7 Ways to Become More Likable

Sometimes we make the mistake of trying to show off as interesting. But, that won’t help make new friends or strengthen relationships.

Here’s a fact: People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves.

When do you see a group of a photograph you are in, whose picture do you look for first?

Here are 7 effective ways you can make people like you and influence them.

1. Smile

People who smile manage, teach, sell more and raise happier children.

People love to spend time with happy people.

Happiness is contagious.

When you greet someone, don’t flash an immediate smile. Instead, look at the other person’s face for a second, pause. Then let a big, warm, responsive smile on your face and overflow into your eyes.

The split-second delay convinces people that your flooding smile is genuine and only for them.  

2. Remember names

The name makes him or her unique among all others.

Always remember someone’s name and spell it correctly.

Someone’s name is the sweetest word in any language for them.

The best thing to do when you first meet someone is to look into their eyes and ask them: What’s your name? And, put emphasis on the word your.

It signals that they are important. Then say, nice to meet you, your name.

If you don’t understand the name, don’t go the whole conversation pretending you know it.

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It’s nicer if you say something like: “Excuse me, I’m not sure I got your name”.

Don’t call somebody in the nickname without his/her permission.

For example, if someone introduces himself as “Eduard” don’t call him “Ed”.

3. Be interested

A phrase says, “You can’t fake sincerity”. You can’t fake interest either, so don’t try.

Most of the people have “bullshit detectors” and they can understand that you follow the same script with everyone you meet.

We must ask questions with an “I really want to know, tell me more” tone of voice.

Think this as a detective game, in which your goal is to learn as much about them as you can.

Go into the conversation knowing there is something very interesting about them. And you want to discover it.

When you do this, your expectations will show in your eyes and body language.

In a business setting, the best way is to ask questions like these:

“How did you get into what you do?”

“What do you like best about it?”

“What are you trying to accomplish that’s important to you in your career (business, life, etc.)?”

“Why is that important to you?”

In personal relationships, questions like these can often trigger a warm reply:

“What’s the best (or worst) part of… coaching your son’s soccer team, being away from home, etc?”

“What person has had the biggest influence on your life? “Is that the person your most grateful to?”

“Did you ever get a chance to thank that individual?”

If one of them asks, “Why are you asking these questions?”, you can say:

“I find giving people the chance to talk about who they’re grateful to bring out the best in them.”

When you meet new people, try to ask questions that will cause them to say: “I feel, I think, I did”.

Most of our life is composed of what we feel, think, and do. So when we’re asked to express all three, we feel more satisfied.

Eventually one of your questions will have an impact.

And you’ll see the person leaning forward to tell you something with enthusiasm or intensity.

When that happens, do the right thing: Shut up. Listen. Listen more.

And then, once the person reaches a stopping point, ask another question.  

For example, if the person tells you that her teacher had a huge influence on her life, don’t reply by starting a speech about your own teachers.

Instead, follow up with a question like: “I’m curious, why did you decide to go to that particular school?” or, “Where is that teacher now? Do you still keep in touch?”

Another way to show you’re interested is to summarize what the person is saying. Repeat back some crucial points.

And if it gives the opportunity to ask for a piece of advice.

People love offering advice because it makes them feel both interesting and wise.  

4. Eye contact

Your eyes are personal grenades that have the power to detonate people’s emotions.

Eye contact has some little differences between a man and a woman.

If you are a woman- You should maintain eye contact even after he/she has finished speaking. When you must look away, do it very slowly, and reluctantly.

If you are a man- When you are talking to another man you can also maintain intense eye contact.

But, try to give more soft and interrupted eye contact when you are discussing a personal matter.

If you want to leave a big impact on others, try this technique.

This technique needs at least three people to work. You, your target, and another person.

Usually, when you are talking with two or more people, you gaze at the person who is speaking. However, when you are using this technique, you should concentrate on your target, not on the person who is talking.

It may confuse the target as he or she may think, why is this person looking at me instead of the speaker?

It senses that you are very interested in his or her reactions.

Watch the speaker but let your glance bounce at your target each time the speaker finishes a point.

Some people use this not as a technique, but because they are sincerely interested in someone’s reaction to ideas.

