Some people spend their whole lives (or at least adolescence) trying to be popular. It’s almost a societal obsession; popularity must be the subject of every teen flick since the 1980s.
As humans, it’s in our nature to yearn for connection and acceptance. When we hear someone being described as “popular” it indicates that they are admired, valuable, and in demand socially and romantically.
Research suggests that people achieve popularity either through likeability or status. (And for some, it’s both!) But this article is only concerned with those who are popular because of their likeability. (So, not in a “Mean Girls” sort of way, OK).
Why? I hear you ask.
Because people that are popular because of their social status are already aware of their popularity.
But some people don’t realize how sought-after their presence is in social circles. They don’t think of themselves as popular because they don’t necessarily yearn for it, chase it, or even really value it.
And ironically, this is often the very reason why their popularity soars!
Does this sound like it could be you? Let’s find out.
Here are 10 subtle signs you’re really a popular person (even if you don’t think so).
1) You’re sought after
Ever stress yourself out trying to juggle meetings with friends?
Are you often amazed by how many people are willing to help you when you need it?
You may take it for granted, but always being in demand indicates that you are probably a popular person.
Not to say that you’re unpopular if you’re not flooded with invitations! But having people constantly seek your company is a sign that people love being around you and you’re more well thought of than you may think.
2) You’re naturally confident
You may have taken your busy schedule for granted. But here’s something else you probably take for granted…
Arguably the most powerful quality a person can have – confidence.
Confidence creates openness and authenticity, two traits that attract people like bees to honey. And those with lots of charisma can easily put people at ease and encourage them to open up.
The result? They are delicious to be around, and everyone wants a piece of them.
So, if you’re naturally confident and charismatic you’re also probably a bit of a social butterfly!
The next sign you’re more popular than you think is all about mindset…
3) You have a “the more, the merrier” philosophy
Does introducing other people make you feel good? Do you find yourself doing it a lot?
If you are inclusive and open when it comes to group dynamics, you’re probably a lot more popular than you consider yourself to be. Because people who act as ‘social glue’ (or social mavens, to use the correct term) are always sought after.
I’m not saying for a moment that this is the realm of extroverts only; there are plenty of introverts that are extremely popular.
It’s more about having a collaborative attitude – a sure indicator of a well-liked person.
Leading neatly into our next sign…
4) Your social skills are top-notch
If you’re someone who has well-honed social skills, you could be far more popular than you give yourself credit for.
Everyone wants to be around people who are warm and approachable. Well-liked people are often the ones that are super curious about others. They seek to understand, not to judge, and have a knack of remembering details.
They focus on the good in people, are tolerant, and don’t engage in gossip.
So, if self-awareness, active listening, and great manners are some of the weapons in their social arsenal, you are so much more popular than you think you are!
5) You’re upbeat
Staying on the topic of people who are good to be around…
It’s often difficult to recognize positivity in ourselves and others until we spend time with a negative person. Not only is it exhausting constantly reassuring and consoling them, but we walk away from the interaction feeling depleted and even a little depressed.
And sadly (but not surprisingly), constant negativity gets many people avoided and even abandoned.
Because attitudes are infectious!
This is why positive people have such an energizing effect on those around them.
Being grateful, looking on the bright side, and being solution-focused rather than problem-focused are highly attractive traits that lift people’s spirits and make them feel good.
So, if you’re an upbeat person, it’s very likely that people love being around you. (And you’re a lot more popular than you think you are!)
6) People get personal
Do people often share a lot with you? Maybe even just a few moments after you begin talking?
Are you the friend that everyone confides in?
If this is the case, you obviously have an amazing vibe and the ability to put people at ease! And amazing vibes draw people in and make them like you and trust you. And this gives them permission to share personal stories or even issues with you.
(Maybe you were always wondering why this happens to you?)
No one with a great aura was ever short of friends… so if people open up to you quickly and easily, chances are you’re in high social demand.
7) You notice social cues
Does body language fascinate you? Are you drawn to content about psychology and social dynamics?
If these topics interest you, this could indicate you a far more popular than you think.
Because an empathetic appreciation for voice tone, posture, gestures, and expressions indicates that you respond well to others. And since experts agree that 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal, this makes you a powerful communicator.
Ever find yourself mirroring others when you’re in conversation?
Then, chances are, you’re a person that is extremely well thought of.
8) People often emulate you
Popularity is literally the social cue for acceptance and admiration, so it follows that popular people will be emulated often. Others may copy elements of their speech or style. Or maybe simply be inspired by their attitude.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be a trend-setter!
But if you find that others are frequently inspired by you, you’re more admired and popular than you think.
9) You’re happy for others to shine
Whether you don’t seek the limelight or avoid it like the plague, if allowing others to shine makes you feel good, this is another sign that you could be more popular than you think.
Well-liked people appreciate the qualities of others and do their best to elevate them. They never feel threatened when the attention is not on them.
So, if you consistently celebrate those around you because you genuinely accept people for who and what they are, you’re likely more popular than you think.
And the final sign…
10) You make people laugh
Do you try not to take things too seriously? Are you happy to joke at your own expense?
People who are witty and humorous cannot help but be popular, whether they want to or not!
Laughter enhances air intake stimulating the heart, lungs and muscles, increasing endorphins and relieving stress and anxiety. Basically, it makes people feel great. So, it’s no surprise that those who get others laughing become beloved.
So, if having people in stitches is common for you, you’re likely a popular person (even if you don’t think so).
It’s time to forget the old movie cliche of the arrogant jock and the bitchy cheerleader being the most popular kids in school…
In the real world, the most popular among us are those who treat people well, make them feel good, and paradoxically don’t care about being popular.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.