Words With Nubs: Earnest

If you want someone to like you, find a way to get yourself described as “earnest.”

Think about it.

Is there a single thing about earnest that you wouldn’t want as a quality in your best friend? Your spouse? Your direct report?

Eager. Warm. Sincere. Thesaurus.com says these are all synonyms but none of them are quite right. In fact, the long way to describe an earnest person would be to list all the synonyms of “earnest” and then add the phrase, “really, just all-around great.”

The only catch is this: It is very important that you don’t call yourself “earnest” even if you are. That’s like calling yourself a “sweetie” on a first date or nicknaming yourself “champ” on your intramural flag football team.

Show don’t tell. Got it champ?

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