Five-minute Favors: How to Change Someone’s Idea of You

High school friends taking a selfie

It doesn’t take grand gestures to make someone like you. Even if it’s a person who has expressed dislike of you in the past, you can still change their mind. And it only takes five minutes to do so. Here’s how to do it:

Paying Attention

You naturally pay attention to someone you like. That girl you asked to prom who wants a Miami prom limousine service, for instance, will have a memorable night if you give her exactly what she wanted. You wouldn’t have known to rent a limo if she didn’t tell you and you didn’t pay attention. Do this for other people you want to impress, too. That teacher who seems to be picking on you for no reason would appreciate if you talked to them about their interests. Your brother, who hates you for being better at sports, would appreciate if you took the time to teach them how to be good at it too.

Sharing Your Lunch

Even on normal days, your gestures can change someone’s perception of you. From someone who is closed off and aloof, you turn into someone more accommodating if you share your lunch with a classmate. They don’t have to say yes, but when you make it a point to ask, it sparks a connection and opens a conversation. Maybe they don’t eat meat. Maybe your lunch is their favorite because their mom used to make it for them as kids. Maybe you both like bacon. Having this short moment to bond will dispell any negative impressions about you. And the best part? They’ll be inclined to be nicer to you because you initiated a nice move.

friends eating together


Even if you’re running late, make it a point to greet everyone you pass. Your teachers will appreciate that you acknowledged their existence, and your classmates who may be stressing about a test can be reminded that there’s more to their day than just passing or failing. Your parents who are rushing to work can do with a greeting before you speed off to school. It’s even more powerful if you wish them good luck on their day ahead.

Initiating Plans

Not everyone finds it easy to get out of their comfort zone to express that they want to hang out. They’ll appreciate it greatly if you initiate plans because it means you want to genuinely spend time with them. Invite them to study together if you notice they’re not doing well on your favorite subject. Even if you’re the one who needs help, initiate a conversation and ask them if they’ll be willing to help if you cover their dinner. Don’t just make plans that involve studying, of course. Talk about hanging out next weekend, perhaps to watch a movie or bike around the neighborhood. Before you know it, they’ve already become your best friends.

You don’t always start as the most liked person in the class, but if you work hard, you can gain valuable friends. Instead of wondering why other people don’t instantly like you, proactively work on changing their negative perception by doing nice things whenever you can.

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