How To Be Popular – The Ultimate Guide

by Veikko Arvonen // June 6 // 0 Comments

How to be popular? This is a very close topic for me since I have lots of experience in leveling up my social status. If you’re tired of being at the bottom of your social circle, you’re in right place.

When I was 13, I was a nobody. I had barely any friends at school. I spent my breaks playing mobile games with the “quiet boys” in a corner. During my free time, I had one friend who also took advantage of my weakness. One guy in my class enjoyed putting me down and I couldn’t stand up for myself. On top of that, 80% of my school didn’t know about my existence.

Now, I’m a 21-years old college student with tons of friends. I always enjoy hanging out with them and I’ve received lots of positive feedback from them. Social life is great.

I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying this because I know that you can do it too. Climbing up the social ladder is one of the most rewarding things you can do. And I’d be honored to share that journey with you.




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So, do you want to flip the script and become popular? If yes, I got your back buddy. This article is the ultimate, A-Z guide on how to go from zero to hero with your social status. Take a nice position and read on!

How to be popular – The “value” principle

When it comes to being popular, there are lots of nitpick techniques. They can easily confuse you. I like to approach the problem in a more direct way. In the end, being popular comes down to a simple principle: Value.

If you want to become popular you must bring value to interactions. This can be anything from telling awesome jokes to having great ideas. When people see that you’re valuable to them, they’re happy to invite you with them. If you can ramp up the interaction, people will like you.

On the other hand, you must command value. This means signaling that you’re a high-status individual. You can stand up for yourself and you command respect with your communication. You can do this by improving yourself and learning social skills.

Who would you respect more? Someone who’s shy and never solving problems, or someone who’s attractive and doesn’t tolerate any shit. The last one I guess.

If you both give value and demonstrate value, you’ll be popular in no time!

How to become popular? – Setting realistic expectations

Before getting started, I want to lay down some realistic expectations. Becoming popular doesn’t happen overnight. You need to develop new characteristics and put yourself out there. Depending on your situation, it may take weeks or months.

However, you’ll get there eventually. As long as you keep pushing just a little bit every day, the process continues. Using this principle, you can claw your way to success.

The journey can be quite a roller coaster, but a funny one if you do it right. I did some rookie mistakes that caused problems with my self-esteem. This made the journey pretty painful at some point. You’ll probably face frustration and intimidation at some point, but it’s OK. You’ll learn how to deal with that, which is important in social skills.

But do you know what’s the best part? When you see that you’ve made a process and receive positive reactions from other people. When you see the principles working in real life, it’s an eye-opening experience.

So, when starting the journey, you must have the right mentality. You may not be popular yet, but you’ll get there. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sure, the process can be painful sometimes, but you know what? Even more painful is staying in the same situation. Some people tell you that you should stay like you are. That there’s no point in improving.

That’s bullshit. They don’t know what’s best for you. They may even not care. Maybe they want you to stay weak so they can manipulate you. 

There’s nothing glamorous in staying at the bottom. Social hierarchies still exist. You can either stay where you are, or you can use it to your advantage. Today, it’s easier than ever to climb up!

I’ve been a loser and I’ve been a popular guy, and I’d choose the last one every single time.

How to be popular if you start from zero

be popular even if you start from zero

I promised you an ultimate guide so I’m giving you an ultimate guide. This means that we start from zero. This section is for you if you’re terrified of social situations. Maybe you’ve been seriously bullied in past and your confidence is non-existent. Or maybe you’re planning to enter entirely new circles with the “cool guys”.

Anyway, before getting into the value principle, there’s some inner work to do. I neglected this and it cost me lots of mental energy. I lacked core confidence, which made my self-esteem super low. Pay attention because it makes the rest of the process 10X easier.

Confidence 101

Probably the most important thing you’ll need is confidence. At this point, confidence means your ability to trust in your capabilities and judgment. Many people have a completely wrong understanding of confidence. They think it’s about comparing and proving something. They try to hide their flaws to look better. That’s total BS.

