6 Habits That Make Others Like You

Have you ever wondered what makes people light up the room?

Is it their charming good looks? Their sense of humor? Or something else entirely?

Your likability can be perceived differently across people. While you can’t be liked by everyone all the time, there are a few subtle things you can do to make people feel more open and warm towards you.

Here are these six habits!

Spend time with them

To get people to like you, you have to do much more than watching them from afar!

Spend time and find common ground with the person you’d like to know. Ask your classmates if they’d want to hang out after school, or chat with a coworker during your coffee break. This reinforces what is known as the familiarity principle—or the attraction we get towards people and objects that we see more repeatedly. 

You own your flaws

Do you feel like you have to show your perfect self in front of others?

Surprisingly, that may backfire. A person who shows their most perfect self in front of others can come across as artificial and could create a gap between you and the other person.

On the other hand, showing some of your flaws and committing small mistakes humanizes you, making you more comfortable to be around, and subsequently more attractive. This is called the Pratfall effect, popularized by social psychologist Elliot Aronson. 

Just like how it’s fun for us to watch celebrities eating at your local fast food place—you can be more likable if you show mundane aspects of yourselves, even if that means committing trivial mistakes. 

Mirror them!

Did you know that copying another person’s mannerisms can make you more likable?

In a study conducted by New York University researchers, they tasked 72 people to work on a task with their partners. After the task, the participants were asked to rank how likable their partners were. Unsurprisingly, those who mirrored their partners were more likely to be considered likable than those who didn’t.

So, if you want to get on someone’s good side, subtly copy their mannerisms. Just don’t go too overboard by copying their every move—a couple of natural touches here and there is fine.

Be generous with your compliments

When in doubt, say a genuine compliment!

Telling your new friend that their hair is pretty or they’re rocking a great new look helps make them feel appreciated. The way you describe others is how they’ll see you as well, should you exhibit those traits. This is called spontaneous trait transference—and can be a great way to kick off a good impression.

For example, if you’re at a party and compliment the host’s people skills to a new acquaintance—they’ll naturally think that you’re quite a people person as well. On the other hand, if you complain about how lazy someone is, all while you show that you don’t help others, people will find it easy to make the connection that you’re lazy as well. So, watch your language, and give compliments whenever you can! 

Emphasize your shared values

Are you drawn to someone because of what they stand for?

If yes, don’t shy away from emphasizing your shared values! This practice is what is called the similarity-attraction effect—or the natural gravitation for people towards people who share similar qualities as them. According to a study by Theodore Newcomb, people who share similar viewpoints in controversial topics like politics tend to like each other more—even if they started out as strangers. 

Tell them something personal

Do you want to get closer to someone at a more intimate level?

Share something personal with them. In a study led by researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, college-aged students were paired off with each other and were given a series of questions to ask each other: one small-talk, and the other more intermediate-level topics. By the end of the 45-minute session, those who asked more personal questions felt closer to each other than those who just participated in small talk. 

So if you want to get closer to people, skip the “What’s your favorite class?” and don’t be afraid to jump into more intimate topics, like dreams or what means the most to them.

Closing Thoughts

Are there any tips that we missed? Are you planning to follow any of the tips above to get more people to like you?

Let us know your stories by posting them in the comment section below! 

That’s all for now Psych2Goers!

References

Ward, D. February 10, 2013 The Familiarity Principle of Attraction. Retrieved at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sense-and-sensitivity/201302/the-familiarity-principle-attraction

Brescia University. (June 26, 2017) Interesting Psychological Phenomena: The Pratfall Effect.  Retrieved at https://www.brescia.edu/2017/06/pratfall-effect/

Chartrand, T. & Bargh, J. (1999) The Chameleon Effect: The Perception-Behavior Link and Social Interaction. Retrieved at https://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~tlc10/bio/TLC_articles/1999/Chartrand_Bargh_1999.pdf

Rolie Edema (n.d.) Spontaneous Trait Transference – The Reason Why Gossip Often Backfires Retrieved at https://www.roliedema.com/spontaneous-trait-transference.html

Newcomb, T. M. (1956). The prediction of interpersonal attraction. American Psychologist, 11(11), 575–586. Retrieved at https://doi.org/10.1037/h0046141

Lebowitz, S. (March 2019) Here Are 16 Psychological Tricks to Immediately Make People Like You More. Retrieved at https://www.sciencealert.com/here-are-16-psychological-tricks-to-immediately-make-people-like-you-more

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