“When I was in love I hardly thought of myself; I thought of her and how beautiful she looked and whether or not she was cold and how I could make her laugh. It was wonderful because I forgot my own problems. I owned her problems instead, and her problems seemed romantic and beautiful.”—Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz)
1. Make Eye Contact
I cannot stress enough how important I feel it is to look someone in the eye. Everyone. From your loved ones to store clerks & bank tellers. Treat everyone like your equal. I also find eye contact immensely attractive. It shows you’re assured & open & I dig that.
2. Remember Facts About Other People
This ties into ‘be a good listener’ which I think everyone loves in a person. I also feel it’s important to remember the anecdotes & facts people tell you. I’m not talking just birthdays & phone numbers. When someone remembers that I take my coffee black or that I once had a cat named Killer, I know they’re a good person. I know sometimes it feels this way, but not everyone is talking just to hear the sound of their own voice, sometimes people are trying to connect. Find those people & connect.
3. Have Individuality & Confidence In Dress
I like when a person looks comfortable in their own skin. I don’t care if you dress conservative or eccentric, so long as it expresses who you are as a person & you look like you chose your look because it makes you happy & not because it’s what is expected.
4. Love What You Love
SB & I went on a rant about this the other day & I kept shouting “LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE!” It is my new life motto. I loathe when people automatically reject something because they think it would be lame to like that something. I would much rather someone vehemently hate something I love for their own personal reasons than agree with me because they think they’re supposed to. No more guilty pleasures. Love what you love without shame.
5. SHOW ENTHUSIASM!
Everyone I truly love sometimes gets so overwhelmed by their excitement that they start shouting or typing in CRAZY CAPS. I adore this trait. I spent most of my early 20s acting like I was too cool to get excited about something unless I was drunk. That’s silly. Giggle, clap, jump up & down. True honest enthusiasm is endearing & infectious.
6. Be Willing To Change
No matter what convictions you have now, accept that life is change. You will change, your circumstances will change, roll with it. Allow yourself to grow & evolve. Don’t stick stubbornly to a belief or idea just because it’s something you believe now. If it’s meant to stick, it’ll stick on it’s own. Just be willing to change. Keep this motto that Cher recites in Mermaids close to your heart: Life is change. Death is living in the past or staying in one place too long.
7. Accept That Other People Are Better Than You
Do what you love, even if you’re not the best. This is difficult for alphas to accept. I’ve given up many a project because I wasn’t instantly awesome at the task. Keep trying, improve & accept that doing what you love is just that; it’s not being the best, it’s being fulfilled. That being said, if you really truly suck at something, & sometimes you will, maybe give it up & try something else.
8. Be Spontaneously Affectionate
Tell people you love that you love them, but also show them that you love them. Hug, hold hands, link arms. When a friend overwhelms you with their adorableness, tell them. Respect that some people don’t respond well to physical affection & find other ways to let them know they’re loved. Do all this freely, generously, often.
9. Stick Up For Yourself
Just as you should question your convictions, you should also be skilled at defending them. Don’t let anyone talk you out of something you truly believe. Respect their differing opinion, listen, absorb, but don’t sacrifice your opinions to appease another. I would also add that you should pick your debates, don’t vehemently argue every difference. Sometimes it’s fine to let someone go on about something you disagree with. You’ll learn a differing view & maybe it’s not worth the effort to dispute their opinion.
10. Love Yourself Best
This sounds selfish, but it’s not. Remember what RuPaul says: If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Love others, give yourself to others, trust others, but remember that you have to love yourself best so you can give well to the people in your life. Have fun with yourself, enjoy your own company, challenge & be proud of yourself.