True confidence comes from inside. It’s quiet. It’s all about how you see yourself. Are you secure with your flaws? Do you need to prove yourself to get approval?

You need to realize that no one is better than you. Even the captain of the football team hates something about himself. Even the prettiest girls have flaws. Everybody has something they dislike in themselves, regardless of their status. This makes everyone equal.

Next time you step into a room, don’t consider yourself better or worse. Know that you don’t have to compare. You’re on your own journey. The only person you need to impress is you. When you adopt this mentality, it will shine through and make others respect you.

Secondly, you have flaws. How do I know? Because everyone has. Don’t be ashamed of them. What matters, is how you carry out yourself with them.

Remember, superficial things don’t mean shit. Anyone could get jacked if it was important enough. Nobody is better than you. You don’t need to compare. What matters is that you’re on your own mission. If all this sounds confusing, check out my confidence category.

When you develop inner confidence, you’ll go through three stages:

  • Stage one is the beginning. You have your insecurities and you haven’t realized the truth yet.
  • Stage two is when you realize how confidence really works. (See examples above)
  • Stage three is when you have adopted that mentality and it reflects. Other people see that you don’t give a shit about their opinions, so they sense your confidence. The positive feedback from them amplifies the process and you’ll enter a positive loop.

Stop caring about others’ opinions

There will always be people who judge something you do. If you give their opinions too much attention, you’ll be screwed. Learning to not care about others’ opinions was something I wish I had learned sooner. It would have saved me from tons of headaches.

I know, if you want to be popular, you’ll be tempted to act to get approval. After all, you want other people to like you, right? Well, kind of. Obviously, you need to be a cool person to be around with and listen to people, but there are limits.

Someone will dislike or judge you at some point for stupid reasons. This is when you shouldn’t care about their opinion. They don’t know you, they don’t know what you’ve been through, and they’re not qualified to judge you.

Don’t give in to them. If you change your behavior to get approval, it will signal weakness. If you don’t care, it signals strength. Ironically, people start to respect you more when they see that you don’t need their approval.

How to deal with haters

Not caring about haters’ opinions gets easier when you realize the truth about them. Haters are a bunch of losers who hate you for whatever stupid reason they may have. I’ve had a hater who just disliked my characteristics. I’ve had a hater who was jealous of me. The list goes on.

Haters try to pull you down because they’re either jealous or afraid that you’ll succeed. They may also be compensating for their insecurities by pulling weaker people down.

The crucial thing to realize is that haters are a bunch of pussies whose opinions don’t matter. It tells more about them than you. You never get judged by people who have more than you.

Consider haters a compliment. You have enough exposure to distract someone from their path. They focus on you instead of themselves. Just smile and ignore your haters. When they don’t get a reaction and see you succeed, it’ll destroy them inside. Haters are adorable. That’s why I wrote an entire article for them.

Be popular by providing value

be popular by providing value

Now that you have the basic tools to get you off the ground, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. Yes, we’re getting to the value principle. First, let’s take a look at how to provide value to interactions. If you can put yourself in social situations and provide value, people will like you.

State control

This is arguably the most important factor when it comes to social situations. Your state means how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling frustrated and angry, social situations are a nightmare. If you’re feeling amazing, you’ll find it easy to dominate the interaction.

When you’re in a great mood, providing value becomes 10X easier. Especially at the beginning, make sure that you’re feeling amazing when putting yourself out there.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what works for you. I can’t give you an A-Z guide on how to ramp up your state. However, I can give some tips to ramp up your state before going out there:

  • Do something physical (push-ups etc…). This gets you out of your head and makes you present.
  • Bark or do anything loud with your voice. It sounds stupid but naturally stimulates your mood.
  • Hype yourself with affirmations like “I’ll be a fucking commander who dominates his path to being the most popular guy here!”
  • Combine these. Be creative!
  • Anything that works for you.

