7. How to make people like you (Part 3)

5. Talk in terms of the others interest  6. Make others feel important



Part I

1. Become genuinely interested in other people

2. Smile

 Part II

 3. Remember a person name to that person is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

4. Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves.

   Part III

5. Talk in terms of the others person’s interest

        Each one of us has our own story; we all have things in our life which bring us to the edge of our seat. Have ever been to a NFL football game? Watch the variety of fans.  Just look around the stadium, some fans scream and shout at the top of their lungs, literally frothing at the mouth with emotion. Others are apathetic, walking around the stadium, enjoying their hotdog and Pepsi.  These two groups of fans exhibit different levels of interest, the word fan actually comes from the word fanatic. For some, the NFL on Sunday is actually a religious experience; their interest level is so high, for others its just something to do.

      What thrills a Cleveland Browns football fan might bring a yawn to Oakland Raider’s fan, why?  Because the Cleveland fan is personally involved in what takes place with the Browns, versus the Raider’s fan.  He has a personal vested interest, in what happens to the Browns.  We all are interested in our own story, the things which bring us to the end of our seat.  For some collecting ancient coins from around the world, might bring them to the edge of their seat, for others its seeing rare butterflies.   

      We all have different interests, sometimes our interests cross.  This is why sports can be such a communication bridge for many, two total strangers could be sitting on a plane together, within minutes they become the best of friends when they realize they are fans of the same team.  Why, because they share a common interest.

 This is a principle in understanding people; we are interested in the things which are significant for us.  Dale Carnegie, in How to Win Friends and Influence People, retells the story from William Lynn Phelps, professor at Yale, who learned this principle at the age of eight.  Carnegie retells Phelps’ the story,


“When I was eight years old and spending a weekend visiting my Aunt Libby Linsley at her home in Stratford on the Housatonic,’ he wrote in his essay on Human Nature, “a middle aged man called one evening, and after a polite skirmish with my aunt, he devoted his attention to me.  At that time, I happened to be excited about boats, and the visitor discussed the subject in away that seemed to me particularly inserting.  After he left, I spoke of him with enthusiasm.  What a man! My aunt informed me he was a New York lawyer, that cared nothing whatever about boats,-- that he took not the slightest interest in the subject.  ‘But why then did he talk all the time about boats?’

“Because he is a gentleman.  He saw you were interested in boats, and he talked about the thing he knew would interest and please you.  He made himself agreeable’”

And William Lyon Phelps added: “I never forgot my aunt’s remark.”[1]


From a Believers perspective

 Paul understood the principle of talking in terms of other people’s interest.  He set the example in the city of Athens, on how to befriend people for the kingdom of God.  Paul arrived in Athens waiting for Silas and Timothy, while there Paul went to the marketplace and synagogues, where people meet and greet on a daily basis.  In the Marketplace, Paul met Greek philosophers who invite him to speak at the Areopagus, and tell them what he believes.  It was no accident he was invited, they were interested in philosophy, and they heard Paul speaking about what interested them.


15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.19  And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?20  "For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean."21  For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. Acts 17:15-21


This is same principle used in sports ministry, when a Browns player shares his faith, someone who is not interested in Christianity might listen, because that player crosses his interest in the Browns.

When Paul begins to speak, he does not start by speaking from his perspective,  he first draws a bridge to their interest.  He is looking for a common interest; he bridges their “unknown god” with the Gospel.  His message was couched in Greek philosophy; Paul looked for parallels to connect Greek thinking to the Gospel.


22  Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;23  "for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:24  "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.25  "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.26 "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'29 "Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.30 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,31 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."  . Acts 17:22-31


Paul main goal was not to win friends but souls; this is ultimately our purpose in life, to win souls for the kingdom of God.  As a friend, we can offer no greater gift, then eternal life.  Paul uses the principle of speaking to another person’s interest, to present the gospel, we can learn from his example.  From the response, most rejected Paul’s message, however there were those in attendance who joined with Paul, becoming the foundation of the church in Athens.


32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."33 So Paul departed from among them.34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. . Acts 17:32-34


Becoming all things to all people


      Just as in sports, as in life there are different interests.  The most interesting things for people are the things which mean something to them. Those who are in the world seek out people, who have a common interest.   Clubs are a great example, what is the purpose of a club?  The purpose is to connect a group of people who have a common interest.  There are stamp, coin and history clubs, there are also ethnic clubs, and we all belong to a club even if we don’t have formal membership.  Remember High School, there were “the Jocks”, “the Stoners”, “Band” and every other group.  These were nothing more then clubs, groups of people who had a common interest. Fish swimming in schools, for their common good.

