Conversation Hacks: The Science of Making People Like You

Lifestyle Jan 14, 2021

Have you ever wondered how to get people to like you? Well, if so then this blog post is for you. If not, don't worry - it's still worth a read! In this article, we will explore ways on how to make people like us more. We all want people to think highly of us and enjoy being in our company. This article provides some simple but effective techniques that can help achieve just that.

These are:

Show interest in other people by asking questions.

This is as easy as it sounds - just ask them where they're from or what their favourite food is. People love being asked about themselves and will usually feel more at ease around you after having answered your question(s). And even if they don't take an interest in other people, they will still feel a sense of gratitude for being asked.

People are less likely to feel threatened and more likely to follow through if you use questions to point out the flaws in their reasoning and then let them come up with a solution on their own.

To take this a step further, try asking for advice!

Ask for advice

Many experts, including persuasion guru Robert Cialdini and Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, suggest asking for advice as an effective method to influence and warm up to others. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Wharton professor Adam Grant, explains the science behind it.

When we lack authority, new research reveals that asking for guidance is an effective technique for exerting influence.

Researchers Katie Liljenquist conducted an experiment in which participants negotiated the sale of a commercial property. Selling at the highest price resulted in just 8 percent of sellers reaching an agreement. 42 percent of the time, sellers and purchasers were able to come to an agreement on the best way to accomplish their objectives. By enlisting the help of a third party, a potentially difficult discussion was transformed into a win-win outcome. According to research, consulting with colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates is one of the most successful methods to influence others.

Be a good listener and encourage them to talk about themselves.

It’s no secret that the key to making people like you is to be interested in them. When you take the time to listen attentively and encourage them to talk about themselves, they will feel appreciated and valued. As a result, they will be more likely to like and respect you.

Being a good listener is one of the most important things you can do when trying to develop relationships with others. When you listen attentively, it shows that you care about what they have to say and that you value their opinion.

In the same way that food and money make us happy, researchers found that talking about ourselves makes us happy, too, whether it's in person or on social media.

Neuroscientist Diana Tamir and Harvard colleague Jason Mitchell conducted the experiments and found that "self-disclosure is extra rewarding," according to Tamir. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published their findings. In order to talk about themselves, Ms Tamir said, "people were even willing to forego money."

Smile and make eye contact.

When it comes to communication and discussion, smiling and maintaining eye contact is an essential part of body language. Smile and eye contact can convey more information than words do. Doing it with the person you're speaking to shows that you're interested in the conversation. It also makes them feel more comfortable and relaxed around you. As a result, they will be more likely to like you.

The opposite is also true. People will remember more of what you said.

According to research, participants retained more information from a video conversation when there was more eye contact involved. People don't even need to make a lot of eye contact to gain from this.

Maintaining eye contact is an essential social ability, yet it is often ignored, which makes it a perfect skill to practice. One of the best investments you'll ever make is practising eye contact, and the best part is that it's free!

Avoid controversial topics with acquaintances and colleagues. This may help you avoid arguments that could make the person dislike you more than they did before.

When meeting someone for the first time, try to find some common ground on which to build a relationship.

Ask about something good in their lives. You should only ask them how they're feeling about life in general after they've responded.

In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize-winning behavioural psychologist Daniel Kahneman suggests that we should ask about something positive in the other person’s life before asking how they feel in general.

The same pattern is found if a question about the students’ relations with their parents or about their finances immediately precedes the question about general happiness. In both cases, satisfaction in the particular domain dominates happiness reports. Any emotionally significant question that alters a person’s mood will have the same effect.

Find a genuine quality that you like about them and tell them what it is.

When it comes to getting people to like you, there are certain things you can do to make them more likely to warm up to you. For example, if somebody has a nice smile - let them know!

This will not only make the other person feel good, but it will also make them more likely to like you in return.

If you need to give them feedback, ask a question!

People are less likely to feel intimidated and more likely to follow through if you use questions to steer them toward the mistakes in their thought process.

You may read more about this from David Rock in his book, Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus and Working Smarter All Day Long.

You're not the one looking for flaws; he's the one looking for omissions in his reasoning. Assumptions or judgments that don't hold up to scrutiny are what you should prompt them to look for. The more you can help people find their own insights, the easier it will be to help others be effective, even when someone has lost the plot on an important project. By "facilitating positive transformation" instead of "constructive performance feedback," you might help others gain understanding.

Be positive around others – be optimistic and happy with life in general. You can still share your problems but don’t dwell on them.

Most people want to be around others who are upbeat. It’s contagious and makes everyone feel good. When you’re positive, it rubs off on others and they will like you more.

Even if you didn't hear the joke, you're likely to smile if you witness two people laughing over it.

Laughter is contagious, according to a new study, since the brain prepares the muscles in the face to join in on the fun when it hears someone else laughing.

Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at the University College London, believes that "laugh and the world laughs with you." "In the past, we've recognized that when we're talking to someone, we tend to duplicate the words and movements they employ. Now we've shown that laughter, too, appears to follow the same pattern—at least at the brain level."

According to Scott, the contagiousness of happy feelings could be a significant social element. Human ancestors may have laughed together before they could speak, according to some researchers, and it's possible that laughter served as an evolutionary trigger for the development of language.

"We usually meet positive emotions, such as laughter or cheering, in group scenarios, whether watching a comedy program with family or a football game with friends," Scott added. "Smiling and laughing as a result of this brain response is an important social skill since it allows us to mimic other people's actions. It could have a significant impact on fostering strong ties among members of a group."

Laughing at yourself shows that you’re comfortable in your skin and that you don’t take things too seriously. It also makes the other person feel more relaxed around you and they will like you more as a result.

Be respectful – treat others with respect, even if you don’t agree with them.

Treating others with respect is one of the most basic things you can do in life. It shows that you have manners and that you care about other people’s feelings. When you’re respectful, the other person will like you more for it.

You'll be considered as a favourable influence if you compliment others. When you complain, you're more likely to be linked with the features you despise.

In his book 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute, Richard Wiseman explains this further:

The attributes you describe when you gossip are subconsciously linked to you by the people who hear it, and as a result, those characteristics are "transferred" to you. In other words, if you compliment your friends and coworkers, you'll be considered as a friendly person. Complain about others all the time, and you'll unintentionally get associated with their negative attributes and ineptitude because of it.

Spontaneous trait transference occurs when communicators are perceived as possessing the very traits they describe in others. Study 1 confirmed that communicators become associated with the trait implications of their descriptions of others and that such associations persist over time. Study 2 demonstrated that these associations influence specific trait impressions of communicators. Study 3 suggested that spontaneous trait transference reflects simple associative processes that occur even when there are no logical bases for making inferences. Finally, Study 4 used more naturalistic stimuli and provided additional evidence that the phenomenon reflects mindless associations rather than logical attributions. Together these studies demonstrate that spontaneous trait transference is a reliable phenomenon that plays a previously unrecognized role in social perception and interaction.

Source: “Spontaneous trait transference: communicators taken on the qualities they describe in others.” from J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Apr;74(4):837-48.

Conclusion

Developing relationships is always easier when you have the support of others. By following these steps, you will be able to get people to like you more and that can help your life become a whole lot better.

It's all about being likeable! The key is finding a way to connect with your target audience and build rapport. We hope you find them useful!

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