Social skills

Your social skills are essential. When in a social situation, you need to have some basic skills. If you’ve done the first part properly, you already know that you don’t need to compare or anything like that. Instead, focus on leveraging everyone.

Learn how to keep a conversation going. In a nutshell, you can say almost whatever you like. If you’re in a great state and enthusiastic, people will sense that. It’s all about HOW you say something. Not WHAT you say. Bring up stories and topics that you enjoy talking about. Combine that with a great state and you’ll have an amazing conversation. Don’t force it tho, let it be natural.

Be popular by telling jokes and stories

Jokes and stories are a great way to bring value to interactions. Jokes make people laugh and stories are always interesting. Think about it. Many great interactions have included someone telling a great story or cracking jokes.

The key here is to be natural again. Don’t force jokes. Tell them when you feel like it. When you do this enough, you’ll learn how to be socially calibrated. Stories are easier. Just make sure it’s relevant and you tell it with enthusiasm.

Be a leader, be popular

Leading is another great way to be popular. After all, humans like someone confident and who leads everybody. Some people like to lead, but many like to follow the lead. If you can come up with ideas that benefit everybody, you’ll be providing value.

Demonstrating value and commanding respect

Demonstrate value to be popular

Alright. Now that you know how to provide value, it’s time to command respect. Often, providing value makes you someone people enjoy being with. However, there’s always room for commanding it too.

When you command value, you’ll gain the following benefits in your social life:

  • People take you more seriously and respect you.
  • You’ll avoid manipulative and arrogant people.
  • You’ll gain natural authority.

Let’s take a look at the ways to command value and respect.


The first thing you’ll need is a raw, unshakable, core confidence. You don’t need to be 100% confident all the time. No one is. All you need is to realize some core principles and let them sink in.

Confidence is an extremely broad topic. That’s why I have an entire category and an ebook about it. Confidence helps you with everything you do in life, and that’s why it’s so important. 

To command respect and be confident in social situations, let these principles sink in. Once you actually believe in them, it will show in your communication:

  • You don’t need anyone’s approval. Your own is enough. If someone dislikes you, it’s their problem.
  • You don’t need to compare because everybody sucks at something.
  • No one is better than you because we all have strengths and flaws.
  • If someone brags or hates, it tells more about them. Thus, you can’t take them seriously.

Ironically, when you stop comparing and caring about others’ opinions, that’s when you get most of the respect. Don’t try to prove yourself, even if someone teases you.


Appearance? Didn’t you just say that superficial things don’t matter? Yes, they are nothing compared to core confidence, but they’re a great stimulant.

Taking care of your appearance helps you to look like a high-value individual. Being confident is also easier. You should focus on your mentality and inner confidence, but use superficial traits as a stimulant. It’s like burning a candle from both ends.

Appearance includes your fitness, hygiene, style, and so on. It’s not rocket science. If you spend just a little time developing your style and getting a haircut, you’ll be more attractive. For more information, read this article.


You can demonstrate value by achieving something that ramps up your status. This is a common way to be popular in American teenage movies. The popular guy is often a captain of a sports team or something like that.

You can develop status by joining organizations, sports teams, or arranging something. If you’re the host of the party, you’ll have status. If you’re the chair of a student organization, you’ll have status. Do you see the point?

Frame control

When it comes to conflicts and debates, frame control is your #1 friend. It’s a social skill that helps you to de-escalate conflicts (or roast your haters).

Your frame is the way you see yourself, other people, and the world around you. A good positive frame contains strong, positive beliefs, that help you to deal with conflicts.

If someone insults you, what’s your response? With a weak frame, they probably get under your skin. You’re not confident, so you take it personally. You start arguing back and probably lose the verbal battle since you’ve freaked out.

With a strong frame, however, you can swallow the insult like a jelly bean. Instead of freaking you, you calmly respond something like “That’s OK if you don’t like me, you just have a bad taste.”

This comes from a frame that your hater’s opinion doesn’t matter and you don’t need to prove yourself. That’s frame control in action. Sure, sometimes even a strong frame breaks. When you’re in a bad mood, insults can be frustrating. 

