Wanting to be liked and accepted is something we all think about. The most integral and, arguably, most valuable component of our lives are comprised of the relationships we make with others. Making connections, however, isn’t always so easy. It can be a trying and often daunting task to befriend others, even for the most gregarious of us. So what’s to this thing called friendship and how exactly can you earn the adoration and respect of those around you? Here are some tips!
1. Say their Name
Believe it or not, but we are all pretty narcissistic! People intrinsically love the sound of their own name. So get in the habit of learning, remembering, and saying people’s names. This is a classic tip from Dale Carnegie’s iconic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Addressing someone’s name in conversation can show someone you are listening, and more importantly, you care about who they are and what they’re saying.
Happiness tends to rub off, and so we naturally gravitate towards those who emit happiness because it helps us feel all warm and positive inside. Smiling can go a long way and is really a great tool for feedback in a social context. Smiling (appropriately) when speaking with someone brings a positive attitude and can brighten up someone else’s day.
This may be a no-brainer, but others will naturally like you more if you take the time to actively listen to them. This means put down your iPhone, remove your headphones, make eye contact, and sincerely listen to what the other person is saying. Most people can tell when they aren’t really being heard. By showing someone through body language (i.e. posture and eye contact), as well as verbal confirmation (repeating back chunks of what was said to you), people will think you are thoughtful and respectful.
4. Convo Recall
When you’re engaged in conversation with someone, show them that you are paying attention. Keep your snores and glazed-over eyes checked! To prove you are someone who pays attention to what others are saying, bring up previous conversation topics up. Follow up on something that was said. How is her boyfriend feeling, still sick? Did your co-worker ace the presentation they had? These don’t have to be huge topics or events, and it can actually help more to show interest by recalling something small that has happened in another’s life.
5. Compliments and Praise
There isn’t a soul in the world who doesn’t appreciate praise and the occasional compliment. Individuals crave it because deep-down, we are all self-conscious individuals wanting to be liked! Give out compliments and praise when appropriate, but remember to be sincere. No one likes empty flattery or being pandered to.
6. Handle Criticism Well
The rule of thumb is to be generous with praise but stingy with criticism. Despite any air of overconfidence or lack of competence you may stumble into in your quest for meaningful relationships, remember that people have delicate egos. Constant condemnation can really hurt.
7. More Questions, Less Orders
Sometimes people may feel that they need to bark orders or boss others around to get things done, but this simply isn’t so and won’t do you any favors in winning over hearts. You can achieve the same results by asking questions rather than dishing out orders. Depending on your approach, the feeling and attitude of the other person can vary greatly.
Do: “Peter, do you think you can send me that PowerPoint presentation by tomorrow?”
Don’t: “Peter, I need that PowerPoint presentation tomorrow.”
8. Be Real
While saying someone’s name, listening, and not being bossy are all very well and good, in the end, what people care about and like to see in others is authenticity and character. You don’t ever want to come off as being fake, so just be yourself! Instead of trying so hard to win over the affection of others, learn to relax and be genuine.
9. Physical Touch
This may sound like a silly one, but studies have shown physical touch can help others feel a connection to you. Mind you, this does not mean anything inappropriate like a slap on the behind or anything of the like. Think subtle. A touch on someone’s forearm when shaking hands or a pat on the back, for example.
10. Ask Advice
By asking others for advice, you’re indirectly telling someone that you care what they think and value their opinion. Everyone likes to feel important and needed, and asking advice from someone can result in them feeling better about themselves which, in turn, leads to them liking you all the much more.