< Go to Homepage

The Science of Making People Like You

Science RealClearLife Staff

 

Young adults reaching for female celebrity, elevated view (Getty Images)
There’s a scientific approach to making people like you. (Getty Images)

 

In general, life tends to be easier for likable people. It can prove essential with everything from getting a promotion to avoiding a speeding ticket. But what if you just don’t feel like you connect with other people? Happily, Eric Barker has been analyzing the art of being appealing and come up with a surprisingly scientific approach to making people like you.

RealClearLife has highlighted a handful of our favorite suggestions. Read them, mull them over, and start the socializing.

Smile … Slowly. “Smiles are powerful and make you more attractive,” Barker asserts. Of course, this isn’t news—Dale Carnegie and many others have pointed it out many times. Yet some smiles are better than others. A study found that slow onset smiles were perceived as more sincere. Related to this …

Slow Down in General. FBI behavior expert Robin Dreeke urges speaking slowly, particularly when first meeting people to sound “more credible.” (And, on a basic level, it increases the chances of them actually understanding what you’re saying.) Of course, speaking in a way that’s comprehensible can backfire if you’re saying awful things. With that in mind …

Spare People the Résumé. Harvard researchers found that people would rather work with a “lovable fool” than a “competent jerk.” (And yes, “lovable star” was determined to be the ideal individual.) If you’re trying to “wow” people, tell them immediately about how your IQ is so high it’s literally untestable. If you’re looking to connect, go in easy. In fact …

Let Them Talk About Them. Harvard neuroscientist Diana Tamir said that her research found that “self-disclosure” is so satisfying that people are “even willing to forgo money in order to talk about themselves.” In other words, by getting them to open up, you literally unleash positive feelings money can’t buy. And while you’re doing this …

Actually Listen. Make sure you’re paying attention. And if you want a subtle way of letting them know you’re engaged, FBI hostage negotiators will repeat the last three words someone said as a question.

To read the full article and start making people like you, click here.