Frame control commands respect for a few reasons:

  • People realize they achieve nothing if they insult you. It may even backfire.
  • People sense your confidence.

If this happens, it’s OK. Just fix the positive frame and move on. For more information about frame control, read this article.


Charisma is your ability to influence other people. To be more specific, a charismatic person has the ability to make people respect them and look up to them. Charisma is attractive and influences other people in a way that’s good for you.

Charisma can be anything from smart jokes to enthusiastic storytelling. Anything that makes people laugh or spikes their emotions. A charismatic person can tell a funny story in a way that sucks other people into that reality.

Being charismatic is a skill. The best way to learn it is to go out there and join interactions. I have an entire article about charisma, but it’s not rocket science.

If you have core confidence, an amazing state, and you say whatever the fuck comes to your mind with passion, you’ll have charisma. Remember that charisma is just a specific technique to be popular. If you’re a newbie, focus on bigger principles. 

Dominant non-verbal communication

Did you know that non-verbal communication is a huge factor in your presence? We humans, often unconsciously pay attention to tonalities and body language. Not just what people say.

Who would you take more seriously? A guy who changes his balance nervously, avoids eye contact, and speaks with a weak voice? Or, a guy who has a firm handshake, looks you in the eyes, and speaks with a calm, authoritative voice. Probably the second one.

If you want to display good body language, don’t be afraid to take some space and be the center of the action. Sit or stand comfortably in a location that allows you to interact with people. Be calm and non-reactive. Don’t shrink away in a corner like I used to do at middle school. Again, this is nitpicking. Don’t put too much effort into details like this. you’ll end up looking like a fool if you manspread too much. Things like charisma and body language are good to keep in mind, but they’re less essential than strong frame control and confidence.

Different people you may face out there

Now that we’ve wrapped up the ways to command and provide value, it’s time to give you the final tips. When you go out there, you’ll face different people. Both great and annoying ones. Remember, these are the most common ones. There are many people that fit into several or none of these categories, but these give you the basic knowledge.

Average joes

Average joes are the most common type. These people like to join events and enter conversations, but they don’t make a big noise. They aren’t necessarily shy but don’t be the first one to lead. These guys are a great part of a group, and you can interact with them pretty easily. They’re neither arrogant nor shy.

Confident alpha males

An alpha male is a rarer, yet attractive person. Alphas like to lead, stand up, and have lots of attention. They’re confident and will make their friends feel great. However, don’t confuse this with arrogance. Someone with an alpha male personality likes to make their capabilities apparent, but never put others down.

These people are popular, and something you should also aim for. Becoming friends with an alpha male is pretty easy if you follow the steps in this post. Be a valuable person without bragging or comparing, and you’ll have much in common with an alpha.

Arrogant people

You may also face arrogant people. Dealing with arrogant people is luckily pretty simple. See, arrogant people brag about their achievements and may even put you down. At this point, maintain a strong frame and remember their motives. If you need to brag and compare to feel good about yourself you’re either insecure or just a moron. Either way, you shouldn’t take these guys seriously.

Imagine the feeling when a kid comes at you and shows a drawing he just drew. It’s not a Mona Lisa, and probably not even close to it, but you compliment the kid just because he’s adorable. But are you super impressed and feeling like a worse person? Of course not.

Oh wait… Yes, exactly! That’s how you should see arrogant people. They need to brag because their view of the world is at the toddler level. Rather than stepping into their frame, consider arrogant people adorable. It’s funny to see someone brag when you know that he’s just trying to prove something and get validation. When someone brags at you, remember their motive. This prevents you from taking them seriously and not giving validation. Bragging people aren’t satisfied with their own validation, so they’re not superior. No matter what they tell you.


The worst type is a hater. When you gain exposure and reputation, you’ll probably encounter a hater at one point. Luckily, haters are easy to deal with by following these three steps:

  • Ignore them.
  • Focus on yourself and perform better at anything you do in life.
  • Let your success show up and do the revenge, without giving haters the slightest attention.

