How to be Popular in High School (L8)

This is the 8th lesson in my How to be Popular in High School program. I highly suggest reading the introduction, and starting this program from the beginning if you havent already done so.

I will be releasing a podcast soon going over the first 6 lessons. If you have any questions regarding any of the lessons or how to best implement them, leave me a comment below, and well try to answer them in the podcast. Sorry for the delay on the podcast, I have someone else joining me for it and have to work it around their schedule.

Lesson 8 “Silence Can be Golden

The fourth law from The 48 Laws of Power states:

Always say less than necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

This rule applies more to those of you who tend to talk a lot, and should not be construed as justifaction for those of you who are too shy. Being shy is not the same as “saying less.” I repeat, this is not an excuse to continue being shy.

Too many kids get uncomfortable around any kind of silence and try to fill it up immediately by talking. Most of the time they are in such a rush to fill the dead air that they are not selective about what they talk about. They wind up either revealing too much information or saying something that exposes their flaws or makes them look foolish.

This advice is particularly important for those of you who have begun going to parties and drinking alcohol for the first time. Drinking alcohol and partying is a part of high school, but you need to know your limits. If you’re still a light weight when it comes to alcohol tolerance then you seriously run the risk of making a fool out of yourself by getting too drunk. It is extremely easy to ruin everything you’ve achieved through one night of drunken stupid mistakes. It is much better to have a buzz and in be in control of yourself than to get piss sloppy drunk.

Another area you need to stay in control of is who you talk shit about. If you’re new to the popular crowd then you’re opinion is not necessary when it comes to making fun or talking shit about someone. Its just better to keep your mouth shut. You may talk shit about the wrong person and have everyone turn against you… or you may start picking on someone and have a cooler kid, turn on you. Many times the cooler kids hate seeing the less popular kids making fun of someone.

You don’t want to brag about how cool you are or exaggerate any of your talents or achievements. Its always better to underplay them. If you’re truly following the lessons in this program then other people will be noticing your improvements. By speaking openly about them you run the risk of ruining everything you’ve been working for. Its better to let other people talk you up, let them exaggerate your talent. The less you seem to like to talk about your talents.. the greater those talents will appear to be to those around you.

Although you want to actively contribute in conversations it is much better to keep the focus of the conversation on the person you are talking to. Build them up and sell them. If you find yourself talking too much about yourself you’re probably revealing too much about yourself. You’re supplying people with information that can damage you. Its much better to let a portion of your life be a mystery. Let them want to figure you out.

I’ve spoken before about humor. You must develop a sense of humor. But you also must know your limits. You need to pay attention to whether or not your jokes are successful, or if people just aren’t laughing. If they are not laughing then you need to cut down your attempts at being funny. There is nothing worse than being the guy who thinks he’s funny but no one else does. If you’re jokes aren’t working then you need to start paying better attention to the kind of humor people around you are responding to. In the meantime, just be a good audience. When someone else is funny let them know you appreciate their humor by laughing. But don’t over do it or be insincere.


  1. Really try to understand what you’ve read today. Make a conscious effort to think about your actions a little bit more. Do not use this lesson as an excuse to be introverted, instead let these lessons make you more comfortable talking to more people since I’ve given you the times you should be silent. As long as you avoid these sort of things you can feel good about opening your mouth and initiating a conversation with someone new.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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