How to Be Likable. Make New Friends Wherever you Go...
Let This Be Your Study Guide
The following guidelines that you read are not theories, guesses, or ideas. They are proven methods, used every single day, all around us. In fact, you probably already know what most of them are. It's all common sense, really. That's okay. Let this article be a reminder and a guide to follow for whenever you meet a new person. With these simple concepts put into action every day, your social life will drastically change. Your job promotions will come faster. Your relationships will grow stronger. Let's dive in.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Like you may already know, the greatest form of communication is not with words. Words are most often used to connect on an intellectual level. How do we connect on a more sincere, emotional level? Body language. It is is the number one communicator we use. We can deliver 10 times more information with our body than our mouth. Every detail counts, from hand movement to sitting posture.
If you're not a confident outgoing person, it can be difficult to master body language without being awkward. But there is one piece of body language that is so effective and simple to put into practice, you don't need to focus on anything else. It's a facial expression. We call it "Smiling" and it is the single most important thing you can do when being around others.
How do you get a whole room full of people you've never met before to like you? Smile. A genuine smile isn't just a polite gesture- it's a way of saying "I like you. I'm glad to be here with you." This is the most important thing to remember when you are out meeting new people. Smiles connect you to others. Smiles connect others to you. It's universal! Try becoming a likeable person without smiling... that would be the real challenge!
Starting the Conversation
Now that you're smiling, you need to start talking to people. There's about a million ways to "break the ice," whether you are meeting a new person or reconnecting with a friend. Out of the millions of ways, there's one that seems to work every time when you are going for instant likability. The tough part is- you can't be selfish. You can't do this with the sole intentions of boosting your social status. It doesn't work like that. It won't work like that. When it comes to getting instant likability, you must be sincere. Here's how to do it:
Find an attribute about the other person that you genuinely like, and mention it in your first words. Make him or her feel important.
That's not always easy. Take this as an example- The other day I went to the Post Office to ship a package, and I decided I was going to try this icebreaker out. I opened the door, smiling, but my mind was racing. What could I possibly find interesting about a post office employee? Then as I approached the counter, still smiling with my package under my right arm, I looked at the postal worker, who was an older husky looking man. I remember thinking, "What could I say to this man without sounding completely strange..." Then I noticed the watch on his wrist. It was really expensive looking. I walked up and put the package on the counter, and the first thing out of my mouth was, "That is a NICE watch, I've always wanted one just like that." The husky man looked at his watch and laughed a little and said, "Oh that's my father's. It's made of..." The conversation continued for a good 5-10 minutes before I took my receipt and said "Take care, Rob." While walking to my car, I glanced through the building window and saw him looking at his watch with a smile. That felt good. And now, whenever I come back to post office while he is working, he sees me and grins right away. He likes me- simply because I took the time and effort to notice something about him and make him feel important.
********MAKE THE OTHER PERSON FEEL IMPORTANT********
The Most Important Word in Our Language
Your next step in the process of building likability is perhaps the most powerful, yet most forgotten tool in your belt. It's a word. There is a word that everyone loves to hear, and hearing this word from your mouth will make just about anyone like you a little bit more. You must learn it, and you must not forget it. Here it is:
A person's name.
After you learn a person's name, you have the power to make just about anybody like you. Remember it, and use it at the right times. Think about how good it would feel if someone who just met you took the care to remember your name and address you by it. It feels good. Everybody likes that feeling. Always keep that in mind and be ready to commit that name to memory when it leaves the person's lips.
"We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing... and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others." - Dale Carnegie
Now that you know the name, what are the best times to use it? Learn the Four G's, which are the most common and comfortable times to call somebody by name.
The Four G's
- Greetings ("Hey, Tasha!")
- Goodbyes ("Take care, Eric")
- Gratifying ("You're an excellent singer, George")
- Gratitude ("Thank you so much, Elise!")
(Bonus tip: The Four G's will provide plenty of name-dropping, but if you really want to make the person like you, use their name outside of the Four G's. It's an unexpected gift you can give. Calling someone randomly by name outside of the norm will usually create a smile.)
Even though it sounds easy enough, remembering names is a difficult task for some people- especially if you're like me. It was never one of my strong points. Each day though, I started using some tricks that have dramatically improved my memory when it comes to names. Here are some tricks to use to commit someone's name to memory:
- Repeat the name in your head (or out loud if possible) over and over again
- Spell out the name in your head or imagine it written on the person's face
- Write down their name as soon as possible, on some paper or your phone
- Alliterate their name with something you know about them. Example: Cathy from Cali
- Word games - Make up something like Tony Zamboni, or Whimsy Lindsey
Do you remember names easily or do you often forget?
The Art of Connecting
Likable people always have a knack for connecting with others. It seems as if they always know what to say. They can make friends with anybody, anywhere. That's because they know how to connect with others, and they know it isn't difficult. There is, in fact, a simple way to make friends with anyone in the world. It all revolves around a simple fact: People's favorite subject to talk about is themselves. With that in mind, it easier to understand how some people are so good at connecting with other people and how you can too:
Ask questions. Become genuinely interested in other people's interests. Let them do the majority of the talking.
What exactly do you ask? Well, you can't start talking about somebody's interests until you know what their interests are. One of the best things to say when getting to know a new person is, "Tell me about yourself, Frank." What they say afterwards will allow you to direct the rest of the conversation towards Frank's interests. After talking about Frank's favorite things, Frank will like you. The more interest you take in Frank's interests, the closer your frequencies become. When you let a person open up to you in such a way and give them positive feedback, they feel important. That's the most significant thing of all, because he/she will relate that sense of importance back to you.
*******BECOME INTERESTED IN HIS/HER INTERESTS*******
The Most Likable Conversationalist
The last major step to becoming a likable person is once again, simple- yet hard to accomplish for some people. Listening. So many individuals succeed in every other category of likability until they reach this section. Why is that? Why are some people not very good at listening?
The truth is that the root of a good listener is someone who genuinely cares about the other person. Bad listeners are the persons who get easily distracted with things going on in their own lives. Bad listeners stop paying attention to people halfway through their words or interrupt the whole conversation altogether. Bad listeners ask questions and don't care about the answer. If we really want people to be interested in us, we have to be interested in them. Interrupting and daydreaming when another person speaks is perhaps one of the best ways to get someone to not like you.
You may be wondering, 'How do good listeners hold their interest with another person for so long?' The simple answer to that question is that a good listener has different things going through the back of his or her mind while listening to someone talk. In the back of his or her mind, he or she will be processing what the person is saying to them, and thinking about the other person's situation as if he or she were in the shoes of the person talking. Good listeners put themselves in other people's perspectives.
On the other hand, bad listeners have a whole number of unrelated topics running through the back of their head. (What am I doing after this?... What's for dinner?... ect) Or, the bad listener will think really hard about what the other person is saying and interrupt with the first thought that comes to mind. In most cases, bad listeners think they are being good listeners, but in reality they are just trying to compose the next question in their head for the person once he/she is done speaking. This is a fascinating trick used to appear like a good listener. Sometimes it works, but a smart individual will see right through it.
"A good listener is usually thinking about someone else."
"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something."
Remember, to be a good listener, you must be able to imagine yourself from the other person's perspective. Feel their pain. Celebrate their happiness. All they want is a friend who cares.