Develop the “Knack” for Melting a Man’s Heart

how to make people feel good“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

― Maya Angelou

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. It’s a different kind of memory than factual knowledge.

The memory for how to ride a bike is stored as an experience, not as something you can put into words and share with somebody else.

If only we could share those experience-type memories. Then children wouldn’t need to crash their bikes repeatedly as they learn how to ride. Someone would just give them the manual that explains it all and then send them on their way.

The same thing goes for the special gift some people have for making other people feel good about themselves. If only we could put that in a manual and pass it around.

Do you know someone with that special knack, that gift for making you feel good about yourself?

It’s like your blood pressure lowers the second you see them rounding a corner to talk with you. It becomes increasingly easy to “just be yourself” around them as they repeatedly prove their full acceptance of who you are.

I’m calling this knack “a gift,” because it seems some people were just born with it. Although, I now question that assumption.

Perhaps it can be learned.

How do you learn something like this? My guess is you start with the will to succeed. And then add practice and persistence.

That little recipe seems to be the powerful formula behind many talents worth developing.

Do you want to develop the knack for making people feel good? If so, there’s one more seed I want to plant in your thoughts.

It comes in the form of a quote from a fictional book I enjoyed. The quote captures a profound truth in words.

“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.”

― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

how to make people feel goodSo here is my question for you today. How can you practice the art of making someone else feel good in your presence? What unique methods might you try?

This is one of those quests that has value even during the journey toward achieving success. Because you’ll like yourself better for having tried.

And if you like yourself for merely trying, it’s not because you have achieved perfection. Rather, it’s because you have set out on a path toward something you believe to be worthwhile.

Perhaps that is one potential answer to my own question. The quest to discover how I can make others feel good when they interact with me.

So I’ll practice using it on you today…

Are you heading in a good direction? Well then, that is enough. You have earned my respect and admiration in that simple choice.

Always on your side,

James


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33 thoughts on “Develop the “Knack” for Melting a Man’s Heart

  1. Amanda said:

    Hi James,

    I have always been one of those people that have ‘the gift’ when it comes to making people feel good about themselves. A few pointers that I may add to this…

    Always find something good about that person and let them know. The tiniest compliment can do the world of good for someone, I find that there is always something worth complimenting on…even if you say “I love those snappy shoelaces!” guaranteed to make them smile!! …and then you can say that you love their smile… it may sound cheesy or lame, but trust me, it works.

    Listen to what the person is talking about. If they tell you they have a football game coming up, ask them about it next time you see them. It will make them feel like they are important enough to you, and they will happy that you have taken an interest in their lives.

    Body Language is another great way to help someone feel comfortable around you. A good way to start is to simply mirror the other persons body language. Dont do it too obviously of course, but simply adjust yourself casually to follow suit. Avoid putting your hands in your pockets, crossing your arms in front of your chest, or hiding your hands under the table…this gives off a closed and almost defensive vibe.

    I am so glad you have given this topic, people will never forget how you made them feel. That is a quote I have lived by for a long time.

    Keep up the good work James πŸ˜€

    • Mireya Anaya said:

      Very nicely stated, easy enough. Thank you!

  2. Yes wonderful.
    And tell the truth -gently. Look people in the eye as they are comfortable. Not everyone is- so use your intuition. Truly listen- do not interrupt.
    If they feel heard, truly heard and not contradicted- then they feel accepted.
    Julie

  3. Hi
    Your question,”how can you practice the art of making someone else feel good in your presence?” I think by feeling good about yourself, a positive attitude, being authentic, a passion for life and to be truely interested in other people.

    • James Bauer said:

      Yes, I think you are right.

      • Patricia Duarte said:

        I like to practice this wonderful advise. But what does it mean when a man looks at you when they or I talk but then looks away?
        There is a man in my office who I feel is interested in me but won’t keep eye contact. I am confused.

        • James Bauer said:

          Here are a few possibilities:
          – He is shy and feels uncomfortable with sustained eye contact as a result
          – He likes you and this makes him feel self-conscious (like when you don’t know what to do with your hands when standing in front of a large group of people to receive a award or something).
          – He doesn’t make eye contact for long with anyone and you are no exception
          – He just has a strong instinct (compared with most people) to avoid appearing dominant or challenging with sustained eye contact
          – He does not share your interest and does not want to act like he does
          – He wonders if you can tell he likes you and he is not ready to let it show yet.