Haters are pathetic losers who hate because they can’t get to your level. You never get judged by someone who has more than you. A hater is either jealous or afraid that you’ll succeed and their ego can’t handle it.

Instead of focusing on improving themselves, they try to pull you down. Simply because they don’t have what it takes to succeed. Haters are looking for emotional reactions because they mean they’ve succeeded with their only goal. To distract you from your path to success.

Don’t give it to them. Just ignore them, remembering they’re a bunch of losers not worth your time. When you do this, they don’t get a reaction from you. This withers their energy and motivation. Better yet, when you succeed, they’ll see that you didn’t give a fuck about them and they lost.

I’ve had people who dislike me and to be honest, it has pissed me off sometimes. However, remember what I told you and you’ll be fine in the long run. Even if someone manages to piss you off, it helps to remember that they’re a loser. In a few years, your hater will be at the same place, and you’ll be a popular guy, enjoying the glory and banging his crush.

For a full guide to dealing with haters, click here.

Flip the script to be popular

flip the script to be popular

In a series called Cobra Kai, a severy bullied boy named Eli joins a karate class. At first, he’s intimidated and rage quits the class. However, he later comes back with a new haircut and tattoo and starts to train like crazy. Eventually, he’s popular and stands up to his bullies.

This “flipping the script” mentality is something you can apply to your life too. Climbing up the ladder in social hierarchies may take time, but it’s all up to you.

The key is to make the decision. Are you tired of your current situation? Are you willing to take small daily action until you get there? Imagine the amazing feeling when you know that you’ll be there eventually. Before you get started, you must decide to change and know it’s possible.

I know, it may seem unrealistic but hey, it’s true. You have all the power to change your reality. You just need to stay consistent and commit to constant improvement.

You got all the tools you need here. It’s all about deciding, planning, and executing. Is there an event you can go to and put yourself out there? Is there something you can do to level up your confidence today?

Know that you can change and you will change as long as you keep taking action. Decide to flip the script. The rewards are worth it, I promise you that.

Putting yourself out there

As I said, it’s all about you now. You have all the knowledge you need, but you must put it into action. Start to join events and meet new people. Use the principles from this article and your status will elevate. If all this sounds terrifying, focus on your confidence first.

Before going out there, you should have these beliefs in your mind, sunken in at some level:

  • You don’t care what others think about you.
  • No one is better than you, no matter how capable they are.
  • You feel like you can improve the interaction with good stories and jokes.
  • You’re not afraid of haters or arrogant people because they’re losers.

The action gets you the results, but letting these beliefs sink in will save you from tons of headaches. Just don’t procrastinate with going out there.

Example: James wants to be popular

Now that you’ve been armed with tons of theory and action steps, you’ll probably wonder what to do next. Well, depends on your current situation. Also, it’s easy to get confused with all this information, so let’s look at an example.

Let’s say there’s a guy named James, who’s about to start in college. Right now, he has some vacation, but school starts again in autumn.

James was very shy in high school, and he only had a few friends. A guy named Jack enjoyed putting him down with his friends, which sucked. James is frustrated. He knows that he’s going to meet new people in college, but he can’t imagine a few more years with these social skills. James wants to be respected and popular. His new goal is to increase his status.

Getting hooked into self-development

James finds my article and decides to flip the script. He analyzes his situation and notices that there’s lots to be done with his confidence. James reads my articles and realizes that he’s had a completely false image of how confidence works.

Instead of caring about others’ opinions, James starts to build a deep love for himself. He learns that his reality will be determined by how he carries out himself, so he starts to train his fundamental beliefs.

James realizes that no one is better than him. Everybody has their weaknesses and something they dislike in themselves. That makes everyone equal in James’ mind. He gets rid of the worthless comparing. Instead, he commits to a never-ending improvement, knowing that he’ll be a top performer eventually. He focuses on himself because bragging and comparing are for losers.

