When I was in college, we used to have “laugh-fests.” It all started at a large gathering when my roommate Jarrod and I decided to do an experiment. We began to laugh together. We were not really laughing at anything, except each other laughing. It was contagious. People started to gather around and laughed at us laughing.
People love to laugh. They like to hear people laughing and be around happiness. This is just one quality of the kind person that everyone wants to be around.
I already posted my first installment discussing the article from Business Insider, “How to Make People Like You Immediately.” Let’s continue to take a look at these seventeen strategies for developing "better relationships faster." Let’s evaluate them based on biblical principles, and see if we can learn more about influencing others for Christ. Here is the second piece of advice from the article.
“2. Spend more time around them.”
This just seems obvious. If we want to build better relationships with others, then we will spend more time with them. This is easier said than done for Christians who spend almost all their time with their Christian friends. This is one of the greatest hindrances to the church’s influence in the world: staying in our closed Christian culture. Jesus addressed this very issue:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 ESV)
If we want to influence others (salt and light), then we are going to be where there is need of flavor and illumination. We cannot hide under our Christian culture basket. How are you intentionally developing friendships with people who need Christ?
“3. Compliment other people.”
Here is the basic idea: "People will associate the adjectives you use to describe other people with your personality."
I think there is a deeper truth here. The ways we compliment others say something about us. It tells others what qualities we value. If others value the same positive qualities, then a shared value system is developed, which is important for strong relationships.
Paul often spoke positively about others, in a way that he hoped would establish a shared value system and stronger relationships. When he wrote to the Philippians, he complimented Epaphroditus, the messenger the Philippians had sent to him. Paul described Epaphroditus as “my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier,” who “nearly died for the work of Christ” (Phil 2:25, 30).
“4. Be in a great mood.”
Just as people love to laugh, they love to be around smiles and happiness. People like to be around positive, fun people.
Fortunately for Christians, we have a reason to have joy and hope! Jesus said,
“These things I have spoken to you
that my joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full.”
(John 15:11 ESV)
Peter expected others to notice the hope shining through the lives of believers, so he encouraged them to always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV)
How is your joy and hope affecting the people around you?