We all care about what others think of us and want to be liked.
The basics of getting people to like you are obvious–be nice, be considerate, be a decent human being. Those things are all true. However, there are also many smaller, more discreet things you can do that can have a huge effect on how others perceive you.
Most of these tips are little techniques you can implement every day. They may seem insignificant or even silly, but give them a try and you might find yourself becoming exponentially more popular.
1. Use a Person’s Name
Let’s face it–we’re all huge narcissists and we all love the sound of our own name. Learn names and make use of them. Always use an individual’s name in a conversation. A classic from Dale Carnegie’s famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People, this tried-and-true technique is sure to increase your fan base.
2. Smile–With Feeling!
Although we live in a digital age that increasingly substitutes technology for human interaction, we are still at our cores very social creatures. As humans, we use social interaction as a tool for feedback, and we make a lot of conscious and subconscious choices based on how others engage with and respond to us. When someone offers a huge grin brimming with authenticity, happiness rubs off on its receivers. There have been many studies showing how mood, whether positive or negative, spreads between individuals. If your positive attitude brightens someone else’s day, that person will love you for it.
3. Listen (Not Just With Your Ears)
It’s probably a no-brainer that people will like you more if you listen to them. This starts with ignoring your Twitter feed while out to dinner with friends but goes a lot further than that. You can show you’re listening to someone through body language (positioning your body to face someone and mirroring his or her stance), eye contact (giving plenty of it), and verbal confirmation (we’ll talk more about this next).
4. Use Verbal Confirmation
Most psychology books refer to this technique as “active listening.” Active listening revolves around demonstrating your listening skills by repeating segments of what an individual has said to you. For example:
Mark: I went to this awesome beer tasting event over the weekend–I got to try a ton of great local beers from all over the state.
You: You got to try a lot of different beer, huh?
Mark: Yes, it was really fun. My favorite was the Pretty Things Magnifico.
You: The Magnifico was your favorite?
Mark: Yeah, it tasted great.
While in text form this looks like a strange conversation, in speech this kind of dialogue can actually go a long way to make people like you more. It makes the other individual feel as though you really are paying attention. Plus, people love to hear their own words echoed back at them as it pats their egos a bit.
5. Conversation Recall: Prove You’re Paying Attention.
We’ve already discussed how important it is to show people that you’re listening to them. Snoring during a speech or getting a glazed look in your eyes doesn’t result in fast friends.
To really show someone you’ve been paying attention, try bringing up a topic that the person mentioned earlier. Did your co-worker talk about working with his son on a science fair project last week? Follow up and ask how it went. Did your friend say she was going to paint her kitchen a new color over the weekend? Ask how she likes the new color on Monday. They don’t have to be big, life-changing events. In fact, sometimes it says more than you can recall and show interest in even the small happenings in another person’s life.
6. Sincere Compliments and Plentiful Praise
As noted again by the famous self-improvement expert Dale Carnegie, individuals crave authentic appreciation. This is very different from empty flattery, which most people are adept at detecting. No one likes a brown-nose, and most people don’t particularly love being pandered to. What people really want is sincere appreciation–to be recognized and appreciated for their efforts.
In addition to giving people sincere appreciation, it’s also important to be generous with your praise. People love being praised, and is it any surprise? It feels great to be told you’ve performed a job well. When an individual does something right, say so. It won’t be forgotten.