10 Ways to be more likable (and win friends!)

In his iconic 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” author Dale Carnegie outlined how the common person could bolster their charisma and likability. The book was a smash hit, kicking off the positive-thinking genre in the United States and selling 30 million copies across the globe, making it one of the top best-sellers of all-time. 
 
Eighty-five years later, the positive thinking movement is still spreading, and we’re still hoping that people like us. It’s an inherent urge of course, since to our early ancestors, being liked meant they could join the safety and structure of the pack (and not get eaten by a dinosaur.)
 
These days, we’re not being chased around by dinosaurs, but we sure do still want to be accepted by the pack. In this modern age of unprecedented stress, anxiety, and depression, being liked means having a tribe of friends, coworkers, and even family to which we belong – meaningful social connection that is still so primal.
 
Of course, being likable has other benefits, like getting people to remember your speech, attracting donors to a worthy charitable cause, or just deepening your existing bonds of friendship.
 
So, today I wanted to highlight ten proven techniques that anyways can use to naturally and easily improve their likability:
 
1.          The Benjamin Franklin Effect
 
It was great American inventor Benjamin Franklin who ascertained that if you ask someone for a favor, they are actually more likely to think highly of you, not less. 
 
The tale goes that Franklin asked to borrow a rare book from someone who was perpetually standoffish, and suddenly, the man became one of Franklin’s best friends. “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged,” Franklin said of the psychological phenomenon.
 
2.         What’s in a name? Everything!
 
One of the oldest methods of gaining someone’s affection and fondness is just by using their name. Dale Carnegie was highlighted this tip in his iconic book, saying that a person’s name is the sweetest sound in any language for that individual!
 
So, just by sprinkling their name into conversation, we can gain their affinity. The same goes for titles such as “boss,” “my best friend,” etc., which reinforce the relationship dynamic and become self-fulfilling prophecies.
 
3.         The Ransberger Pivot
 
From time to time, when you’re talking to someone who makes an inadvertent error, do you correct them?
 
Don’t. 
 
Of course, they surely got that fact wrong or mispronounce that word – you’re right. But two behavioral scientists, Ray Ransberger and Marshall Fritz, found that pointing out a mistake when in conversation will create low-level animosity or resentment due to their pin-pricked ego – the opposite of being more likable. Instead, Ransberger explained that it’s much more productive to listen, acknowledge what they say, and seek to understand their underlying perspective to deepen the relationship.
 
4.         The Chameleon Effect
 
This is also commonly known as mirroring or mimicking and is a well-established non-verbal communication technique. With mirroring, you parallel their movements, posture, or physical mannerisms. Mimicking is similar, but usually with verbal communication or conversation, like matching their tone, volume, and speech patterns.
 
Either way, when you mirror or mimic the person you’re interacting with, they pick up positive impressions and cues, and are more likely to be amicable.
 
5.         Repeat their words back to them
 
Just as we mirrored and mimicked, a powerful but subtle tactic for getting someone to like, trust, and agree with you by repeating their words back to them from time to time. Just as nodding affirms that you are truly listening and deeply care, by being considerate enough to take in what they say and paraphrase some of it back to them, possibly in the form of a confirming question, their comfort level and engagement will blossom.
 
“So, what you’re saying is that I should repeat words back to them?”
 
See how great that works?
 
6.         Be vulnerable
 
Author, speaker, and researcher Brené Brown caught lightning in a bottle when her 2010 Ted Talk on vulnerability went viral, making her an overnight icon on the subject. While Brown may now be the face of vulnerability, it’s nothing new from a psychological perspective.
 
We are often guarded and afraid of rejection, intent on portraying the façade of perfection because we think it will endear us to others. However, the opposite is true, and people will like you for being real, authentic, and very human (which is to say, flawed). And they’ll positively love you for being fearless enough to be open about it (when socially appropriate, of course).
 
7.         Signaling
 
In our everyday lives, we’re constantly trying to gauge if people like (and accept) us, even if it’s on a subconscious level. We also give off clear signals that we like and embrace others…or, so we think.
 
In fact, the signals that we believe we’re giving off, such as nodding with encouragement, making eye contact, smiling, and other verbal’s or nonverbals, are actually way more subtle than we intend. Called Signal Amplification Bias, we generally think our social cues and signals are much more obvious than they really are, so don’t be afraid to show your true feelings with ambiguity when you like someone – and want them to like you. 
 
8.         We like people more if they like us (and vice versa)
 
Some people say that finding true love is just a number’s game, and finding “true like” (if that’s a real term?) may be the same. Studies show that when we know someone admires us, we’re more apt to admire them even more. So, a simple trick to improve your likability is to go out and like more people! It sounds simple, but it makes perfect sense! 
 
9.         Point out what you have in common
 
People will be drawn to you more if they know you both have something in common, called the Similarity Attraction Effect. Whether it be a favorite sports team, coming from the same state, you both like salsa dancing, or your spiritual views, any shared interests or passions make it so easy to chat and grow a bond of friendship.
 
10.      Be a good listener
 
When people know you’re truly and genuinely listening to them, they’re far more likely to have glowingly positive feelings about you. A UCLA study found that out of 500 adjectives they could use to describe someone they liked, the top three words were “sincerity,” “transparency,” and “understanding” – all terms that could describe the practice of active listening. 
 
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