How To Get People To Like You, Based On Science: 5 Habits Of Very Likeable People

Woman shaking hands with man
Try encouraging people to talk about themselves and gossip positively to charm everyone in the room. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Making a first impression is essential, especially since you’ll never get a second chance. That first encounter can either make it or break it with an acquaintance. While strangers can form an impression of you, your character, and your personality within just a matter of seconds of meeting you, it’s important to know how to hold their gaze and interest when small talk is running out. To be charming, genuine, and make the entire room smile, follow these five habits of remarkably likeable people, according to Business Insider’s “How To Make People Like You” video.    

1. Encourage people to talk about themselves

Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or you’re getting to know someone intimately, it’s always best to encourage people to talk about themselves. Dr. Diana Tamir and Dr. Jason Mitchell, Harvard scientists, found in a 2012 study, talking about ourselves — whether it’s in a personal conversation or through social media — triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money.

2. Ask for advice

Ask them for advice, when appropriate, to make them feel validated. When people are asked for their feedback or input, Dr. Adam Grant believes, “advice seeking is a surprisingly effective strategy for exercising influence when we lack authority.” Seeking advice also encourages greater cooperation, information sharing, and negotiation in business situations.

3. Make conversation head in a positive direction

When in conversation, make sure it goes in a positive direction. This two-question technique, developed by Nobel Prize winning psychologist Dr. Daniel Kahneman involves first asking a question about something positive in their life. Only after they reply should you ask them about how they’re feeling about life in general. A positive answer on the first question will lead them to feeling more positive about their life in general after you ask the second question.

4. Repeat the last 3 words people say

People want to be heard. Make sure they know you’re listening by repeating the last three words they say. Leil Lowndes, communication expert, suggests repeating the last two or three words in a sympathetic, questioning tone will show you’re listening, interested, and lets them get back to their statement. This is the best way to do active listening without training in a matter of seconds.

5. Don't focus on negativity

Gossip positively. No gossip is good, unless it is done in a positive light. If you focus on people’s good traits, you’re viewed more positively as opposed to when you complain about others. When you badmouth people, you will be associated with the same negative traits you hate. Dr. Richard Wiseman says listeners unconsciously associate you with the characteristics you are describing, which ultimately leads to those characteristics being “transferred” to you.

Click here to see the Business Insider video.

Loading...
Join the Discussion