5. Make that person feel important- and do it sincerely

In the early 19-th century, a young man wanted to be a writer. But he was facing numerous difficulties. He was forced to leave school and work at the age of 15.

His father was in jail because he couldn’t pay his debts. And he often knew the pangs of hunger.

Finally, he got a job pasting labels on bottles in a rat-infested warehouse.

He slept at night in a dark attic room with two other boys that were guttersnipes.

His confidence as a writer was low that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript at night when nobody could see him. He thought that everybody would laugh at him.

Story after story was refused. Then it came the great day when one story was accepted. It wasn’t paid, but one editor praised him, it gave him recognition. He was so thrilled that he wandered around the streets with tears rolling down his cheeks.

The recognition and the praise that he received through getting one story published changed his whole life. If not for that encouragement, he might have his entire life working at the factory.

You may have heard of that boy.

His name was Charles Dickens.

When we want someone to like us, or just want to leave a good impression, we should ask one question: “What is there to him/her that I can honestly admire?

Always try to make that person feel important.

The life of many persons could probably be changed if only someone would make them feel important.

Don’t give cheap, insincere flattery, but try to find something you sincerely appreciate.

All leaders know that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he/she treasures most.  

6. Make the other person feel felt

Now, this technique is a little different from the others.

Making someone “feel felt” means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.

A lot of people argue with each other and that leads to nowhere. Instead of fighting you can just say, “I understand how you are feeling”. 

When you do that, you can change the dynamics of a relationship fast.

At that moment, instead of arguing, you can ease the situation and that can lead to cooperation.

Despite the power of this move, people often resist applying it because they stumble to poke around in other people’s feelings- especially at work.

But if your relationship with another person looks like it’s going nowhere, making that person “feel felt” is your best bet for achieving a breakthrough.

1. Try to find what the other person is feeling, such as “frustrated,” “angry,” or “afraid.”

2. Say, “I’m trying to get a sense of what you’re feeling and I think it’s. . .” and fill in an emotion. “Is that correct? If it’s not, then what are you feeling?” Wait for the person to agree or correct you.

3. Then say, “How frustrated (angry, upset, etc.) are you?” Give the person time to respond. This is not the time to fight back, or air your own grievances.

4. Next, say, “And the reason you’re so frustrated (angry, upset, etc.) is that. . . ?” Again, let the person vent.

5. Then say, “Tell me—what needs to happen for that feeling to feel better?”

6. Next, say, “What part can I play in making that happen? What part can you play in making that happen?

7. The tribe mentality

A tribe is what identifies a certain group- maybe it is a style of clothing, an attitude, or shared interest.

The commonality among the members of the group creates ” the tribe.”

To establish yourself as part of the group you need to figure out what aspects you need to mirror.

This social experiment demonstrates how important being part of the tribe is:

In the first scenario, the actor is dressed in a non-business attire and lie on the ground calling for help.

All of this takes place in a busy area where business people pass by. And it takes more than 20 minutes to get help.

Now, before you judge those people consider these 4 questions they have in mind:

Who is this person? They don’t know him. Maybe he is a drug addict? Is he really sick?

What does this person want? Maybe he really wants help but I’m late for a meeting. Or he just wants me to stop and steal my money.

Is this person a threat? What if he is a thief?

How long will this take? This man isn’t asking for money, so this may take a while. What if I have to take him to a hospital and spend all my day there?

In the second scenario, the actor is dressed as a businessman lying on the ground. And it took only 6 seconds to get help.

The only thing that changed about the situation is clothing. But that one alternation gives different answers.

Who is this person? He is one of us and he needs help.

What does this person want? He wants help, and I should help my fellow businessperson.

Is this person a threat? Of course not because he is well dressed.

How long will this take? It doesn’t really matter.

The tribe mentality is really powerful. And you can be on their tribe only if they perceive you as one of them.

Sources aka highly recommend reading them:

“Just Listen” by Mark Goulston

“The Science of Human Hacking” by Christopher Hadnagy

What others are reading:

4 Steps to be more charismatic

How to develop charisma and influence people

How to be charismatic like Bill Clinton

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