When you bring out the best in someone you help them shine.
Their most favorable qualities are stronger than ever.
But how can you bring out the best in someone?
Well, what you put out into the world others pick up on.
That’s why one of the best things to do is simply to lead by example.
1. You’re an optimistic person
Being optimistic is good for you, and the people around you.
Not only does it protect against depression and stress, but research has even shown that people with a positive outlook on life live longer.
Basically, an optimistic way of thinking helps us all to be happier, healthier, and more successful.
Simply by looking on the bright side you are teaching others to do the same.
Having a gratitude attitude and choosing to seek out the positives helps to cultivate and maintain an optimistic mindset.
2. You’re always considering other people’s needs
Showing people that you care helps bring out the best in them.
So when you are considerate of others you are essentially letting them know:
That can be really powerful.
We all want to feel seen and heard.
When you take time to consider other people’s needs and wants, you help them to feel safe around you.
Think about it:
When someone is considerate of us, we’re far more inclined to want to do the same back, right?
This is why an every-man-for-himself attitude can quickly close people off.
But those who genuinely think about the needs of others encourage a more open and cooperative society.
3. Your calming influence is contagious
There are a few family members of mine who seem to stress me out every time I’m around them.
I’m not trying to blame them for that. I know that how I feel is ultimately down to me.
But maybe you can relate?
Sometimes when we’re around certain people, we leave feeling tense.
It’s almost like we’ve absorbed their energy.
The reality is that people’s emotions can be contagious.
As John T. Cacioppo, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago explains:
“Emotional contagion occurs in a matter of milliseconds, and it depends on an incredibly basic, even primitive, instinct: During conversation, human beings naturally tend to mimic their companion’s facial expressions, posture, body language and speech rhythms, without being consciously aware of it.”
That’s why being a calm person has a silent knock-on effect.
The more zen you are, the more you’ll bring this out in others.
4. People love to be around you
A pretty obvious sign that you bring out the best in people is the fact they want to be around you.
Let’s go back to my example above about certain family members who deplete my energy.
I’ll confess, I try to limit the time I spend with them.
I think it’s natural that we move away from people who bring out the worst in us. And so it stands to reason we move toward those who bring out the best in us.
5. People turn to you for advice
When someone brings out the best in us, we value their opinion.
If others turn to you for advice, they clearly think you have a wise head on your shoulders.
You can be trusted and relied upon.
Others know that when they are in a tricky spot, you will help them make sense of it.
If others come to you for counsel, then take it as a sign that you bring out the best in them.
6. You focus more on solutions than problems
We all know by now that life isn’t always plain sailing.
In fact, sometimes it can be downright stormy.
But the people who go on to thrive, no matter what life throws at them, are those who show resilience and know how to move past problems.
In order to get to the other side you have to be solution focused.
Otherwise, it’s easy to get stuck in defeatist mode.
If you are solution-focused, you help bring out the best in people. You are probably great in a crisis.
You encourage people to find answers and fix problems in life.
If you want to make life better for yourself and everyone around you, it’s better to have a solution-oriented mindset.
7. You’re always making people smile and laugh
Often it’s the little unassuming things in life that make the biggest difference.
That’s certainly the case when it comes to simple acts of laughter and smiling.
They say it’s the best medicine for good reason. It can improve your immune system, relieve pain, ease stress, and boost your mood.
But smiling and laughter are also huge social cues.
Professor Sophie Scott, who did a TED Talk called “Why We Laugh” says:
“We’re laughing as much to show that we like someone, we know someone, we’re part of the same group as someone. We understand them,”
If people laugh, joke, and smile around you there’s no doubt you bring out the best in them.
8. You see positive changes in the people you are close to
Often when you bring out the best in people, you will start to notice it.
When you spend a lot of time with someone, you can see their evolution unfolding.
For example, perhaps you start dating someone who has a real patience problem.
If anything takes too long, it drives them crazy.
But over the months, they seem to have mellowed.
Your happy-go-lucky outlook and chilled nature have rubbed off on them.
9. You approach people with kindness and compassion
If you want to make a real positive difference in the world, being kind is the best way to start.
Kindness can boost feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness, and optimism.
But guess what?
The reach of kindness extends beyond you and encourages others to do the same.
Research has shown that if someone does something kind for you, you feel better and are more likely to help out someone else.
So simply by being kind to someone, there’s a good chance you are silently bringing out the kindness in them too!
10. You’re generous in sharing what you have
Whether that’s your time, your energy, or your worldly possessions.
As they say, sharing is caring. And as we’ve just seen, showing kindness has a ripple effect that spreads outwards.
When you give, you do so for the sake of giving and not to receive.
When we give without expectation it not only benefits others. But in some weird karmic way, what goes around usually comes back around.
The irony is that studies have shown how giving generously is actually in your own best interest too.
It can give you a sense of purpose, improves your health, and betters your relationships and social connections.
11. Others feel free to be their true self around you
We cannot be our best if we are scared of being ourselves.
We’re all on a journey of self-improvement — every single one of us.
Nobody’s perfect, that’s for sure.
In order to bring out the best in someone they need understanding and not judgment.
Only then will they feel safe to reveal the real them.
You bring out the best in someone if you accept their flaws along with their strengths.
12. You listen to feedback
We all have the capacity to change, but some people have a harder time seeing that.
That’s why when you listen to feedback, you lead by example.
You take on board how your actions, behavior, and words are received.
You use this information to cultivate greater self-awareness.
And that becomes a springboard for bringing out the best in yourself.
Just like any good teacher, the more you improve yourself, the more you encourage others to do the same.
13. You make people feel safe to be vulnerable
Vulnerability is such a vital ingredient for creating close bonds.
If someone is able to be vulnerable with you, you’re more likely to bring out the best in them.
Otherwise, there are layers of protective barriers that you simply cannot penetrate.
How do you encourage vulnerability?
By being honest and open with people.
By being prepared to express how you feel and what you think.
And also by being present and really listening to people.
14. You are always learning and growing
The people who bring out the best in us inspire us.
They are the people who embrace life.
In order to do that they have to be prepared to take on challenges, create opportunities, and seek out new experiences.
That’s why they have a growth mindset that is always looking to learn something new.
If you consider yourself on a journey of growth, chances are you are taking other people on that journey with you — without even realizing it.
15. You inspire people to be better by challenging them
Bringing out the best in someone goes beyond making them happy.
It’s also about challenging them too.
After all, that’s how we learn and grow.
So it can mean being prepared to confront people’s opinions, ideas, and beliefs in a constructive way.
Rather than being a “yes” person, you are fully prepared to disagree with others too.
In doing so you encourage them to see things in a new light. And in the process help them to broaden their mind.