          In any case, don’t worry about it. Be the best version of you and focus on what you can control.

      • Lee Smoire said:

        Yes; ‘I have always found the human race and its behaviour to be endlessly fascinating’ – paraphrasing Mr Spock fr Star Trek

  4. Heike Helmer said:

    You have to be an authentic person yourself first and pretty much operate on a positive level with any emotional triggers under control. If you want to feel relaxed in someone’s presence you need to put them at ease with you. In a sense your own tension barometer will tell you when you accomplished your goal – when you feel completely at ease with that person! Compliments, eye contact, remembering details from each other’s life are all important as mentioned. To that I would add a non-judgmental approach. When someone is telling a conflicted story, don’t immediately judge anyone in that story. You are a better friend if you remain calm and help them sort it out that way. The only thing I’d interject is a validation of how they felt. If the person says “I was near tears” I might say something like “I can totally see how that would happen” and then encourage the person to go on with the story. A lot of it has to do with not always broadcasting your values as soon as an opportunity occurs. Other people might have different values and that is to be accepted, not corrected. When asked for advice, you can honestly share your values and that’s cool. However, some people keep looking for any opportunity to educate others about they should be thinking – especially activists of any kind, who divide their world into allies and enemies. Just be the opposite of them and you get the idea. It is not inborn, it is not training, it is respect and consideration and it is modeled. The more your parents extended these to you and to each other, the easier it will be for you to communicate with others at that level.

  5. What a very insightful and delightful article post! Thanks James, this is great aim for the new year.
    I have been told that I have this gift and it almost always astounds me, because I see myself as kind of a “loner” and not a “people person” just shows how hard it can be for us to assess our own gfits.

    People have remarked that they feel as if they have known me for years because they feel so comfortable with me, even on our first meeting.
    One thing I know for sure is that you must be genuinely and authentically present to that person who is on the phone, standing or sitting with you.

    No looking over their shoulder to see who else is around or one of the worst offences;finishing there sentences for them, as if you are in a rush.

    Yvonne Finn

  6. Carol said:

    Thank you a great topic, love all the above comments, I personally feel that it is a gift I have had to learn, not all of us have been brought up with such gifts, but they are definitely learnable and I love being able to be there for someone in the right way as I am also there in the right way for myself now.

    Listening is one of the greatest gifts to be able to give people, they will always feel accepted as being who they are, isn’t that what we all want.

    I love the little bit at the end ………..always on your side…………thanks James that’s really cool.

    Carol NZ

    • James Bauer said:

      I appreciate your comments, Carol.

  7. Amy said:

    James, thank you. It’s good to bear in mind as you approach the day. I do have problem with it though… Sometimes people are not comfortable feeling this… at how comfortable they are with me and how much they enjoy (and then start to need or miss interactions with me). It freaks them out and they start treating me like I’m a witch. Any advice? I know it sounds strange. They seem to feel threatened by these feelings. It’s a pain and painful. I’m just being kind and I get a nasty backlash, then I feel compassionate and the cycle continues.

    • James Bauer said:

      Yes, I know what you mean. You have to set boundaries when everyone wants to be your friend. They don’t like that and get angry. The good news is, it’s mostly emotionally immature people who get upset like this. You can’t please everyone, and you have to have boundaries, so you don’t need to change your kind way of relating to others (in my opinion).

  8. Joan said:

    Wow…..you are truly amazing in your ability to consistently post relevant, thoughtful, and heart warming insights about dating and life in general. No doubt the Training Courses you offer are excellent and well researched. AND worth investing money and time in for those willing to learn and digest all the information you share from your extensive Relationship Coaching knowledge to improve women’s relationships with men. Thank you for the free blogs that help many, you offer a great service.

    You’re a good guy, James! Hats off to you.

  9. Liane said:

    I have a question… when I am listening and listening, to someone who has a case of what I call (excuse the expresssion) verbal diarrhea… i mean for hours!! How can I get through to them that this constant talking without listening to the other person (not just me) is disrespectful? That you can learn a lot by pausing in your diatribe to get another perspective? I have half a dozen people in my life that have me and others wanting to press pause to get them to breathe and think! Most are not people I can or want out of my life. I just want to be able to have two-way conversations with them more often…. I have managed to break thru a few times now and again, but am not sure how I did- so can’t repeat it at will. Any suggestions??

