Most friendships develop so naturally that you don’t even realize how or when they started. Sometimes, however, you want to make an effort to befriend a new acquaintance or become a best friend to existing friends. To help you on that front, we went through some psychological research to find science-backed art strategies for people to like you .
17 tricks to make people like you immediately
Read on to find out how to develop better relationships faster.
1. Copy to your interlocutor
This strategy is called duplication, and it involves subtly mimicking the other person’s behavior. When you talk to someone, try to copy their body language, gestures, and facial expressions.
In 1999, researchers at New York University documented the “chameleon effect,” which occurs when people unconsciously imitate the behavior of others, and that mimicry facilitates taste.
The researchers had 78 men and women work on a task with a partner, who was actually a collaborator working for the researchers. All participated in different levels of mimicry, while the researchers videotaped the interactions. At the end of the interaction, the researchers had the participants indicate how much they liked those partners.
Of course, participants were more likely to say that they liked their partner when their partner had imitated their behavior.
2. Spend more time around them
According to the mere exposure effect, people like things that are familiar to them.
Knowledge of this phenomenon dates back to the 1950s, when MIT researchers found that college students who lived together in housing projects were more likely to be friends than students who lived further apart.
This could be because students who live nearby may experience more passive, everyday interactions with each other, such as greeting each other in the common room or in the kitchen. Under certain circumstances, those interactions can turn into full friendships.
More recently, psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh had four women pose as students in a college psychology class. Each woman appeared in class a different number of times. When the experimenters showed male students images of the four women, the men demonstrated a greater affinity for those women they had seen most often in class, although they had not interacted with any of them.
Taken together, these findings suggest that simply spending more time with people can make them like you. Even if you don’t live near your friends, try to maintain a consistent routine with them, like going out for coffee every week or taking classes together.
3. Praise other people
People will associate the adjectives you use to describe other people with your personality. This phenomenon is called spontaneous trait transfer.
One study found that this effect occurred even when people knew that certain traits did not describe the people they had talked about.
According to Gretchen Rubin, author of books including “The Happiness Project,” “what you say about other people influences how people see you.”
If you describe someone else as genuine and kind, people will associate you with those qualities as well. The reverse is also true: if you are constantly talking bad about people behind their back, your friends will start to associate those negative qualities with you too.
4. Be in a good mood
Emotional contagion describes what happens when people are strongly influenced by other people’s moods. According to a research article from the University of Ohio and the University of Hawaii, people can unconsciously feel the emotions of those around them.
If you want people to like you and make others feel happy around you , do your best to communicate positive emotions.
5. Make friends with your friends
The social media theory behind this effect is called triadic closure, which means that two people are likely to be closer when they have a mutual friend.
To illustrate this effect, students at the University of British Columbia designed a program for friends to randomize people on Facebook. They found that people were more likely to accept the friend request as their number of mutual friends increased, from 20% with no mutual friends to 80% with more than 11 mutual friends.
6. Don’t be complimentary all the time
The gain and loss theory of interpersonal attractiveness suggests that your positive comments will have a greater impact if you deliver them occasionally.
A 1965 study by researchers at the University of Minnesota shows how this theory could work in practice. Researchers had 80 college students work in pairs on a task and then allowed them to “hear” their classmates talk about them exaggeratedly. In reality, the experimenters had told the participants what to say.
In one case, the comments were all positive; in a second scenario, all the comments were negative; in a third scenario, the comments went from positive to negative; and in a fourth scenario, the comments went from negative to positive.
It turns out that students liked peers better when comments went from positive to negative, suggesting that people like to feel like they’ve beaten you in some way.
Bottom Line: Although it’s counterintuitive, try to compliment your friends less often.
7. Be warm and competent
Social psychologist Susan Fiske proposed the stereotype content model, which is a theory that people judge others on their warmth and competence.
According to the model, if they can portray you as warm, meaning uncompetitive and friendly, people will feel like they can trust you. If you appear competent, for example if you have a high economic or educational level, they are more inclined to respect you.
Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy says that, especially in business settings, it’s important to show warmth first, then competence.
“From an evolutionary perspective,” writes Cuddy in his book “Presence,” “it is more crucial for our survival to know whether a person is worthy of our trust.”
8. Reveal your flaws from time to time
According to the pre-effect, people will love you more after making a mistake, but if they just think that you are normally a competent person. Revealing that you are not perfect makes you easier to relate to and vulnerable to the people around you.
Researcher Elliot Aronson first discovered this phenomenon when he studied how simple errors can affect perception. He asked male students at the University of Minnesota to listen to recordings of people who answered a questionnaire.
