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How to make people like you

Take our Likeable Person Test to determine how likeable you are and see how to make people like you with customized suggestions based on the quiz. You can be instantly likable and have an immediate impact on everyone you meet!

 

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Likeable Person Test

Take our fun likable person test to see if you are a likeable person.

 

This likeability test is based on the following ways to be more likeable. After you complete the quiz, it will give you personalized suggestions on how to be more likeable based on your answers.

How to be more likeable

When we meet people for the first time, we are forced to think of the right thing to say and how we should present ourselves. Do you shake their hand, make eye contact or small talk? Many people feel so uncomfortable in these situations that they prefer to avoid the hassle and not make new friends or connections. They stick with the friends they have and stay in their comfort zone.

The book “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” (2000) is a guide to help you be more likable and to connect with people easily. It will help you start a conversation with strangers and make them like you. It will also show you how to better understand their gestures. Nicholas Boothman, the author, is an expert in neuro-linguistic programming. He has spent the last 20 years studying how people connect and communicate.

Did you know that when you meet someone, you only have around 90 seconds to make an impression and form a connection? If you don’t spark the person’s interest in that time, then it’s more than likely that you’ll never spark it.

Here are some tips from the book to make you more likeable and kindle connection in under 90 seconds.

Pay attention to your body language, eyes, and facial expression

When you meet someone for the first time, they start forming their opinion about you before you even say a word. They notice your body, your eyes and the expression on your face.

Therefore, when you first meet someone, pay attention to your body language, eyes and facial expression. It is very important that they all display a feeling of openness.

How do you display open body language? Body language begins in your mind. Your mind sends unintentional signals that are perceived subconsciously by the person you are communicating with.

We can divide body language into two categories: open and closed. Open body language exposes your heart and body. This signals to others that you want to communicate. On the other hand, closed body language sends the opposite message. This is done by crossing your arms or turning your body sideways so that you don’t face the person with whom you are talking. Your facial expressions can also be open or closed. For example, an open face smiles makes eye contact, and displays clear expressions such as raised eyebrows, while a closed face looks stern and avoids eye contact.

When you talk to someone, face them and make eye contact.

Try to mirror the person’s mannerism

Mirroring mannerisms is something that is done without thinking about it and can help you make people feel relaxed in your presence.

We usually feel best when we are with people whose behavior is in sync with our own. In fact, studies have shown that we even tend to hire and date people who look like us.

To increase your likeability, you can discreetly copy and subtly imitate the gestures, body posture, facial expressions, breathing and tone of voice of the person with whom you are talking to. You can also dress in a similar way. For example, when you go to a casual event where everyone is going to be dressed casually, you don’t want to go in a suit.

This is something that good salespeople often do. It increases their chance of making the sale.

For example, when talking to a quiet person it is better to match their quiet demeanor and not raise your voice. If someone keeps a distance from you, then you don’t want to stand too close to them and certainly don’t want to touch them.

Use the same tone of voice and mannerism as the person with whom you are talking to.

Ask the right questions and know how to listen

When talking to someone be present. Listen to what they say and be aware of the person’s body language. If your mind wanders the person will detect this. Many people don’t actually listen to the person speaking, instead, they start thinking about what they are going to say next.

Asking questions is not only a good way to start a conversation but it also shows the other person that you are listening to them and you care about what they are saying. This makes people like and appreciate you.

However, questions can either open people up or close them down.

  • In order to open people up, start with questions that invite other people to talk. Use conversation-generating words like “Who,” “When,” “What,” “Where,” “How” and “Why” to get the other person to respond and to keep the conversation flowing.
  • Closed questions, on the other hand, encourage a yes or no response and are formed with phrases like “Are you…,” “Have you…” and “Do you….” For example, “Is this your first time here?”.

When the person responds to your question, it is important to listen actively. It’s not enough to listen to what they say, you need to pay attention to that person’s feelings and emotions as well. To do this, use eye contact without staring, listen with your body by facing your heart toward the speaker, lean in and nod your head when you agree with what is being said.

When the other person is speaking, don’t interrupt. Listen carefully. Show empathy and interest in what they have said and ask more questions. Don’t automatically move the conversation on to yourself by sharing your similar experiences.

Asking questions is a great way to start a conversation or show interest in what a person has to say. Listen actively to their response.

Be positive

Nobody likes people who complain all the time and drain their energy. People who have positive energy are more likable than negative people. When you smile, you show the other person your positive attitude.

If you find it hard to be positive then try using gratitude to change your mindset. It is a powerful way to make you more positive. You can also write about negative feelings and experiences in your journal instead of complaining to others.

Try to be positive and refrain from complaining as much as possible. Make an effort to appreciate the small things in life.

Don’t try to get attention

People who are always trying to get attention or show how important they are, are not likeable.

Be friendly

People like those who are friendly, warm, and open. These people make others feel comfortable.

Be considerate and kind

People like it when you are considerate and appreciate their time and effort. Be thankful when people go out of their way to do things for you and don’t take them for granted. Appreciation is closely linked to likeability.

People who are helpful, considerate and kind are more likeable.

Be reliable

People who can be counted on are more likable. If you say you are going to do something then keep your word.

Give genuine compliments

Give the person a genuine compliment. Don’t make up something just to compliment them. Instead, find a genuine reason to say something nice.

Research shows that one of the ways to be perceived as more likable is by giving people compliments. Most of us like receiving compliments and we tend to like people more, if they give us compliments. A study by Grant et al. (2010, according to Hills, T., (2014, February 13), The Power of a Compliment) showed how compliments drastically affect the perceived liking of a person. It also doubled the chances of persuading someone into doing you a favor as a result of the increased likeability, whereas those who did not receive a compliment were less likely to do a favor.

