For some people, making friends comes naturally. For others, not so much. Everyone wants to reap the social rewards of being liked and accepted, but sometimes meeting new people is just plain awkward. It can be a struggle to feel comfortable being yourself – while also making an effort to leave a good impression around new people. If you’re someone who needs a little help with charming others, we’ve got you covered with these ten proven psychological hacks. They’ll ensure that strangers will receive you better when interacting for the first time – and they may even become friends. You probably already know the basics – like putting on a smile, using open body language, and mirroring their gestures. The following tricks go a bit further to make people like you even more.
#1 Play The Name Game
Have you ever noticed that people with a lot of charisma often use names in conversation? You might think that saying someone’s name doesn’t make a huge difference, but you’d be surprised. Think about a time when someone remembered your name when you weren’t expecting them to. It’s a compliment in and of itself. You probably felt a rush of positive emotions. When people hear their name, they are automatically more likely to listen and feel seen. The easiest thing you can do to make others like you more is to say their name. You can make it a game: try to work their name into the conversation during the first five minutes of meeting them, and try to say it three times. When you put in conscious effort to remember (and say) someone’s name, it shows that you pay attention and care about them. It will help you build rapport quicker – and, it also helps you remember their name.
#2 Publicly Compliment Others
This next psychology hack is known as spontaneous trait transference. This phenomenon occurs when people hear you talk about others and automatically associate your descriptions of those people with you. When you’re aware of this trick, you can actively influence how other people see you. It gives you a lot of power. In fact, one study found that spontaneous trait transference worked even on participants who were aware that the traits didn’t accurately describe the people who were spoken about. How you talk about other people determines how people see you. So, if you want others to see you as kind, authentic, or generous, use those words to compliment someone – like a mutual friend or celebrity.
#3 Earn Trust With Warmth
What makes people trust you? Less so than your true reliability or assets, warmth is a crucial factor in establishing trust. Studies have shown that people are more open to trusting those who portray themselves warmly in a non-competitive and friendly manner. This theory is known as stereotype content model. It suggests that humans are more likely to judge people based on their warmth than anything else – even intelligence and financial status. While knowledge and money can earn you respect, warmth will elicit trust.
#4 Be In A Good Mood
You have more power over other’s emotions than you think. Emotional contagion is a psychological term for when people subconsciously feed off of other people’s feelings. If you want other people to like you more, then you should aim to make them feel great around you. With emotional contagion, your positivity influences others to feel more optimistic. Next time you socialize, share positive emotions with intention. The feel-good brain chemicals of emotions like joy, excitement, and pleasure that you communicate to others will be tied to their memories of you – making them like you more.
#5 Make Eye Contact
When Laughing When humans laugh, it reveals a level of comfort and vulnerability. When someone gives an open and honest reaction of laughter, it presents an opportunity for a deep and meaningful connection. The next time you’re with a group of people and the crowd laughs, pay attention to the person you want to like you the most. Make eye contact as you laugh together. Even a single instant of looking into one another’s eyes while laughing will help feed a strong emotional bond. It creates a shared intimate moment.
#6 Listen Intently And Ask Questions
When engaging with others, one of the most important things you can do is pay attention. You can show that you’re listening actively by asking questions to engage the other person. This does two things. It tells the person you’re talking to that you think they’re interesting; and it takes the conversational pressure off of you. When you direct discussion toward the speaker or their passions, they’re more likely to enjoy talking to you. After all, people love talking about themselves and their interests.
#7 Reveal Some Flaws
We all know that nobody’s perfect, but some people still walk around as if they’ve never made a mistake in their life. They probably don’t know about the pratfall effect – a psychological phenomenon which shows that others tend to like you more after you make an innocent mistake. People like people who are authentic – and not being perfect is a part of life. Experts claim that people who don’t hide their flaws are more likely to make a good impression. Although you shouldn’t dwell on your mistakes, it’s okay to occasionally admit your struggles. Others will find you more relatable, and they’ll be more likely to appreciate you.
#8 Highlight Shared Values
Studies show that people feel closer to those who possess the same values and attitudes toward specific topics. Known as the similarity-attraction effect, this phenomenon can help you become closer to people you’ve just met. Search for opinions or values that you have in common with someone you’d like to get to know. The easiest way to find similarities with another person is to ask about their background. Maybe you’re from the same area or have similar family dynamics. You might have enjoyed the same activities in your childhood – or even now. When you emphasize similarity, you become more familiar to other people. This sense of recognition sets the scene for an emotional connection by helping people feel more comfortable around each other.
#9 Display A Sense Of Humor
Laughter is a fundamental building block of socialization. It isn’t only the result of happiness – it’s a cause. When you laugh, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel delighted and give you an enhanced sense of well-being. If you can make other people laugh, you give them this emotional gift. So, a good sense of humor will make other people want to be close to you. That said, when you practice humor, you want to ensure that your jokes come naturally and work well contextually. You need to be careful to avoid jokes that come off as forced or inappropriate.
#10 Be A Little Vulnerable
It’s normal to resist being vulnerable around those you’ve just met. People are more likely to hide their deepest fears and insecurities around strangers – and only open up to close friends or family. Vulnerability is a sign of closeness. However, when you completely hide your feelings, you promote inauthenticity which is easily spotted. It can make you appear fake and cause others discomfort. Opening up to someone on the other hand, shows that you trust them, and it also makes you appear honest, courageous, and likable. Being your authentic self, will not only cause other people to like you – it will help you build more meaningful relationships.
As you can see, being more likable isn’t about fitting into an image that you think others want to see. People will gravitate toward you when you are unapologetically yourself – including your strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and qualms. When you feel comfortable being true to yourself around new (and old) friends, you’ll notice that you not only become more likable, your relationships will benefit overall. Remember that honesty and trust are essential in any human connection – no matter how small. So, be yourself with the help of these ten psychology hacks. When you incorporate these tricks into your regular interactions, you’ll be surprised how well others respond to you. Have you tried any of these tips yet? Tell us comment below!