Being popular is worthwhile. When you are liked, people more often succumb to you and are more willing to admit you’re right and consent to your arguments when you want to convince them of something. Although the majority of people say we can’t influence whether someone likes us or not, psychological research confirms that certain behaviors and incentives attracts more fondness than others. Fondness and respect are components of interpersonal attraction, which shows whether people perceive you positively.
An example of psychological mechanisms in popularity could be the ‘Halo Effect’, which means that we ascribe positive character traits to attractive people. The same applies when it comes to the transfer of feelings which we have for a person who is making a proposition. Thanks to the research of Robert Cialdini, we know that if your client likes you, they will rarely question your product. Taking care of your image and how others perceive you can influence whether you are well-liked.
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Here are 25 psychological tips on how to be liked.
Use the words “please”, “thank you” and “sorry”.
These type of words express strong emotions, which can win people over. “Please” means humbleness, “thank you” – gratitude, and “sorry” – the ability to make a confession. They are strong values which connect people. We like people similar to us, and thus – adhering to similar values.
Assist in mundane situations.
Help a person if they need a hand to open the door or hold the button when a lift is fleeing. Ask if you can help to carry a heavy suitcase. In this way, you show that you care about others.
According to the research of scientists from the University of Nottingham, altruism or selflessness are the features that may increase the sexual attractiveness of the partner [“British Journal of Psychology.”]
Do / offer various favours.
Offer someone a lift, a conversation if they have a problem or advice on the subject which you know better. Each favor will cause the desire to repay. The rule of reciprocity says that if someone has done a favor, a person endowed feels pressure due to the debt of gratitude and wants to get rid of it, by giving it back.
Share all kinds of advice in the field of your expertise. Do it under the condition that the people ask you for it. Be a mentor to others because it carries a certain value.
Ask people about their views and opinions.
Do not only talk about what you think. Ask the following questions: “What do you think?”, “What’s your opinion?”, “What would you do in my place?”. If you ask a question, think how it can benefit. Do you sometimes not want to only confirm your own opinion? Or you ask a question only to hide your own view? If you actually ask a question, you should be interested in the answer, and that means that you should give the other side the freedom to respond.
Demonstrate enthusiasm and be interested in other people’s story.
Take care of verbal and non-verbal enthusiasm when someone tells you about something. Nod your head and say: “Really?” “Seriously?” etc. Use onomatopoeias: “Oh!” “Uh-huh,” “Aha” (they’re great to use in a telephone conversation too). As a result, your caller will know that you gave him attention. In this way, you strengthen his self-esteem.
Repeat the exact same words used by the other person. As a result, she will know that you are listening. If, from time to time, you say the word which the interlocutor often uses, you will give the impression that you understand her.
Look into the eyes of the interlocutor 80% of the talking time. Above this limit, the effect will be the opposite what was expected because constant eye contact causes discomfort. Looking in the eye communicates interest in the other side and keeps track of what anyone says. The eyes’ wandering off and failure to maintain eye contact may be a sign of boredom, lack of interest or even a lack of respect.
Show people your appreciation.
Lack of recognition is listed as the sixth reason for employees leaving the company. Positive support is extremely important. Enthusiastic, optimistic support with praise, a smile or just a simple high five expresses appreciation for one’s achievements. This shows friendly support, reduces envy and directs the brain to continue acclaimed behavior.
Be curious, notice the change in others.
It is worth noticing diversity. If someone is dressed in a way which you would never dress – don’t criticize. Instead, say: “It’s amazing how you look at the world differently.” The more diverse people are, the more they are inclined to be attacked by mediocrity, social norms and customs. The more one deviates from “normal”, the more he likes people that tolerate his otherness and are curious about it.
Be warm, smile often.
Be nice and share optimism. We do not like whiners, complainers, pessimists and people who are constantly grouching or blaming. Positive people live longer, cope better with stress or failure and are likely to suffer less from colds and heart disease.
In a study conducted by Wayne State University in 2010, it was demonstrated that baseball players, who often smiled, lived on average seven years longer than those players who shunned a smile.
Be an optimist, moaners are lonely.
Be really good at something.
Become an expert in some field. Based on your own substantive value, you will gain confidence. This will not be perceived as arrogant because your confidence will be based on facts. Confident people are natural leaders, whom the others follow.
