  Simon & Shuster  Pgs. 53-54, 1981

[2]  The word Sincere come from the Latin, meaning without wax.  In Roman times, stone craftsman would put wax in statues with imperfections.  When a statue was perfect, they would put it in the Sun and declare, Sincere....Sincere....without wax, without wax..

[3] Ibid, pgs 69,70