Would your life improve if you were able to instantly connect with new people you meet? To have people trust you, like you, and want to do you favors?
Human society is inter connected,and there are people who have achieved their goals or made millions of dollars just on their social network alone. When people like you they want to help you.
You can use psychological tricks to hack the primitive brain and make people like you.
This isn’t just theory, these are things I use every day. Whether it’s meeting a new client in my medical hypnosis practice, or getting to know someone new at a party. These are the tools I use to get people to open up, to build my social network, and to turn enemies into my friends.
Listen to the Podcast Episode:
Don’t have time to read the article? Listen to this podcast episode (Episode 20 – Use Psychology to Build Trust and Make People Like You Instantly) instead where I go into more depth about what is written here.
1) Make a Great First Impression
This is the same person, but do the two pictures convey a different first impression?
In the first picture he is wearing a loose baggy shirt, jeans that are too big, and hair that is unkempt. In the second picture he is wearing a well fitted suit, nice shoes, and he looks confident.
Clothes are the very first signal about who you are. Everyone you meet automatically and subconsciously judges you based on your appearance and what you are wearing.
Think about this: Everyone you meet chose the outfit they are wearing out in public. No one else dressed them (most likely), they chose what they are wearing. That choice says something about them, whether they like it or not.
That isn’t fair, but it’s the truth.
You know this to be true. How many times in your life have you noticed that someone who is attractive or dresses well seems to get more opportunities, even if they don’t ‘deserve’ it?
You can’t do much about the genetic lottery, you are born with the face you will have for life. However, you can do a lot about how you dress to change your first impression to something more positive. Dressing well gives you a big advantage to your first impression.
Keys to a great first impression:
- Well fitted Clothes: You don’t need to have the most expensive clothes, you just need clothes that fit well. Not too loose, and not too tight. It’s best to get a friend to help you judge what fits you best.
- Hygiene: Shower, brush your teeth, use mouthwash, launder your clothes. Nothing ruins a first impression faster than smelling bad.
2) Use Psychology to Make Them Like You
There is a way to make someone like you that is so easy and goes right past any cognitive defenses a person might have. The technique is called ‘mirroring’.
Mirroring is mimicking a person’s unconscious body language, tone, and the way they are talking. Human beings mirror all the time in order to build and strengthen relationships.
When you start mirroring someone then mirror neurons fire off in your brain. Scientists theorize that these neurons are key to helping a person discover someone else’s intentions and what they are feeling. It may also have helped with the development of language.
When a person is being mirrored by you, they will unconsciously start to like you more and more. They won’t know why, but their brain is basically telling them, “This person is like me, and so I will trust and like them more.”
How to use Mirroring:
- Mimic body movement: If they cross their arms, you cross your arms. If they scratch their head, then you comb your fingers through your hair. You don’t have to do exactly what they do, just mimic the same sort of behavior within 30-60 seconds of the first displaying it.
- Mimic speech: If a person is talking fast, you should speed up your language to talk near the same rate as them. Don’t do this in a mocking way, but in a subtle and natural way. If they are talking slowly, follow their lead.
If you mimic a person’s body language and speech, they will instantly begin to like you more. They can’t help it.
How to Tell if Someone Likes You
Mirroring is also a great way to tell if someone likes you. Mirroring is largely an unconscious process, we do it automatically with people we like. You can use this to your advantage and as one signal if someone likes you or not.
When you are in a conversation with someone, you should take the lead and make a movement and see if they mirror you unconsciously. Try crossing your legs, or touching your face, or putting your hands in your pockets. See how they respond.
If they like you, then they may start to unconsciously mimic your movements.
TAKE ACTION: One Week Experiment
For the next week whenever you have conversations with people, be aware of mirroring. If you meet someone knew, try and engage them with conversation and start subtly mirroring their behavior. After a while, you take the lead and see if they mirror you back.
You can do this with the grocery store clerk, someone you meet in a coffee shop, even at business meetings.
Note what you see!
3) How to Turn an Enemy Into a Friend
There is a well documented way that Benjamin Franklin turned a rival legislator that disliked him, into a life long friend. He did it by leveraging the power of cognitive dissonance. (this is also known as the Benjamin Franklin Effect)
Cognitive dissonance is when you hold in your mind two contradictory ideas that you both believe to be true. An example of this would be if you know in your mind that you hate fruit, but you like jam (which is made out of fruit).
Your mind can’t comprehend how both those things can be true, so it will often times go to elaborate efforts to come up with some sort of excuse of why they could both be true (you only like fruit in jars), or change one of the beliefs entirely.
Here is a quote from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography describing how he turned this rival into a life long friend:
“Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favor of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favor. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.”
In the previous example it is theorized that Benjamin Franklin’s rival had multiple opposing beliefs. Here are the facts:
- He disliked Benjamin Franklin
- He did a favor for Benjamin Franklin
- He only does favors for people he likes
The way that he reconciled this in his own mind is he changed his opinion of Benjamin from someone he disliked, to a new friend. This allows him to be consistent in his belief that he does favors for people he likes. This is a prime example that asking someone a favor makes them like you more.
TAKE ACTION: Ask an Enemy for a Favor
If you have someone who mildly dislikes you, try asking them for a small favor that you know they could do easily. Once they complete the task for you, be sure to thank them profusely.
It is the act of gratitude at the end of the favor that helps to build that new relationship.
Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“I destroy my enemies by making them my friends” – Abraham Lincoln
So go destroy some enemies!
4) Be Genuinely Interested
This is straight out of the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, and it probably the most steadfast strategy in this article.
This is the strategy I’ve used to walk into a party where I don’t know anyone and to effortlessly talk to anyone I want and to have them really like me.
There are only two steps to this process:
- Be genuinely interested in what the other person is talking about
- Ask open ended follow up questions
Asking open ended questions is a skill that can be developed over time with practice. Don’t ask ‘yes or no’ questions, ask questions that require the person to give you their opinion or to dive into detail about one of their experiences.
Some great examples of open ended questions:
- How did you feel when _______?
- What happened next?
- What was the biggest lesson from that experience?
- Is that the only way to do _______?
- Why did it happen that way?
When you become interested in a person, you start talking about their favorite subject: Themselves.
We all love talking about what we like and our opinions, even if we think we don’t want to. When another person shows interest in us and what we talk about, it instantly makes us like them even more.
TAKE ACTION: Start a Conversation With a Stranger
Start a conversation with someone you don’t know and do your best to employ some of the techniques in this article. Try out mirroring, asking open ended questions, and be genuinely interested in what the other person is talking about.
Social interactions are a skill, so the more practice (more conversations) you have, the better you get at it.
You will be pleasantly surprised to find that by using some of these techniques that people like you more, trust you quickly, and just want to be around you.
Leave a comment below and let me know how your experiments have gone!