4 Psychological Tips to Make Others Like You

No matter who we interact with – friends, lovers, teachers or bosses – we naturally want them to like us. And if we’re not naturally relaxed and charismatic, this might be a bit tough and anxiety-provoking. Luckily, research in psychology has provided us with some tips and tricks that might increase our chances in forming meaningful and fulfilling relationships with those around us. Want to try some of them out? Keep reading to see what they are!

The pratfall effect

When trying to be liked by others, people often strive for perfection. We’re afraid to show any flaws in front of others, because we fear others would think badly of us. But is this actually true? Well, it turns out – not really! In 1966, psychologist Elliot Aronson and his colleagues investigated if making mistakes increases liking. Participants listened to a tape recording of an actor who pretended to be a contestant on a quiz. In one group of participants, the actor was presented as highly knowledgeable, answering almost all the questions correctly! Later in the experiment, half of the tapes recorded the knowledgeable actor spilling his coffee and apologizing. Researchers wondered: who will the participants like more? Clumsy smart person, or a non-clumsy smart person? The results showed that a clumsy smart person was perceived as more likable. This was later called the pratfall effect – the tendency for interpersonal appeal to change after an individual makes a mistake. This may happen because if someone sees you as highly competent, they might feel inferior in your presence. Making mistakes and showing you’re human makes people feel like you’re on the same level as them, and like you more in return. So, you don’t need to strive for perfection – allow yourself to be just as you are!

I feel the same way!

Next, let’s do a little test. Who do you like more: people who share your world views, or people who disagree with you on almost everything? According to research done by social psychologists, you probably like the ones that are more similar to you! In a classical 1961 study published inThe Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, it was found that having similar attitudes increase liking! Psychologists believe that it feels rewarding when someone agrees with your perception of things, and this feeling reinforces liking in return. And the more they agree, the more you like them! So to take advantage of these results, try to find out as much as you can about the people you talk to, and focus on the things you have in common. Do you both enjoy listening to indie pop music? Do you share the same passion towards hating pineapple on pizza? Or maybe you both find it super important to raise awareness about environmental issues? Whatever it is, as soon as you find the similarities, emphasize them! Encourage them to talk about it more, and make sure to use the phrase “I totally agree!” when conversing with them. Surely they’ll enjoy that conversation a lot!

Don’t tell!

Sharing your attitudes is one thing, but what do you think about sharing secrets? While some people are more private and reserved, others just looove the excitement of a secret! Maybe you share about that time you fell down the stairs in front of your crush, or that you still secretly binge watch Sponge Bob. You let them in on a piece of you that is not usually seen by others, and according to the psychological theory of self disclosure, you might benefit from opening up! For example, a 2017 study published in Computers in Human Behavior suggests that showing vulnerability and being open about your thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams increases the sense of familiarity and closeness between you and the other person. They might feel special that you chose them for sharing this secret with, and it also sends a message that you trust them. So if you want someone to like you, don’t be afraid to show a deeper part of yourself!

I’ll see you again!

In 1967, psychologists from the University of Minnesota conducted an experiment. They gave participants ambiguous information about two women. They also told them that they are soon going to have a personal conversation with one of those women. Later, they asked the participants how much they liked each of the girls based on the information they got. The results showed that participants showed a preference for the woman they were supposed to interact with in the future! These findings led psychologists to believe that anticipating an interaction with someone increases attraction. So to make sure people will like you, think of some situations where you’ll meet again, and make sure to let them know! Maybe you can say “I’ll see you tomorrow!” or “I’ll go to that party too! We can hang out there!” Since they will expect to see you again, they might just like you a bit more.

Do you know some other psychological tips that helped you make friends or seem more likable? Share them in the comments below, and if you decide to try some of these tricks out, let us know how it went! Thank you for reading and we’ll see you again soon. 


Aronson, E., Willerman, B., & Floyd, J. (1966). The effect of a pratfall on increasing interpersonal attractiveness. Psychonomic Science, 4(6), 227–228. https://doi.org/10.3758/bf03342263

Byrne, D. (1961). Interpersonal attraction and attitude similarity. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 62(3), 713–715.

Darley, J. M., & Berscheid, E. (1967). Increased liking as a result of the anticipation of personal contact. Human Relations, 20(1), 29–40. https://doi.org/10.1177/001872676702000103

Lin, R., & Utz, S. (2017). Self-disclosure on SNS: Do disclosure intimacy and narrativity influence interpersonal closeness and social attraction? Computers in Human Behavior, 70, 426–436. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.01.012

Myers, D. G. (2021). Attraction and Intimacy. In Social Psychology. McGraw Hill Education.

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