Last Updated on August, 2023 by Edison
You have met people who make you feel great.
They are enthusiastic; they see life in colors; they understand you; and it feels like you can trust them even if you don’t know them well.
It is no secret that likable people have more opportunities and a higher quality of life than people who don’t have an attractive personality.
When you think about it, physical appearance also matters… a lot.
It shouldn’t. It’s a foolish way to evaluate people, but we do it.
So it’s important that you look good:
- Seek advice from people who dress well or read articles that explain how you can look stylish even if you don’t have money.
- Build the habit of going to the gym almost every day. It will dramatically improve your appearance, health, and confidence.
Here I will give you 8 powerful yet simple strategies to become more likable, trustworthy, and influential.
1. Pay Attention
Paying attention is difficult because we spend a great deal of time online.
We have trained our brains to pay attention to things that are dramatic, interesting, and preferably short. And listening to people seems dull in comparison.
Whenever I procrastinate or feel bored by the conversation, I remind myself of three things:
First, it is incredibly beneficial to hang out with others. Humans are social creatures. We are not supposed to spend most of our days, alone. Loneliness has a negative impact on both our mental and physical health.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t hang out with toxic people. Choose your friends wisely.
Second, meeting new people can give you opportunities to hear new stories and have experiences (good and bad) that will make you feel alive instead of feeling like a robot following the same routine repeatedly.
Third, I ask questions to make the conversation more interesting.
This leads us to the next point…
2. Be Interested
A phrase says you can’t fake sincerity. You can’t feign interest either, so don’t try.
Most 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 about it as a detective game where your goal is to learn as much about them as possible.
Go into the conversation knowing something is fascinating about them. And you want to discover it.
When you do this, your expectations will show in your eyes and body language.
When you meet new people, 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:
Once the person reaches a stopping point, ask another question.
For example, if the person tells you that her teacher had a significant influence on their life, don’t reply by starting a speech about your teachers.
Instead, follow up with questions 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 interest is to summarize what the person is saying. Repeat back some crucial points.
And ask for a piece of advice. People love offering advice because it makes them feel both interesting and wise.
3. Be Empathetic
Empathy is the ability to understand what the other person is feeling. When you show empathy toward someone, you promote trust leading to a more open and genuine conversation.
But how to be empathetic?
Be curious about strangers – Start a conversation with a stranger.
Observe something from the environment and comment on that.
If you are at a bar or some event that someone in particular, you can ask: “What brought you here?”
Challenge yourself to have a conversation with a stranger every week.
Challenge your prejudices – We all have heard the phrase: “Don’t judge the book by its cover.”
Well, we do. We make snap judgments about the people we meet. We have formed this ability from our ancestors.
Sometimes, we assume others based on their origin, color, religion, or gender. And trust me on this, these snap opinions are often wrong. Remind yourself of this fact and try to know the person. Who knows, the person you judged now might become your best friend.
4. The Body Language
When you lean toward someone, it is like saying, I find you interesting.
Leaning away suggests I am bored.
Try to keep your whole body turned toward the person. Make sure that your arms are unfolded, and use your hands to emphasize when you speak.
Doing this creates a picture of honesty, sincerity, and genuine interest.
Monitor the personal space. You can check your reactions when people come too close or far from you.
If someone comes an inch closer to you, you are too far away. You are too close to their personal space if the person eases away.
Tilt your head
The motions you make with the body and head have an enormous influence on other people. Titling your head (a little) on one side will give you a more intense and inquiring look.
You will look more attentive and involved when they are talking about something important.
Practice tilting your head in front of the mirror to see how it looks.
Remember to tilt your head to listen and straighten up to speak.
It is a powerful technique for hearing and appearing charming to others.
Some people nod their heads instinctively, while some people don’t nod at all.
Head nods are strong indicators of what you are thinking and feeling. There are three different head nods-The slow, the faster, and the very fast.
First, it is a slow nod, which means I’m following you. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you agree.
Second is a slightly faster nod that says, you are right; I agree.
Third, the much faster nod says, I agree, and I am excited by what I’m hearing.
Nodding your head signals that you are warm, friendly, and paying attention. Develop the habit of nodding and understanding people when they are speaking.
5. Eye Contact
Eye contact has some little differences between a man and a woman.
