10 Unusual Behaviors That Will Make People Respect You More

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Years of sharing this planet with other weirdos taught me much.

Not all human behavior makes a whole lot of sense.

Here are 10 unusual behaviors that will make people respect you more:

1. Sharing something you dislike about yourself.

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We’re all terrified of being banished from the crowd and looked at funny, so most of us put energy into appearing wonderful, flawless, and virtuous.

Go against the grain and tell us something you dislike about yourself.

This immediately puts you in the minority and shows us something cool: you’re human.

2. Smiling less.

There is a mystery to those who don’t always smile when you expect them to.

We are intelligent beings and can sense insincere grins.

We’re also tired of fakeness. If someone smiles at everything, it takes the power out of any single smile.

Being sparing with your smiles can show discernment, a thoughtful mind, and authenticity.

3. Repeating their words.

Most people are hell-bent on emptying out everything they want us to know about their lives and problems.

Few take a moment to turn it around and help others feel heard.

A powerful way to do this is to repeat back some of what people say. This reinforces a strong bond between you.

4. Making someone uncomfortable.

Woah there, Delilah. What do I mean here?

I am talking about broaching topics of conversation few dare traverse.

If you can move to your edges, and get closer to the truth, instead of pussyfooting around sensitive issues all the time, people will be attracted to your courage.

5. Being undistracted.

How refreshing is it to see someone speaking to someone who is actively attentive?

It is becoming rare to find someone who isn’t a distracted, fidgety squirrel ferret. So be different. Turn off your freaking phone.

Give us your full, present attention. Do it to put others at ease. Instant respect.

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6. Touching

Not all communication needs to be verbal.

Certainly, understanding body language is crucial for strengthening bonds.

But appropriate and intermittent physical touch brings a new dynamic that can take your interaction from pleasant to unforgettable.

7. Rarely talking about yourself.

Want to know how to come across super refreshing?

Stop telling us about your woes and achievements, and ask us a damn question.

Give others sincere compliments occasionally. Show interest in other people, and they will be interested in you.

8. Being unavailable.

You don’t always need to be there or respond to that text instantly.

When we demonstrate constant availability, we indicate lower status and value.

Why? Because the more scarce anything is, the higher its perceived value.

This applies to rare diamonds, just as it does to you.

9. Being a jerk.

In a world where most everyone is trying to be super-duper squiddly-diddly extra ‘nice,’ you bring a whole new dynamic when you can (occasionally) let go of this need.

You’ll be seen as more genuine. Tease people after you have gotten to know them a little.

Be a bit cocky. Show some pride.

Be occasionally brutally honest if it serves. This obviously requires care, so I will leave this to you.

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10. Being weird.

If there was one way to have people fall in love with you, it’s to follow your weird.

This doesn’t mean being a walking gimmick try-hard freak.

This means leaning into those aspects of you that come naturally, but that can be repressed to appease your fear of ‘not fitting in.’

Your quirky, fun-loving behavior, for example.

Hide less and show us more.

You may polarise and lose some people, but you’ll have the real ones who fall in love with you for life.

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Alex Mathers is a writer, coach, and illustrator from the UK and has worked with clients including Google, the BBC, and Wired Magazine. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.