    • James Bauer said:

      I too would be interested in hearing suggestions on this. I personally have never found a way to help such people to realize how they diminish intimacy by dominating a one-way communication style. I can get them to slow down for a few minutes, but then they revert to the old pattern. The only method that has worked with one person I am close with is to use a code word to remind them they are doing it again. But that only works with people who are motivated to change this particular behavior. It would be offensive to most people who are not as close.

      • Lisa Love said:

        My “best friend” since I was 8 yrs old is this way. I struggle with trusting her since she typically goes into the details of other people’s lives. How much can be said when speaking in the first person? I typically listen to her in an active but somewhat silent way. I basically don’t encourage more details unless I need clarification. I wait for her to ask questions but typically feel interrogated for her future gossip. To say the least I only see her 3-4 times per year.
        But if you need an “emergency brake” then you can use some control phrases: “by the way”, “tell me”, “did I forget to mention?” These are techniques learned from sales training. You can start with one of the phrases or combine all 3 for an immediate break. It might seem awkward at first and sound completely harmless but they are somewhat magical. πŸ™‚

        • Lena said:

          Lisa,

          You are truly Love, if you can handle the best friend talking too much, even it is only 3-4 times a year!
          I am not that good as you are, and still don’t know how exactly react in the situation, when someone keeps talking and not letting you to say a word. I do not like to be rood to those people, but at the same time I feel like they are “using” me for their shi… to come out. It is Very tricky to come out of the conversation like this one and being polite to the “speaker”. What if I start ignoring them talking and continue doing my stuff after listening them for a short time? I deal with people like this type at work, and can’t avoid them completely. I feel also like I became to be a very quiet person, because I don’t want to have a one way conversation in their favor. I am really confused what to do in this case.

          Any suggestions?

  10. odonna@snet.net said:

    Hi James,
    Maya Angelou hit the nail on the head!! My father passed away last week. It has been a rough time for our family. We received many cards of condolences, many Facebook posts from friends and family from around the country. There was one running theme within each card, note, or post… one gift my father had which countless people remembered… he had the gift of making them laugh…making them feel good when they were around him. I knew my father was “the life of the party” per se, but I never knew how people genuinely loved him, or did not understand it because I was his daughter and maybe too close to the situation. I now find such comfort in those note because he has left in their hearts a feeling of love, laughter and caring. What a legacy πŸ™‚
    I have been in a relationship for over two years. Shortly after we started dating, I subscribed to your emails, and bought the ebook. There was something about this man that I loved from the start and wanted to keep him. The thing that attracted me to him was that he had this amazing ability to make me laugh, sometimes crack up laugh, and he has always made me feel good when I’m around him. I have found someone with a gift, like my father’s gift, but this time I can appreciate πŸ™‚
    Thank you.

    • James Bauer said:

      Wow. That is very special. Thanks for sharing this happy news with the rest of us.

  11. That is so true. If you treat people good they probably will remember, but we always remember being treated poorly.

  12. Hi James,
    Its so true. A person who makes you feel special is worth being around.And for me, people who make me feel that good for being a part of their life get the best of my love.

  13. Francesca said:

    I read this quote many, many years ago and instantly it became one of my favorites. However, I read this quote long before Maya Angelou was known. Does anyone remember the original author? Curious.

    • Irina Sergeeva said:

      he earliest evidence located by QI appeared in a 1971 collection titled β€œRichard Evans’ Quote Book”. The statement was ascribed to Carl W. Buehner who was a high-level official in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: 1

      They may forget what you said β€” but they will never forget how you made them feel.
      β€”Carl W. Buehner

      • Lana said:

        Thank you Inna for referring to the original version of this saying.

        Svetlana Kareva.