When people did well on the questionnaire but spilled coffee at the end of the interview, students rated more sympathetically than when they did well on the questionnaire and did not spill coffee or did not do well on the questionnaire and spilled coffee.
9. Emphasize your shared values
According to a classic study by Theodore Newcomb, people are most attracted to those who are similar to them. This is known as the similarity-attraction effect. In his experiment, Newcomb measured his subjects’ attitudes on controversial topics, such as sex and politics, and then put them in a University of Michigan home to live together.
At the end of their stay, the subjects liked their housemates more when they had similar attitudes on the subjects that were measured.
If you hope people will like you , try to find a point of similarity between the two and highlight it.
10. Play them casually
This is known as subliminal contact, which occurs when you touch a person so subtly that they hardly notice. Common examples include touching someone’s back or touching their arm, which can make them feel warmer towards you.
A study in France in which young men stood on street corners and talked to women passing by were twice as successful in striking up a conversation when they lightly touched the woman’s arms while talking to them instead of doing nothing .
In an experiment from the University of Mississippi and Rhodes College that studied the effects of interpersonal touch on restaurant tips, waitresses briefly touched customers on the hand or shoulder when they were returning change. As a result, they earned significantly larger tips than waitresses who didn’t touch their customers.
11. Smile to make people like you
In one study, nearly 100 female graduates looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open-body position, smiling in a closed-body position, not smiling in an open-body position, or not smiling in an open-body position. closed body. The results suggested that the woman in the photo was the one he liked the most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.
Bonus: Another study suggested smiling when you meet someone to make sure they’ll remember you later.
12. See the other person as they want to be seen
People want to be perceived in a way that aligns with their own beliefs about themselves. This phenomenon is described by the theory of self-verification. We all look for confirmations of our opinions, positive or negative.
For a series of studies at Stanford University and the University of Arizona, participants were asked if they wanted to interact with people who had positive or negative impressions of them.
Participants with positive views of themselves preferred people who considered them very good, while those with negative views preferred critics. This could be because people like to interact with those who provide feedback consistent with their known identity.
Other research suggests that when people’s beliefs about us align with our own, our relationship with them flows more easily. That’s likely because we feel understood, which is an important component of intimacy.
13. Tell them a secret
Self-disclosure can be one of the best relationship building techniques.
In a study led by Arthur Aron at Stony Brook University, college students paired up and told they should spend 45 minutes getting to know each other better.
The experimenters provided pairs of students with a series of questions to ask, which grew increasingly profound and personal. For example, one of the intermediate questions was “How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?” Other couples were given small, spoken-type questions. For example, one question was “What is your favorite holiday? Why?”
At the end of the experiment, students who asked increasingly personal questions reported that they felt much closer to each other than students who had participated in small talks.
You can try this technique on your own, since you are meeting someone. For example, you can start by asking them about their last trip to the movies until you learn about the people who matter most to them in life. When you learn intimate information about another person, they are likely to feel closer to you and want to trust you in the future .
14. Expect good things from people
According to the Pygmalion effect, people treat others in a way that is consistent with their expectations, and thus make the person behave in a way that confirms those expectations.
In a Harvard magazine article, Cuddy says, “If you think someone is a jerk, you will behave in a way that causes rude behavior.”
On the other hand, if you expect someone to be nice to you, they are more likely to be friendly to you .
15. Act like you like them
Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called “reciprocity of likes”: When we think that someone likes us, we also tend to like that person.
In one study, for example, participants were told that some members of a group discussion probably liked them. These group members were chosen at random by the experimenter.
After discussion, the participants indicated that the people they liked the most were those who supposedly said they liked them.
16. Show a sense of humor
Research from Illinois State University and California State University Los Angeles found that regardless of whether people were thinking of their ideal friend or romantic partner, having a sense of humor was really important.
Meanwhile, not having a sense of humor, especially in the office, could backfire. A study of 140 Chinese workers between the ages of 26 and 35 found that people were less appreciated and less popular with their colleagues if they were “morally focused.”
That means they placed a high value on showing caring, fairness, and other moral traits. The researchers said that was because colleagues perceived morally focused individuals to be less comical.
17. Let them talk about themselves
Harvard researchers recently discovered that talking about yourself can be inherently rewarding, in the same way that food, money and sex are.
In one study, researchers had participants sit at an fMRI machine and answer questions about their own opinions or someone else’s. Participants were asked to bring a friend or family member to the experiment, who was sitting outside the fMRI machine. In some cases, participants were told that their responses would be shared with a friend or family member; in other cases, your responses would be kept private.
The results showed that the brain regions associated with motivation and reward were most active when participants shared information publicly, but also when they talked about themselves, even if no one was listening.
In other words, allowing someone to share a story or two about their life instead of talking about yours could give them more positive memories of your interaction.