Do you want to know how to make people like you?
If so, did you know that scientists have researched this very subject and found psychological reasons why we naturally gravitate to some and not others? Some of their findings you might not have heard of and have fancy names like spontaneous trait transference. Others are more familiar like mirroring body language. So would you know how to make people like you?
Here are 15 psychological hacks that will help you learn how to make people like you:
1. When you meet someone new, use their name
Make it a point of working a person’s name into the conversation three times. Do this within the first five minutes whenever you meet someone new.
If you don’t think this is important, try and think of the last time you weren’t expecting someone to know your name and they remembered it. It gives you a little buzz to hear a person you’re not familiar with call you by your name.
Not only that, but it creates an immediate sense of warmth.
2. Copy the other person’s body language
Known as mirroring, this means copying the person’s body language. So for instance, if your acquaintance is resting their arm on a bar in a café, do the same. You can also use the same expressions, gestures and try and pick up on the language the person uses.
So throw in a few similar phrases now and then. This mirroring technique was first documented in New York and described as the ‘chameleon effect’.
3. Touch a person very subtly
Touching a person so they hardly notice has been shown to make that person feel warmth towards you. One university conducted an experiment on tipping in restaurants.
One group of waitresses subtly touched their customers as they gave out their change, others did not. The waitresses that touched their customers received much larger tips than the ones that didn’t touch.
4. Act as if you are a warm and caring person
If you don’t fancy going around touching people all the time, studies show that by merely acting as if you are a warm person, people will think you are.
Known as the ‘stereo content model’, this theory proposes that people typically judge others on their warmth, rather than intelligence or financial status. You’ll be respected for having the latter two, but trusted for the former.
5. Let the other person talk about themselves
If like me, your favourite subject is yourself, you’ll love any opportunity to talk about yourself. Not only that, but studies show that talking about ourselves actually makes us feel good.
Brain scans were taken when participants were chatting about themselves or another topic. Results showed the most active areas in the brain were the ones linked to reward and motivation. Basically, we feel good when we chat about ourselves.
6. Be excited to see someone
I remember having a friend who had a brother and whenever I met the brother he would appear so happy to see me. I got to really like him. This is without me knowing much about him. He was just so excited to see me.
He would twirl me around and would show genuine joy at us getting together. It made me like him because he liked me so much!
That might seem shallow but if you show excitement when you see someone it’s the same as mirroring behaviour. We naturally feel the same way a person feels towards us.
7. Spend a lot of time with the person you want to like you
You can’t expect someone to like you if they hardly ever see you. Furthermore, it’s backed up by research. One study used four women posing as students in a class at university. The women attended the class a number of times.
When the male students were asked which one of the women they liked the most they choose the women that had attended the most classes.
8. Make eye contact when a person laughs
When a group of people laugh, make eye contact with the person you want to like you. When we laugh we are showing a vulnerable side to ourselves. We are reacting in an open and honest way.
It’s extremely bonding when two people look into each other’s eyes at this very instant. It’s as if you’re both sharing a secretive moment together.
9. Share your deepest secret
Talking of secrets, want to really know how to make people like you? Then share your deepest darkest secret with them. One study paired students together for 45 minutes where they had to get to know one another.
Student pairs talked about deep and meaningful topics or more casual ones related to small-talk. At the end of the 45 minutes, the students engaged in the deep and meaningful conversations reported a closer bond than the small talk pairs.
10. Show that you can keep a secret
It’s one thing to share your secrets but what makes a person like you is being able to keep theirs. Two experiments explored the ideal traits of potential friends and employees. A high importance was placed on both trustworthiness and being able to trust in all manner of their relationships.
11. Ask someone for a favour
Asking a person for a favour actually makes them feel good about themselves, which has a knock-on effect on how they perceive you. They’ll justify in their mind why they are happy to help you out.
They’ll come up with reasons to help you, such as ‘They’d help me out too,’ or ‘They’re such a nice person, why wouldn’t I help them?’
12. Use open hands and palms
Open hands and palms create a sense of trust. Legoland uses this notion. In fact, it is their company policy to offer directions using in an open-handed style. In contrast, pointing and closed hands are seen as rude and aggressive.
So remember next time someone asks you for directions or help, using open gestures and you’ll appear friendly and likeable.
13. Compliment other people
Spontaneous trait transference means that all the good things you say about other people, people will associate with you. If you describe someone as caring and warm then others will connect those attributes to you as well.
14. Always be in a good mood
Are you the sort of person that gets dragged down by another person’s bad mood? Emotional contagion describes how people can be influenced by strong emotions.
By always being in a good mood you subconsciously bring everyone up into a better mood. Moreover, they’ll associate you with their good mood.
15. Act as if you like the person
Finally, if you really want to know how to make people like you, one of the easiest ways is to simply like them first. Called ‘reciprocity of liking’, it simply means if we think someone likes us, we are more likely to like them as well.
A study in Human Relations told participants that certain members of a group liked them whereas others did not. Afterward, participants revealed that they preferred the members who had said they liked them.
Have you got any tips on how to make people like you? Let us know!
By Janey D.