  14. Maureen Elizabeth Heegan said:

    Thank you James for sharing your knowledge in such a down to earth way. You also have a wonderful way of communicating so that it’s easy to understand and follow. πŸ™‚
    I am looking forward to reading about the knowledge you have learned through all these years.
    I believe that I also share this “gift” which you speak about. We all need to connect as humans and the ways in witch we do this matters. A smile, kindness, listening, holding someone (touch), sometimes giving a partner “space” (selflessness), are just a few of the examples I use to communicate i care. Caring along with respect matters. We all matter! We all effect one another and choosing to show it is a gift.
    My upbringing was very deficit in many ways so I chose to show Love instead of hate ( in all It’s forms).
    Always on your side, always touches my heart! Life is good!!! πŸ™‚ Maureen

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks, Maureen! πŸ™‚

      James

  15. Kimberley said:

    This blog intrigued me.
    I’ve been known for this very thing.
    Some people are born with it; some people are formed into it, others, just haven’t learned this: “Be kind to all; for all that you meet, are fighting a battle.”
    I’ve been labeled an Empath. Born with it, as I’ve always had a way with people. As time past, and I’ve grown quite a bit in the short amount of time I’ve been on this earth, I’ve learned perhaps, too much?
    My whole life as I was young, I wanted to be accepted. I was the oddball; stuck out like a sore thumb, but with this, now older, has been my best trait of all. When young, you either please or tease. To be accepted. Or, not to be picked on. You attraxt more bees with honey rather than vinegar. And this, has all been set in mind from when I was finally “accepted” all with out even trying.
    You can never really learn this “gift” unless you’ve gone through many, many many battles yourself. To understand all sides and to not be biased; is a special but painful enduremant one can have. I’ll list some key points I’ve learned through living:
    1.)Physical Energy Vibrations. We are made up of atoms vibrating together. I’m hypersensitive, so mine can come off really strong. People will feel what I feel. Vice versa. Always remember to adjust yourself comfortably and forget about pessimism. Study Optimism, if it’s a struggle. Do this, if you wish to understand others.
    2.) Listen. Don’t just hear to reply, listen to understand. This is vital. Because this… this is when you break down their guarded barriers.
    3.) empathize.
    4.) understand their struggles. Take them on as if they were your own.
    5.) Be gentle when offering advice. Question rather than scold or determine their solution for them…
    6.) be authentic. Do as you preach.
    7.) always remember you’ve still got a life full of learning still.

  16. Donna said:

    Six years ago, I met the man that has all the qualities that this blog speaks of. He just has that gift of making people feel comfortable in his presence, he is empathetic, funny, and really listens to others. At first I didn’t know what to make of him as he was unlike anyone I had ever met before. When I would get on my high horse about something or someone, he would say: “everyone has a story that we do not know”. I had never thought of that before. It sounds crazily selfish of me but it’s true. In our time together, I learned to not be so harsh, giving my opinion so freely when others might not care to listen or have the same values. I’ve been trying to be more like him. It is a daily practice tho and some days fall short. Last year I lost some very special people in my life. Seeing them struggle and feeling their sadness, I tried to be available to them in every way I could, physically, mentally, financially, just trying to make their life a little easier. I found this to be a comfort to me in this difficult time. When I fall back to my old thought processes, I remember how good it can feel to be there for someone else.

    I read the Maya Angelou quote recently in one of Steven Covey’s books and find it to be one the most valuable quotes I have ever read.

    Thank you James for this post. I subscribed to this newsletter and bought the book when I started dating my boyfriend 6 years ago. I knew there was something special about him and I did not want to lose him. I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to this lately…this email found me today for a reason πŸ™‚

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Donna. Thanks for sharing a piece of your journey with us.

      James

    • Lena said:

      Hi Donna,

      I really enjoyed what you shared here about the guy you are dating. I am very interested in what you said about his personality. May I ask you, if he is still around. How is your relationship developing now? Are there any improvements in your love life with him? Six years is a long time to be dating to a guy like him. I wish you both great communications with each other.

  17. Doris said:

    I have been studying Secret Obsession. Which has taught me a lot more about understanding. Really understanding ! Your tips have been great as well. Little tidbits to mull over. Not just for your man but for others in your life as well.
    I do think I make people feel good. The reason is because I really am a happy person and I think it rubs off. I smile, I joke and I don’t take myself to seriously. I’m not a fool but I’m happy, really happy. When I meet someone , when I see my guy. I smile because I am so happy to see them. It makes people comfortable. It makes me comfortable.
    Thank you for all your advice. It really has been an I opener in a lot of ways. Not all applies. Big tgd one thing that does is ggagvit is so important that my man knows how important he is and how much he does for me just by being with me.

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