Give gifts

Another strategy to be perceived as more likable is by giving people a gift. Regan (1971) showed in a study that it is possible to give participants a gift and thus
manipulate their perception of how likeable you are (Regan, D., (1971), Effects of a Favor and Liking on Compliance).

Be genuine

People can sense when you are not genuine. Just like people can sense when your smile isn’t genuine.

We like genuine people because we know that we can trust them. You can’t trust someone if you don’t know who they are.

Be present when you communicate with people

Don’t let your mind wander and don’t get distracted by the things around you such as noises, people or even smells. Put your phone away and stay focused on the person.

The person will sense your full attention and it will make you more likeable.

Be open-minded

If you want to be likeable, you cannot be judgmental. Try to see the world through other people’s eyes and not just through your own eyes. You don’t have to agree with them or adopt their opinions. You just need to understand and accept that they are different and let them be who they are without trying to change them.

Humor

People are more likable when they make others laugh or smile. We all want to be happy and appreciate people who make us feel that way. When you are around positive happy people you feel better than you do with negative people who drain your energy. You certainly don’t need to be funny all the time. That isn’t necessarily a good thing either. Find a good balance and use humor when it is helpful such as to break the tension in difficult situations.

Find Shared Interests

One of the best ways to start a good and natural conversation is if you talk about shared interests. If you enjoy similar hobbies, watching similar movies, or travelling to the same places you will find it easier to make conversation.

When trying to make conversation, try to see if you and the other person have any shared interests.

Have a useful attitude

If, however, no such common ground exists, you need to work a little harder. In order to do this, Boothman explains that you need to have a useful attitude and not a useless attitude.

A useful attitude means you’re focused on what you want out of the conversation, while a useless one is focused on what you don’t want out of the conversation.

When you have a useful attitude, you automatically show positive body language and facial expressions that will make you more likable. On the other hand, when you have a useless attitude your body language will be passive or negative and that puts people off.

How to adopt a useful attitude

Decide what you want from each conversation. When you begin a conversation, consider your end goal and the approach that will help you reach it efficiently.

For example, you arrive at your hotel and your room isn’t ready yet. If you have a useful attitude, you’ll try to find someone who can help you get another room instead. Since you will be more likable and the person will want to help you they will do their best to find a solution. On the other hand, if you have a useless attitude, you might start yelling and threatening the staff and they will have no incentive to help you. When you focus on the desired positive outcome from the conversation – getting a room as soon as possible – you’ll adopt the body language that will make them want to help you.

The Reysen Likability Scale

The Reysen Likability Scale was developed by Dr. Stephen Reyson, Ph.D. It measures the perceived likability of a person. Before the scale was developed there wasn’t a single tool to measure likability. The tips above on how to be more likeable and the likeability quiz are based on this scale that includes the following parameters: similarity, open-mindedness, friendliness, humor, kindness, positivity, and trustworthiness.

How to be likeable when you meet someone for the first time

When you meet someone for the first time, it is important to display openness. How do you do this?

  1. Position your body with your heart aimed directly toward them. This communicates sincerity, full commitment to the conversation and a readiness to connect.
  2. Look directly into their eyes. Direct eye contact is a great way to establish trust. It is very important when you first meet someone.
  3. Be the first one to smile. When you smile, you show the other person your positive attitude. As a result, they will subconsciously understand that you’re sincere and open. It’s very easy to tell if your smile is sincere or fake. A fake smile involves your mouth only whereas a sincere smile is seen in your eyes as well.
  4. Introduce yourself. Don’t overthink it. Simply offer a standard greeting like “hi” or “hello” in a pleasant tone.
  5. Tell the person your first name and encourage them to introduce themselves as well.
  6. Once they introduce themselves, repeat their name to ensure you remember it. For example, say “Nice to meet you, Tom!”. When you see this person again, greet them by name.
  7. Lean slightly toward the other person to gently show interest and openness. As you do this, you can either shake their hand firmly or use the hands-free technique in which you leave your hands by your sides.

Why is it important to likeable?

Meeting new people and making new friends and good connections with people has many benefits.

In the book “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” the author, explains the benefits of meeting new people and making new connections.

  1. Meeting new people will expand your social circle and help you develop your interpersonal skills – skills that can bring both personal and professional benefits.
  2. Bonding with people is beneficial to our health and well-being. A study by Dr. Lisa Berkman of the Harvard School of Health Sciences observed a group of 7,000 people over nine years and determined that those of us who are good at connecting with others stand a better chance of living a long life. The results showed that those who lacked quality social or community connections were 3 times more likely to die of a medical illness than those who had strong social ties.
  3. A wide social network will help you achieve your goals. You will be more likely to hear about new opportunities and get help when you need it.
  4. When someone is likeable they are more likeable to influence other people (Chaiken, S. & Eagly, A. H., 1983).

 

Are you wondering “am I a likeable person”? Take our likable person test above to find out!


References:

  • The Reysen Likability Scale: Reysen, S. (2005). Construction of a new scale: The Reysen Likability Scale. Social Behavior and Personality, 33(2), 201-208
  • How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less (2000), Nicholas Boothman
  • Heuristic Versus Systematic Information Processing and the Use of Source Versus Message Cues in Persuasion; Chaiken, S. & Eagly, A. H., (1983)
  • The Power of Likeability, Peter Møller Jensen, 2020, Aalborg University
  • Regan, D., (1971), Effects of a Favor and Liking on Compliance
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About the Author
Photo of NicoleMy name is Nicole and I created this website to share the tools that keep me organized and productive and help me reach my goals. I hope that you will find them helpful too.

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