Now, I’m not much for caring whether or not people like me (in general), but there are certainly situations in which being liked can work to your advantage. If you find yourself in those tough spots where making a good first impression could win you business, potential accounts, or that position on the PTA you’re really craving, you might be interested in these 12 tricks.
Psychologists say they go a long way toward making people like you, even if you’ve only just met.
Oh, and they also work to help accelerate new or budding friendships into that deeper, more meaningful stage without having to go through months or years of superficial chit chat.
So listen up.
12. Highlight your shared values.
A classic study by Theodore Newcomb claims that people are more attracted to others who are similar to them – the similarity-attraction effect.
If you share similar attitudes on controversial topics, like sex and politics, you’re more likely to like each other. So, if you’re hoping to make friends, hit on a similarity and then make sure to point it out.
11. Mimic them.
Mirroring involves subtly aping another person’s body language, gestures, and facial expressions. In 1999, NYU researchers documented the “chameleon effect,” which occurs when people unconsciously mimic each other and then end up friends.
10. Casually touch them.
Two separate studies – one with men on a street corner and one with waitstaff – suggest that these light, barely noticeable touches impact how perfect strangers react to you.
9. Spend more time together.
The more time you spend with someone, the more familiar – and therefore likable – you become to them.
We’ve known about this phenomenon since the 1950s, when researchers at MIT discovered that college students tended to be friends with people who lived closer to them rather than those who lived farther away. They believed it was because the closer people live together, the more likely they are to interact on a daily basis.
A steady routine, like a weekly coffee or happy hour date, should do the trick.
If you’re a woman, it may be irritating to learn that people really do find you more likable when you’re smiling. Not only that, but smiling when being introduced to someone for the first time also helps them remember you later.
7. Dole out the compliments.
A phenomenon called spontaneous trait transference means that people associate the adjectives you use to describe them with you, as well – so saying something nice about them will stick in their minds, making them think the same thing about you.
Basically, compliments you give other people influence how they see you, so go ahead and make sure those words are kind.
6. But not TOO frequently.
That said, you also want to consider the gain-loss theory, which suggests those compliments make more of an impact if you deliver them sparingly.
A 1965 University of Minnesota study proved the theory, with students liking the partners best who were “won over” in some way – like the compliments had been earned.
5. Don’t be a downer.
People are strongly influenced by the moods of others, with most humans being able to sense, on some level, the emotions of those around them.
If you want people to feel happy around you, then you’re going to have to give as good as you get.
4. Tell them a secret.
Self-disclosure brings people together – the more personal the secret, the better. You’ll want to build up to asking people deeply personal questions, of course, but even if you start small, getting people to want to confide in you goes a long way toward building the trust needed for long-term friendship.
3. Make friends with their friends.
A social theory called triadic closure, says that two people are likely to be closer when they have a friend in common.
2. Let them talk about themselves.
Research has shown that when people talk about themselves, they experience happiness, reward and motivation. Letting people feel this way during a conversation with you is bound to leave them with happy memories of your interaction.
1. Reveal your own flaws.
The pratfall effect says that people will like you more after they witness you making a mistake – but only if they believe it’s an adorable aberration and that you’re still generally competent.
We learned this from an experiment in which people took a quiz and then spilled a cup of coffee (or didn’t). The most likable people were the ones who scored well, but then spilled the coffee (as opposed to those who did well and didn’t spill the coffee, and those who didn’t do well and didn’t spill, and those who didn’t do well and spilled).
Well, people are about to like me a lot more whether they want to or not!
Do you think these will work? Are you going to try them? Let us know in the comments!