How to Make People Like You

Let’s face it: we’re all social animals and we want to be liked by others. That’s perfectly fine, as long as you don’t become desperate for people’s approval and feel shitty when someone doesn’t like you. It’s cool to want to know how to make people like you.

One of the central benefits of having good people skills is that you can increase your likeability factor. And the more likeable you can be my friend, the more options you have in your social life and beyond.

I’ve always been amazed by the ability to sweep people off their feet with your very presence. It’s one of the things that got me into improving my people skills more than a decade ago, and later into helping others do the same through communication coaching.

During this time, I’ve learned a thing or two on how to make people like you.

How Not To Make People Like You

girl 200x300 How to Make People Like YouThere is one way to make people like you that’s very popular and I’m adamantly against. That is being really nice with people and doing nice things for them all the time. Sure, you can get some people’s approval be being a nice guy or a nice girl. However, there are huge downsides to this strategy.

First of all, as many nice people exemplify, having a nice behavior towards others all the time often projects neediness and insecurity. That doesn’t make someone like you, it makes them either avoid you (if you’re lucky) or use you (if you’re unlucky).

Second of all, in order to keep people’s appreciation with this strategy, you have to keep doing nice things for them. Eventually, all the effort you put into pleasing the people in your life by being nice turns into a huge pain in the ass for you.

Want to know how to make people like you in the best way possible? Make them like you for who you are, not for what you do for them. This idea is a huge mental shift for many and it puts the focus on developing edgy people skills and a charismatic personality, not on being nice all the time.

Be a Positive Presence

It is a psychological fact that emotions are contagious, both positive and negative ones. When you can make people feel good, in a way they reward you for this by liking you.

Interestingly enough, the most effective way to make others feel good is not by giving them cheesy compliments or shallow encouragements, but by being positive yourself. Therefore, learning how to make people like you goes hand in hand with learning how to manage your emotional state.

A very helpful exercise for getting yourself in a positive state is simply faking it. You see, in your psychology, everything is connected: your thoughts, your emotions and your body. Walk, move and talk like a person feeling good and you’ll elicit that very state. You’ll feel positive because you act positive, and you’ll transmit it to others.

Share Yourself

There is some fascinating research emerging lately in the field of social psychology that points out one of the simplest and most powerful answers to how to make people like you is to open up and share yourself.

Not only that we tend to feel more comfortable with people who share themselves, but we also like them more. Thus, it’s not surprising that timid people are often not very likeable. They don’t put themselves out there.

Listening is a very important people skill to have, but so is opening up. Talk about yourself; put yourself out there in an authentic manner, even if you may find it hard at first. You’ll notice how people will grab on to what they know about you and like you more.

If you have a hard time sharing yourself, it’s probably because you lack social confidence. In this case, all I can say is watch this presentation, because you’ll learn from me in it how to overcome this problem, permanently.

Add Value in Every Conversation

There is a much better mode to add value in people’s lives than being very nice. It’s through the style you make conversation. Want you want is for people to end a conversation with you better off than they were when they started it.

There are many ways to do this. You can be the wise person who inspires others and talks about interesting things, you can be the funny person who gives a humorous spin to everything and gets people laughing.

Find the ways of adding value in conversation that fit well with your personality and develop those. Ultimately, people want to interact the most with those who can offer value, and by being a funny, witty, exciting or wise person you have an endless stream of value you can provide effortlessly.

Knowing how to make people like you permits you to develop very sharp people skills. When you can push people’s buttons through your personality, you open the doors towards a lifestyle of abundance that most people only dream of.

Image courtesy of Kam

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Comments

  1. Hi,

    Great tips and ideas! Be positive is the most important thing bring to any enounter. I try to avoid be the bearer of bad news and always offer something positive. This relates to adding value as well. Instead of worrying if people will like me, I focus on how I can improve the situation and what I can offer.

    • Hey Joe,

      From my perspective, being able to boost your own mood and get yourself in a positive state is not only beneficial for yourself, but it also has the added benefit of drawing people easier into your life.

