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

girlThere 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

How to Make Friends

I am a firm advocate of a rich social life, in terms of quantity and quality. I believe that knowing how to make friends is one of the most important people skills one can master.

Most of the people I know who are truly happy with their lives nourish it with meaningful relationships and social interactions. These have more contribution to their happiness than just about any other external factor, money, fame and power included.

The Why and What of Making Friends

Taking your understanding of how to make friends to the next level is something I believe will benefit you no matter who you are and in what life context. However, it will interest you particularly if:

  • You have recently moved to a new town or country where you don’t know anybody and you’re starting your social life fresh;
  • You don’t have a lot of friends, maybe you’re somewhat shy, and you want to meet new people and make more friends;
  • You’ve realized that the friends you have right now are not the kind of people you really resonate with and want to shift your social circle;
  • You already have great friends but you want to keep improving your social life and turn it into a gem.

In my work as a communication coach, I often help clients to overcome shyness, enhance their people skills, learn how to make friends and effectively put this knowledge into practice.

In time, I have developed a 3-step system for making friends that I am proud to say, provides reliable results. As long as you apply it, you focus on constantly growing your people skills and you stick to it, you will see your social life thrive.

Step 1: Get Into Social Activities

Many persons ask me how they can meet new people in order to make friends. There is one way I always recommend for its elegance and effectiveness: social activities.

Basically, social activities are things you do along with other people or in the same group with other people. They get you interacting with others or they create a context where interacting with others can happen relatively easily and smoothly.

From martial arts to social dancing, from cooking classes to personal development trainings, these are all examples of social activities. Since in such activities you train with a partner, you share experience with others and so on, this means many social interactions will naturally happen.

When choosing social activities, keep in mind to pick the kind that you believe you may actually enjoy. It doesn’t make a lot of sense taking up team jogging when you can’t even stand breaking a sweat. Using your head in making social decisions and in learning how to make friends will get you a lot further than randomly filling your social calendar.

Step 2: Get Sociable

Social activities will certainly create the social context you need to successfully interact with others, but it will not get you friends on its own. Your next step is to take social initiative.

This means deliberately interacting with people in abundance during social activities and employing such activities for social bonding. You want to model the social behaviors of very sociable people, behaviors such as:

  • Using almost any reason to talk with other people in a social activity;
  • Talking about themselves and revealing themselves to others;
  • Being authentically curious and asking others questions;
  • Escalating from small talk and making conversations more meaningful;
  • Having a fun, positive and social vibe;
  • Not taking things too seriously.

If you’re not used to behaving like this it will be a stretch for you; and stretching socially is one of the probably the key things you need to do at this point to make friends and enrich your social life.

Being sociable is in fact both an attitude and a skill. So if you want to master it and learn how to make friends successfully, you will probably have to work at both ends: gain social confidence and initiative and at the same time improve your conversation skills.

By the way: I have a special video presentation for you in which I reveal the 3-step solution for gaining social confidence, which you’ll simply love. Go here to watch it right now.

Step 3: Generate Future Interactions

When two or more people interact frequently and they get along well, if they are socially confident, they no longer let the context give them occasions to interact, they generate such occasions on their own.

You can invite another person out for a coffee, to have lunch together, to go for a drink and so on. A recent coaching client of mine decided to throw small, daytime house parties at her place in order to further interact with people she had met at various hobbies. She found this kind of a social event to work incredibly well for her.

Where you invite other people is not the most important element; actually having this initiative is. As such interactions take place, provided they go well, this is when the bond gets stronger and friendships truly emerge.

This is the general blueprint you can use to learn how to make friends and improve your social life. As you put it into practice and focus on continuously improving your people skills, I can assure you that the outcomes in your social life will be very good.

Even more, as your social life will improve, you will also see many other areas of your life blossom. Rich meaningful relationships with others can have such an amazing effect.

Image courtesy of ohhector

How to Make Small Talk

Many people don’t know how to make small talk. Often, these people are busy, results-oriented individuals, they have big goals and they don’t see the point of making small talk.

Thus, there is a double challenge I’m going to address here: not only clarifying how to makes small talk with style, but also what is it’s precise significance in social situations and interactions.

Why Making Small Talk Matters

Small talk is often seen as meaningless conversation motivated by social politeness: It lacks meaning and value, but you do it because that’s the proper thing. Well, I couldn’t disagree more with this idea.

In my definition, small talk is conversation on safe and somewhat superficial subjects (the weather, the news, the hottest movies or the latest fashion), but it is not meaningless conversation.

Personally, I’ve learned to stay away from meaningless conversation. If I don’t enjoy it and don’t find significance in it, I do one of two things: I change the subject or I eject. Other than the topic, there is nothing small about small talk and this is why knowing how to make small talk matters as a people skill.

Before anything else, you need to realize that if you struggle with making small talk, it’s to a large extent a confidence issue. People who are confident in social interactions are naturally able to make small talk and connect with others.

So one way or another, you’ll need to get this handled. My conversation confidence presentation will provide you a solid foundation for this. So check it out here for free and learn the secrets to being a confident conversationalist. It’s loaded with practical advice.

Keep It Meaningful

Making small talk makes a lot of sense with people you’ve just met. Imagine asking a person you know for 30 seconds: “So, how’s you sex life?” That is waaay too intrusive! Small talk on the other hand provides a method to ease into the discussion.

When I make small talk, the subjects may be superficial for comfort, but they’re subjects I care about and I approach in straightforward manner, staying away from clichés. This way, I make the discussion meaningful for me and frequently, as a result, for the other person.

