How to Be a People Person
Are you a "people person"? In other words, do you really enjoy being with people in general, interacting with them, sharing conversations, and building friendships? Or, are you more at ease by yourself, doing your own thing? Although we all have our own personalities, and some are naturally more reserved and introverted, there are good Biblical reasons for overcoming shyness and becoming more comfortable with others. The primary reason, however, is this: If we don't enjoy being with people, interacting with them, sharing conversations, and building friendships, how can we ever really show others the love God wants us to? How can we be kind and teach them the gospel if we are too timid to approach them and speak (about anything for starters)? If people do not trust us, they will not be interested in the truth we have to share. And friends, people will not trust us if we don't get to know them. We limit our evangelistic potential when we stay in our own little bubble, just tending to our own existence with little care being shown for others. With desire and effort, anyone can change and improve himself. Please consider these eight Bible truths that should help all of us build and strengthen relationships with others.

1. Look out for others' interests as well as your own.
This is commanded of Christians by the apostle Paul in Philippians 2:4 - "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." The one who only cares about himself is a pitiful person indeed.

2. Treat others better than the way you want to be treated.
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself" (Phil. 2:3). Also consider Romans 12:10 - "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another." Christians should be seeking to please others through kind actions. Don't wait for others to befriend you; you make the first move! That's what a people person does. And continue to show kindness even when it is not reciprocated.

3. Praise has better results than criticism.
"There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health" (Prov. 12:18). It's easier to mold someone else with praise than with criticism. There is certainly a place for constructive criticism, but without healthy doses of praise, most criticisms will not be received well.

4. Look beyond outward appearances.
"But the LORD said to Samuel [as he was searching for the next king of Israel], 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (I Sam. 16:7). It is impossible not to notice differences in people, but the important thing is that these differences must not prevent us from treating each person with love and respect as a potential convert to the Lord. We must mature in our thinking in order to be able to look beyond the outer person we see.

5. Don't say everything you think.
According to Proverbs 29:11 - "A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." Since we will be judged by our words (cf. Matt. 12:36,37), we must take extreme care in what we speak and how. There are some things that we should not think, and there are many things that we should not say. They may be true, but are they helpful and necessary? If not, silence will better serve you and God's purpose for your life.

6. Be willing to listen and take advice.
"Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established" (Prov. 15:22). Solomon said elsewhere that "in a multitude of counselors there is safety" (Prov. 24:6). Only a proud fool refuses to consult with others who could offer good advice. Being a people person is more than just being outgoing, it's also about listening to others and learning what we can from them.

7. Be willing to admit when you are in error.
"He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy" (Prov. 28:13). If a relationship lasts long enough, eventually one party will offend or wrong the other. All humans make mistakes in judgment and action. A person who excels in dealing with people is willing to admit his faults and seeks to repair the relationship.

8. Be gentle in answering, for it will defuse anger.
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Prov. 15:1). Proverbs 15:18 declares - "A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention." There is a time for rebuking, but often we would be better served by showing more kindness and consideration in our speech.