      When we go somewhere and feel alone, what do we look for?  Usually groups with a common interest, why, because we feel comfortable.  Even Christians look for Christians, knowing they share a common bond when someone knows Christ.

      Paul taught and exemplified the principle of talking to people from their interest.  In First Corinthians, Paul illustrates the selfless attitude we should have as followers of Christ.  When we are saved, the whole universe is our inheritance through Christ.  We are freed from the bondage of this world, what should we do with our freedom?  We should use our freedom, to minister to the lost, by joining their “clubs”, and making their interests our interests, to bring more to Christ.

      Paul defines this principle as “Become all things to all men” to save some.  To the Jew become a Jew, to the weak become weak.  Approach people from their interest, so they can hear the Gospel


19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. I Corinthians 9:19-24


   What is our purpose?  What is the end game of the believer?  One day we will stand before the Lord to give an account of our lives, not for salvation but reward.  Paul is looking to that day; he is running life to receive the prize.  Those in the world think the world is their prize; our job is to point them to Christ.  We do this by coming to their level, and speaking from their interest.


6. Make the other person feel important—sincerely


Do you remember the story of The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson?  In the story, a mother duck hatches a large egg, with a strange looking duck. Because the “duck” is different then the rest, he is mocked by the other animals.  Even his own brothers and sister ducks make fun of him.  He then flees, and finds refuge in a farm house with a lady, hen and cat.  They also make fun of him, telling him how little he matters, how insignificant he really is. 

      Finally realizing he can fly he flies off alone, he sees beautiful swans in the distance.  The swans come out to meet him. He figures they will kill him because he is so ugly, so he tells them to kill him, he figures it was better to die from the swans then the other animals. However when he saw his reflection in the water, he realized he too was a swan. Just like these royal creatures who swam out to meet and greet him, not kill him.  He was welcomed and become part of the group.

The world is full of ugly ducklings; we just don’t know we are beautiful swans.  The world tells people they are ugly ducklings, while God’s word tells us we are beautiful swans, made in the image of God.  The world says we are unimportant and don’t matter, God tells us we are so important, and matter so much that He, God, was willing to come to earth and die for our sins so we may have eternal life. 

       When we are saved, and know Jesus Christ, only then can we know our true identity.  Only then do we know we are really swans and not ugly ducklings.  God then gives us a wonderful task; we can help all the other ugly ducklings know they are swans.  Satan wants us to feel, we are nothing and worthless, he wants us to strive for the world to accept us by being “someone”.  This is the lie Satan entraps so many people with, they think if they gain the world its going to really matter. 


We can make a difference


Everybody wants and desires to be important, and they are.  However are importance does not come from Who we are? What we have? or What we can do?  Our importance is based on our Creator, we are made in his image.  If we value others, because the Lord values them, we can let each person know they are a royal swan and not an ugly duckling.

Dale Carnegie relates the following stories about letting people know they matter from a teacher in one of his classes.  He writes,


   Chris was a very quiet, shy boy lacking in self-confidence, the kind of student that often does not receive the attention he deserves.   I also teach an advanced class that had grown to be somewhat of a status symbol and a privilege for a student to have earned the right to be in it.

    On Wednesday, Chris was diligently working at his desk. I really felt there was a hidden fire deep inside him. I asked Chris if he would like to be in the advanced class.  How I wish I could express the look in Chris’s face, the emotions in that shy fourteen-year-old boy, trying to hold back his tears.

   “Who me, Mr. Rowland? Am I good enough?”

   “Yes, Chris you are good enough”

    I had to leave at that point because tears were coming to my eyes. As Chris walked out of class that day, seemingingly two inches taller, he looked at me with bright blue eyes and said in a positive voice, “Thank you, Mr. Rowland.”

    Chris taught me a lesson I will never forget—our deep desire to feel important. To help me never forget this rule, I made a sign which reads, “YOU ARE IMPORTANT.”  This sign hangs in the front of the classroom for all to see and to remind me that each student I face is equally important.[2]


   Just like Chris in the story above, we all want to feel important, its part of nature to be significant.  However only though our eternal relationship in Christ, can we ever find the answer to this deep longing.

We as followers of Christ, have the power to let people know they matter, they do count.


1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  I John 3:1-3


   What an awesome job we have, we have the opportunity of letting a lost and dying world of ugly ducklings know they are beautiful swans.  So when we talk and meet people, lets think of them as fellow swans, who Jesus Christ died for. 

Six Ways to Make People Like You


1. Become genuinely interested in other people

2. Smile

3. Remember a person name to that person is the sweetest and most important sound in any                language.

4. Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves.

5. Talk in terms of the others person’s interest

6. Make the other person feel important—sincerely


[1] Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Pgs 94, 95

[2] Ibid, pgs. 103-104