Get involved in everything you do.
We like people who have a specific hierarchy of values. Getting involved in your activities is certainly one of them. Engaging is also a genuine interest in the other person. Don’t let any, even the most learned communication technology, overshadow the authenticity which wins people over.
Rely on stable and consistent values.
We behave differently towards different people. I communicate in a different way with my wife or with my daughter and another way with the participants of my training workshops. However, in each of these life roles, I believe in a stable system of values such as honesty, sincerity, passion, love, etc. Being led by the same, consistent values in relation to different people, will make others interpret you as a predictable and trustworthy person. We trust others when we feel safe. This is when we know what will happen.
Bring the best out of people.
If you know that someone is familiar with something – ask him about it. Say: “You can do it” “You’ll be fine”, “If not you, then who?”. The Rosenthal effect shows that people want to achieve what is expected of them. On the other hand, the Galatea effect says that if we have positive expectations of people, even in spite of adverse conditions, they begin to behave according to those expectations. As a result, people will grow around you and you’ll be well-liked.
We like people who are always on time because it is a sign of respect. Research conducted by the ‘ARC Rynek i Opinia’ in 2011 shows that more than half of the research participants declare no tendency for being late. People recognize the lack of punctuality as unacceptable and disqualifying behavior.
Call/text back immediately.
The sooner you do it, the more respect you show the other person and the easier you establish a relationship with them.
Remember about all sorts of occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries.
Remember about birthdays and other important days. However, remembering the other person only on their birthday is not the way to build a lasting relationship. If you maintain a good relationship with someone, remembering about special occasions is exceptionally important.
Pay attention to what is happening in the others’ lives and remember about it.
If you know that someone’s mum has become sick, ask about her health. If you know that someone recently bought a dog, ask how their pet is doing. This is an important signal for the other person, saying that you are genuinely interested in her life.
As many as 40% of our daily conversation relates to stories about ourselves and about our own feelings, which stimulates the brain as much as good food or sex, because it raises the endorphin levels. If you make your correspondent talk about himself, he will associate you with a person with whom he feels good.
Give your time.
Time is your biggest asset. Donating your time, especially when it comes to the most important and closest relationships, is crucial. The more time you offer to people, the more you will be liked by them.
Do not look at your watch / phone during meetings.
Even if you pretend that you aren’t, and under the table you look at your phone or watch, the other person will notice. People see these things and are averse to them. Do not play with objects; do not check your watch or phone every minute. Such behavior can be very annoying for the other person and shows a lack of respect.
Stay positive and constructive.
Stay positive and see the world through rose-tinted glasses. This does not mean that you have to be naive – at the same time, you can be very rational and constructive. Pay attention to what you say, make sure it’s constructive and results in positive changes. If it is not, replace it for messages that will positively develop your relationship.
Don’t hide your feelings. Talk about how you feel.
Talk about your feelings and be open in front of others. If you have a bad day, say it. When you feel happy, do not be afraid to show it. Do not act like a computer that only processes information and has a protective shield against showing its emotions. You do not need to protect yourself from your own feelings because you deal with them very well. When you expressively talk about what you feel, you make people trust you.
Do not use a closed body posture, smile back and, once in a while, give a wink. An open posture is relaxed and encourages the other person to engage. Individuals with an open body posture are perceived as accommodating and friendly people.
People are attached to their names – studies have shown that we are more willing to meet requests of people who asked us by using our name. Remembering the name of the other person, you can personalise a message sent to him.
To memorize names, use mnemonics and create related associations. If you want to remember Christopher’s name, imagine this person is talking with Christopher Walken. This association will take you about 5 seconds, no one would know about it, and you will remember the name of the interlocutor, which can win over his favor.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
We like people who can laugh at themselves. That’s how we know that they are not too tense and will not be overly critical of us. We trust people who do not hide their worst side from us. It is due to this type of self-criticism that Woody Allen made many great films in which he laughed at human weaknesses.
In order to implement the above tips, you need to practice. Choose one technique and practice it throughout the day. Within a month, you will be able to master them all. Thanks to them, you will reach another level of relationships with others.
Do not be under the impression that being liked is derived from natural, innate qualities and happens by itself. This is not a talent, but can be a teachable skill of emotional intelligence. Therefore, use the tips above to build conscious relationships in private and in your professional life.