Not the “get out of jail” kind of bonds.
The kind of bonds you make with family, friends, co-workers, people standing next to you on the metro. The heart-string bonds.
I got to thinking about bonds because my sister is about to make a whole lot of them by living in the dorms away at school. I remember the girls I lived with.
Yes this is a shameless attempt to remember my skinnier days.
I have bonds with those girls that I could never have with other girls. Because we lived together. They saw me not take showers for days at a time, eat a whole carton of ice cream because a Spongebob marathon was on, they even saw the ugly cry when my favorite shirt got attacked by a dryer. And the crazy thing is, they remained my friend. Sure a lot of us aren’t BFF like forever and ever anymore. But we will always have great memories and funny stories and a bond.
But before you ever knew about girlfriend bonds, you had your family. Growing up “family bonding” was where it was at, mainly because it meant there was ice cream involved.
Most people, emphasis on most, have strong family bonds. You live with em, they generally are forced to like you or at least tolerate you. These bonds are deep and lasting.
I call those my “easy bonds” because although we don’t HAVE to like each other….we always love each other.
But what about the bonds that don’t come easy, the bonds you have to work at.
That’s where I come in.
Not saying everyone likes me…but this is what I have learned observing the most liked people that I have worked with, sororitied with, and lived with.
I will try not to be cliché and give you advice you have heard a million times, because things like eye contact and smiling should be elementary my dahling.
1. Make eye contact and smile. For those of you just list reading and skipping my storytelling.
2. Do not cut people off. Listen to what they have to say, even if your point is way better. Definitely do not talk over them, it makes them feel unimportant. Make them feel like you care about everything they say, which means they are important.
3. Give them compliments, flattery will get you everywhere. Kidding, if they aren’t genuine don’t give them. But odds are, you can think of one genuine compliment. Make them feel special, even if you just like their burrito they brought for lunch.
4. Use your manners, if you don’t have them learn them. Say please and thank you…and mean it.
5. Say hello, to everyone. I don’t know when it became custom to look at the floor when you are walking past someone, but stop it for the love of bacon. You never know who you will make an impression on.
6. Ask questions, be interested in people and their stories. You can learn something from every single person you meet. Steer clear of questions like, “so are you a serial killer” and “how do you get so much lint on your pants” because you might get some info you didn’t want to know.
7. Go out of your way for people. Hold doors open, bake treats, help them with projects, do favors often. Remember the girl that everyone loved because she brought in salted caramel brownies…be that girl. No time to make a Santa sleigh made out of candy canes, just buy doughnuts. Hi Ruth, I still loved those salted caramel brownies.
8. Touch them. Don’t be a creep okay, but lightly touch their arm or shoulder to make them comfortable. Don’t blame me if they place harassment charges.
9. Dress cute. Sad to say that this matters but boy does it. You do not need to go and drop your whole salary on clothing. Find a style and stay true to it. And brush your hair. And don’t smell like a foot because no one likes a foot.
10. Don’t be a hater. Don’t criticize or put people down. No one likes the bully, truth. Don’t gossip unless you fully expect the girl you said “gained 5 pounds” to find out you called her a smelly fat cow with halitosis. Don’t be mean, easy peasy.
11. Be happy. Your attitude is everything, and while the peppy cheerleader can be super annoying…she’s got nothing on Daria the downer. Normal human beings don’t like being around people who are going to complain all the time. So check your last 5 facebook statuses, if they are all negative then you better check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.
12. Find a balance between your confidence and humility. You are awesome, so keep any insecurities you have at bay…and tell yourself that you are awesome. Don’t tell yourself you are as awesome as Chuck Norris or some jazz, you gotta keep your feet on planet Earth. It’s a hard balance to find, and you will always be working on it. But you know the girl that always needs reassurance, or the girl who thinks she knows everything, or the one who is too shy to talk, or the one who brags non-stop….do you like any of them? That’s what I thought.
13. Channel your Jerry Seinfeld. If you can make them laugh then you will have them in the palm of your hand. Why? Revert back to number 11. Everyone likes to laugh, even really serious people. Bonus points if you get a belly laugh or snort. Take pictures if they blow milk out of their nose. It helps if you don’t take yourself seriously, because you are eventually going to do something dumb….and when you do it is crucial that you laugh it off.
14. Tell the truth yo…be honest with people and keep your promises. If someone calls you, call them back. If they ask you out for fried chicken, go. Keep an open mind, some of the most fun you will have will be in the most unexpected places. Also, people don’t like liars. Trust me on that one!
15. You do not want people to like a phony version of you, because then you will always be putting on a show. So be yourself, because you are the bomb diggity anyways. This is the most important tip, because there are some people that you don’t need a bond with….the people you have to change for. They aren’t worth it so drop them like that 50 pound weight you accidentally picked up at the gym. Yea, that happened.
Yup, it is that easy.
Now I am really craving some salted caramel brownies…..Ruth are you listening?