Even if I’ll chat with a person I’ve just met about the weather, I’ll make the conversation meaningful. For example, if it’s winter I’ll mention how I don’t like the cold weather, how it probably has something to do with the fact I was born in mid-summer and how I can’t wait for the summer and the sunny beach.

Focus on what is interesting as a topic and on what is real within you. You’ll make the talk fun even though you keep it small.

Have a Life

It’s easy to make small talk when you have a lot of things to chat about. One key realization I had as a social confidence coach is that people who know how to make small talk well have a rich inner and especially outer life.

Conversation is for them just a matter of expressing that. It’s much harder to make small talk well when all you do is work a repetitive job or play on the computer all day.

A rich lifestyle creates content and it helps you engage others. If you don’t have one, it’s time to create it: read, travel, try new things, take on various hobbies, do some charity work and of course, socialize. Not only that this will help your conversations, but it will make your whole life a lot more rewarding as well.

Care about the Vibe More Than About the Topic

A conversation is much more than an exchange of facts and ideas. It is an exchange of energy. What many people miss is that when you know how to make small talk, it means you can create a positive exchange of energy.

The topic is just an excuse, so it doesn’t have to be a deep topic. When I’m out with my friends, we’ll spend hours talking about clothes, pubs, scooters or trends. And we’ll have a blast because the vibe of the entire interaction is positive and relaxed.

When you’re making small talk, you want to focus more on being friendly and positive than on picking the right topic or saying the right things. Smile, relax, joke around, be spontaneous and be silly.

Remember that your vibe comes mainly from your attitude, and watch this instructional presentation I created, as it will give you a sensible guide to improving your confidence in social interactions.

Don’t Get Stuck In Small Talk

Last but not least, keep in mind that small talk is not a destination. It’s just a temporary station. If an interaction with a person goes well, do move the conversation to deeper and more personal topics.

You can talk about topics such as family and relationships, career plans, life goals, challenges and so on. You now find yourself in a new land: the land of big talk.

Ultimately, a strong bond between two people is created when they talk about the most meaningful things, in the most meaningful way. Conversation is very much like a journey into a mysterious forest, and a deeper you go in it, the more intriguing it gets.

I believe that knowing how to make small talk is one of the key people skills to master. From there, if you also know how to have charisma and engage others in more intimate conversation, you can get outstanding results with people and you can build a highly fulfilling social life for yourself.

Image courtesy of Ivan Makarov

How to Meet New People and Make New Friends

I remember many years ago, a woman told me how she is often bored because she doesn’t have a lot of friends. She was living in a city with over 3.000.000 people. I was shocked. I was wondering: “How can you live surrounded by so many people and not have enough friends to spend some quality time with?

Since then, this scene has repeated itself many times, with many other persons. After a while, I realized how common this phenomenon was and it no longer shocked me.

I began thinking how I could assist others to meet new people and make new friends; thus my current profession plus a marginal obsession for social dynamics and improving people skills.

The Loneliness Paradox

Most of us walk on the streets every day passing by hundreds of other people. And yet many of us lack a good social circle, both in terms of quality and quantity.

It’s obviously not a problem of options. As a person who at one point consciously increased their sociability factor, I can tell you that there are not only a lot of people, but also many cool people out there, eager to meet new people and make new friends. It is a problem of confidence, strategy, people skills, or any combination of the three.

The good news is that you can develop any of these and get the kind of social life you want. In this article I will give you the fundamental points to developing your social circle and enriching your social life.

Meeting New People

One great way to meet new people is, in my view, taking on social activities. These activities can include sports, classes, hobbies, volunteer work etc. There are dozens of examples of specific social activities, which is exactly why I think it’s pointless for me to give you a few.

The point is to use social activities to get in environments where there are other people and by the nature of the activity you interact with them. At the same time, you want to get involved in activities which you believe you might enjoy; not just any social activity.

The other great way to meet new people that I know is getting your current friends to introduce you to some of their other friends. Of course, this doesn’t apply if your current friends are in a faraway town or if they don’t have any other friends, but it does apply in any other scenario.

I often tell my friends to give me a call whenever they’re going out with a group of cool people or to a fun party. I’ve repeated this to a few of them so many times that now they are in the habit of thinking about me whenever they go out. It helps if at one point, you can return your friends the favor, but in my experience, it’s not a must.

Making New Friends

Keep in mind that interacting with a new person does not automatically make that person a friend. Friendships happen when two people feel connected in some way. They discover they have things in common, they like each other or they got used with being part of each other’s lives.

Once you’ve met new people, you will need to keep the ball rolling in order to develop friendships. Two things come to mind on how to do this.

The first thing is to be very sociable. When interacting with somebody: talk about yourself and open up, ask the other person questions, listen actively, make jokes and focus on positive topics. Apparently simple actions like these and mixing them the right way are a reflection of good skills with people and the very fabric of making friends.

The second thing is to take the initiative and ask people out. If you interact with a person and you’re getting along well, that’s more than a good reason to initiate future interactions.

So if for example, you meet a person in your photography class you enjoy interacting with them, give them a call sometimes and ask them to join you for coffee, or something similar. As the interactions get rolling, if you get along even better, a friendship develops.

On paper/ your monitor, it may appear very easy to meet new people and make new friends. The trick is to skillfully apply ideas like the ones above. And the emphasis is not initially on the word ‘skillfully’, but on the word ‘apply’. Most people I know with poor social lives essentially need to get off their asses more.

One of the reasons I teach people skills is because I have seen and I have experienced for myself how fulfilling a rich social life can be. We live now in a world with more social opportunities than ever. I’m convinced it’s a worthwhile task to make good use of them.

Image courtesy of MorBCN