If you are a woman – You should maintain eye contact even after they have finished speaking. When you must look away, do it very slowly and reluctantly.
If you are a man – When talking to another man, you can maintain intense eye contact. But try to give softer and more interrupted eye contact when discussing a personal matter.
If you want to impact others significantly, 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 speaking. However, when using this technique, you should concentrate on your target, not on the person talking.
It may confuse the target as they may think, why is this person looking at me instead of the speaker?
It senses that you are very interested in their 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.
6. Charismatic phrases
These phrases will help you influence, build rapport, and strengthen relationships with others.
The first phrase is, “One thing I’ve noticed about you.” This is a powerful phrase because it shows you’ve found time to observe a unique personality feature.
It is not something that I’m guessing. It is a fact. I have observed and noticed this behavior in you.
“One thing I’ve noticed about you is how comfortable you are with yourself; most people aren’t like that.”
“One thing I’ve noticed about you is that you inspire confidence in others.”
“The thing I’ve always admired about you is your focus and vision.”
It shows that it’s not something you randomly noticed today. When you use the word admired, you show respect for them and appreciation.
You can also use this phrase when someone is being rough on you.
“The thing I’ve always admired about you is that you say exactly what you mean.”
“You know, one thing I’ve always admired about you Anne is that your communication is so direct and clear.”
Now you’ve diffused all the anger. It is very hard for someone to be mean and unkind to someone who is admired. Be careful when using this phrase. You have to be absolutely sincere about it.
When you ask someone to do something for you, add the word because and a reason why they should do it.
An interesting study was done in 1970 by the psychology professor at Harvard Ellen Langer.
Langer asked her assistant to break in on a line of people waiting to use the Xerox copy machine.
The assistant said: “Excuse me, can I cut the line to make some copies? Only 60% allowed her.
Then she said: “Excuse me, can I cut the line because I need to make some copies? As if other people weren’t waiting to make copies.
After just adding the word “because,” 94% of the people let the assistant cut the line.
7. The Tribe Mentality
A tribe identifies a particular group – maybe it is a style of clothing, an attitude, or a shared interest.
The commonality among the members of the group creates “the tribe.”
You can see commonly how people get tribal in sports, religion, and politics.
Now, think about someone whom you met for the first time and you both liked the same sports team or political party.
Did you feel great?
This happens because we have the tendency to identify ourselves with certain groups and we like people who are in the same group.
But I’m not saying you should act as if you are part of their group.
For example, recently I met someone who was obsessed with a reality show.
I don’t watch this TV program but I know that if I speak badly about it and especially about the main character in that show, it will be like I offend this person I just met.
So I asked him, “I have noticed that many people like this character. Why do they specifically like him?”
It was an honest question because I was curious about it.
When we notice that someone identifies himself with a group we must be delicate about how we talk about it.
To better understand this tendency, let’s analyze the video below:
In the first scenario, the actor is dressed in non-business attire and lying on the ground calling for help.
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 four 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 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 was 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. The reason is that he is well-dressed.
How long will this take? It doesn’t matter.
The tribe mentality is powerful. And you can be in their tribe only if they perceive you as one of them.
8. I Believe in You
It is the early 19th century, and a young man wants to become a writer. But he is facing numerous difficulties. Due to poverty, he is forced to leave school and look for work at age 15.
Finally, he gets a job pasting bottle labels in a rat-infested warehouse.
His confidence as a writer is so low that he sneaks out and mails his first manuscript at night when nobody can see him. He is terrified that everybody will laugh at him if they read his work.
Story after story is refused.
Then the wonderful day comes when one story is accepted.
They didn’t pay him, but one editor praised him; he 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 spent his entire life working at the factory.
You may have heard of that boy.
His name was Charles Dickens.
We all have these points in our life when we feel inadequate, that we are failures.
And someone (a friend, a parent, your grandma) might see something you are not seeing. They know you have potential, and they try to encourage you.
But we are too caught up in our drama and don’t give much importance to their words.
The odds are we won’t become inspired as Charles did. However, it feeds a little inside voice that says, “Don’t give up. Sooner or later, you are going to make it”.
Eventually, that voice will get louder and louder.
So, when you see a loved one who has lost confidence in themselves, let them know that you haven’t lost faith in them.
Delve deeper into becoming likable