One of the things that’s true across human beings is that we want people to like us. We can’t help it; even when we know it shouldn’t matter, we crave approval.
That said, sometimes it is important for people to like us – there are job interviews, and meeting a significant other’s parents, moving to a new place and looking for social connections, and a hundred other times that first impressions definitely matter.
If you’re looking for tips and tricks on how to inspire quick admiration in strangers, here are 5 that definitely work!
5. Watch your mood.
If you want people to like you, try not to be too much of a Debbie Downer. The emotional contagion theory is what happens when people are strongly influenced by the moods of others, and research points to the idea that others can feel your emotions, even if they’re not aware of it.
Be happy, make others happy, and they’ll want to be around you all the more.
4. Copy their mannerisms.
This strategy, called mirroring, or the chameleon effect, involves subtly mimicking the other person’s behavior. Research shows that copying someone’s body language, gestures, and facial expressions facilitates liking between the two people.
After every study, people said they “liked” people more who mimicked their movements.
3. Get their friends to like you.
The theory of triadic closure means that two people are likely to be closer when they have a friend in common.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia illustrated this effect by using Facebook. They designed a program and found that people were up to 80% more likely to accept a friend request from someone they didn’t know if they had friends in common.
2. Compliment other people.
The spontaneous trait transference phenomenon means that people associate the adjectives you use to describe other people with your personality – so be careful what you say about others.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, says that “whatever you say about other people influences how people see you” – so if you describe someone else as genuine and kind, others will think you possess those qualities as well.
It works the other way, too, so anything negative you say about others could come back to haunt you.
1. But not too much or too often.
That said, the gain-loss theory of interpersonal attractiveness suggests that positive comments make more of an impact if you hand them out somewhat sparingly.
In 1965, researchers are the University of Minnesota had 80 female college students work in pairs, then allowed the students to “overhear” their partners talking about them. It turned out that the partners liked it best when those comments went from negative to positive, making kids feel like they were winning their partners over in some way.
Definitely putting these in my back pocket, y’all.
Do you have any tips for making a great first impression? Share them with us in the comments!