  2. I think making ppl like you is overrated. So what if you make others like you? At the end of the day the only person they care about is themselves.. and maybe their family, and a S.O. Making others like you is just ego gratification in my eyes.. nothing positive comes out of the desire. Just be yourself and let the rest follow.

    • That certainly sounds noble Henway, but I don’t think it’s realistic. We’re not hermits. We all want approval from other people and we enjoy getting it. It’s in our psychological make-up. The trick is to not become dependent on it or to mistakenly believe you need approval from everyone you meet.

  3. Hi Eduard, I like this post. A person is liked not because of what one does, a person is liked because of how one made another person feel. For me, I feel that the simple act of “listening” to another person can generate sparks for a wonderful friendship or any kind of substantial relationship. This is because, “listening” is not only a form of communication that adds the mutual value of learning, it is a wonderful demonstration of sharing one’s self and time.

    Thank you for this great post.

    • Hi Ajen,

      That’s worth saying again: a person is liked not because of what one does, a person is liked because of how one made another person feel. I think that’s crucial to understand in learning how to make people like you. If people like you strictly for the things you do for them, you’re in trouble.

  4. Hello there,

    You make a good point that youre lucky if people avoid your neediness. I have often been (unluckily) used and it took me a long time of self reflection to realize that it was because I based entire friendships out of doing nice things for people only to realize later on the limitations of that kind of friendship. Anyway, we live and we learn. Thanks for taking the time to write that. Have a good one!

  5. “There is one way to make people like you that’s very popular and I’m adamantly against. That is being really nice with people and doing nice things for them all the time.”

    I agree with most of your post except one part of the above quote. I would not put being really nice with people along with doing nice things for them all the time.

    In my opinion those are two seperate thing. I personally believe that we should be nice to everyone all of the time. Even when people are not nice to us, we gain nothing by being not nice back to them.

    On the other hand, the comment you made about doing nice things for people all the time. Okay that I can see-although I would also just say doing things for poeple all the time. I do believe that if you are in the position to help and it is not a burden on you or your loveds ones then there is nothing wrong in helping others out.

    The post did make me think. Thanks.

  6. Opening up and sharing yourself with other people is definitely a great way to form new bonds. If you’re too closed off to people, they sometimes regard this with suspicion.

    • Hi Nea,

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that. That’s why I always hearten the shyer persons I coach to put themselves out there more. You can’t expect people to like a stranger.

  7. Great ideas! I’m really interested in developing my likeability factor. I often wonder how I can provide value to people the best.

    I think my unique trait would be the interestingness factor. Insights, facts, and so on, but delivered in a fun manner.

    If you had to pick your best value-delivering personality trait, what would it be?

  8. Eduard, I have enjoyed your site for a while. My nitpick is your increased use of crudities and vulgarities in the articles. Profane language is unprofessional at best and still offensive to most. Call me a dinosaur but it’s true. Anyone else???

  9. Jonathan says:

    Hi Eduard, I was wondering how to open up to people though? I have been told by a couple of girls other guys are “easier to talk to” and “more open” and “loud”….how do I go about this? does being open mean telling someone how you feel? Or…? Thanks!

  10. Bella Fowl says:

    I like people who are worse off than me. Sure, being positive about it is good. But sympathy always works the best. Actually, being positive is a great idea! Make up random things in your life that were horrible (Not hard for me, my love life is the most messed up thing ever) but then say that you just have to deal with it, and you’ve learned to be happy again over the years. Then smile. Perfect…. Never tried it, but people do it to me all the time. Even though I know they’re lying to me (experience) it makes it hard for me NOT to like them….

  11. Bella Fowl says:

    And one more EXTREMELY important thing: if anyone shows interest in you, please, for heaven’s sake, don’t talk about your ex. I almost committed suicide for this reason. I was tortured for months and months for this reason. And then what happened? I told them what’s been eating me alive the path few months. So they apologise and flirt with my mortal enemy while I’m standing there watching…. They broke my heart. It may never heal until death. I’ve only just been feeling happier again. It’s hard, though, after what I went through. I do hope I’ll find happiness….. :) (This is what I was talking about. This actually happened to me, but people replace my experiences with theirs and repeat basically the same thing to me).

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