Slowly, but surely, his new beliefs start to replace his old ones. Maybe he even gets a copy of my ebook Godlike Confidence Blueprint, which contains an A-Z guide about building confidence the right way, which bleeds into every area of his life.

James also realizes that his hater has been putting him down to impress his friends. “What a pathetic pussy, he’s not satisfied with his inner validation.” He thinks.

To amplify his confidence, James starts to pay attention to his appearance. He buys some new clothes and starts to groom his facial hair. He even starts lifting weights and practicing MMA. Not to impress others, but for his own convenience.

Going out there

When college starts, James is a different person. He has done his inner work properly but lacks practice. The first week in college is a great place to start. James decides that it’s time to go out there. He’s a little nervous but in an amazing mood.

This is because James knows the importance of a good state. He has just come from his MMA class. The adrenaline and other hormones are rushing through him. Most importantly, he knows that he doesn’t need to prove himself to anyone there, and nobody’s better than him. Even if he doesn’t make any friends yet, he’ll still have his self-development goals and never-ending process.

After a short, get-together event, people move to another location for an after-party. James feels a little intimidated but knows that he must put himself out there. Thus, he joins a group of people he talked to earlier.

To his surprise, they invite him to join them. That’s because James has been a congruent and chill dude before, who wasn’t afraid to be himself. Due to his amazing state, people liked his positive energy. James remembers a funny incident that happened to him and decides to tell a story about it. 

He remembers the tips from this blog and tells the story with passion. He makes everyone laugh. Later, he suggests that they play beer pong together because coming up with ideas is another great way to provide value. Even when James loses and his new friend teases him, he doesn’t get frustrated.

“At least I got free beer. That’s enough for me,” he replies with a smirk, which signals inner confidence. James does this by remembering the basics of frame control. On top of that, his new friends pay attention to his style and fresh cologne. This is because James used to principles of demonstrating value.

Next time James meets his new friends, they’re happy to invite him to eat together. After all, James provided lots of value to them with his stories, jokes, and ability to lead. On top of that, the positive feedback encourages James to put himself out even more.

Slowly, but surely, people start to invite him to hand out, and make sure that he’s joining the next event. Simply because James is a cool dude to be around with. His high status and positive energy make people like him.

Even his old hater, Jack sees this. He’s amazed that James isn’t the shy little boy he used to be in high school. After a lesson, he confronts James.

“Hey man, what the hell are you doing. Are you trying to be cool? Stop it, we both know what you really are. You’re not fooling anyone here.” He says.

However, James doesn’t get emotional. He remembers that haters are losers, so he actually feels sorry for him. 

“People change, bro.” He replies calmly.

Jack is amazed. Before, he always managed to make James upset. Now he doesn’t give a shit. He tries to insult James even more, but it doesn’t work.

“I feel sorry for you,” James says and leaves. This is because James knows how painful it is to live with an urge to prove something. Insults are never nice, but James considers being a hater a far worse destiny. He ignores his hater and enjoys his new life.

How to be popular – Summary

There you have it. My A-Z guide about being popular. This was a long post because there’s so much you can do to ramp up your social life. You don’t need to remember it all. Just build your basic confidence and get to work. You learn when you do.

Use James as an example and remember that it’s all about you. The way you see yourself and the world around you becomes your reality. Step by step, build your new lifestyle and jump into new circles.

Don’t pursue perfection. It’s OK to fail, feel frustrated, and be intimidated sometimes. It happens to everyone, including me. What matters is that you’re constantly getting better.

It takes time and effort, but the journey is fun and exciting. You got all the knowledge you need. Decide, make a plan, and execute. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I got your back, my friend!

Veikko Arvonen is a blogger with a burning passion for self-development. In his blog, he shares battle-tested tips to become more confident, charismatic, attractive, and happier. Back in time, he got tired of being at the lower end of the pecking order and decided to change. Now, you can learn his lessons from this blog.