10 genius psychological hacks that'll make people like you instantly
Unless you're an extremely extroverted individual, the chances are that you might struggle a little bit when it comes to forming a meaningful relationship with someone else right off the bat. This isn't necessarily a huge problem; after all, any solid relationship is obviously going to take time and energy to build up - but not having the right techniques from the beginning can put you at a bit of a disadvantage.
Thankfully, there are some tiny changes you can make to the ways you interact with people in order to give yourself a better starting off point. And these apply in any sort of relationship, so next time you're meeting your new potential boss for a job interview, or flirting with someone on a first date, or even just making friends with that person you always see at the gym, try out some of these helpful tips...
1. Emphasise your similarities
Despite the old adage that opposites attract, it's actually true that people who have more in common are likelier to get on with one another. So, as soon as you get a feel for what your new colleague/companion/love interest enjoys, share your experiences on the same subject. Both like rock music? Let them know about the last gig you went to! Have a mutual passion for dog memes? Drop that sucker into the conversation. You'll be bonding in no time.
2. Make friends with their friends
Remember those times back at school when making friends was no issue? All you had to do to gain some new pals was befriend one member of a group, and suddenly you had half a dozen new buddies all at once. Unfortunately, us adults aren't as welcoming - but the same principle still applies. If you want to get close to someone in particular but are a little intimated for one reason or another, start off by befriending one of their friends. The pre-existing connection will make you more trustworthy, and you'll learn how to better interact with them by first observing them as part of a group.
3. Reveal your flaws
One of the things that intimidates us most about approaching someone new is the thought that they are somehow 'better' than us. Realistically, this isn't ever going to be the case. In order to get someone to be comfortable with you, let them know that you're not perfect. Perhaps you have a bad habit you can't kick, or you made a funny mistake ay work the other day. Don't take this the wrong way, though - you shouldn't go venting your deepest insecurities to some girl you just met at the bar. Keep it small and, well, normal.
4. Mirror them
This is basically psychology 101. If you want people to like you, copy them. Not obviously, of course, but in subtle ways that they will register on a subconscious level. If they are leaning against something as they talk to you, try leaning against the same surface. If they rest their head against their hand, follow their lead. If they laugh, laugh with them. All of this will contribute to the "chameleon effect" which improves your chances of getting along with someone in a short space of time.
5. Initiate physical contact
What this means: give them a friendly touch on the arm when congratulating/consoling them. What this does not mean: stroking their face within four minutes of meeting them. Seriously, though, there's a fine line with physical contact, and any overstepping of it will be immediately noticed. A friendly handshake is a good start to a formal introduction, and a brief hug will work for anything casual. Ultimately, you know what you would personally find comfortable, so do not cross that boundary with others.
6. Compliment other people...
Human beings judge one another at face value a lot of the time, which may be seen as a rather shallow way to live - but it's actually a pretty good survival technique. We don't want to involve ourselves with people who turn out to be dangerous or negative, so we observe how they act around others. For this reason, showing you're a good-natured person by complimenting others (perhaps a mutual friend or co-worker) will indicate that you are a desirable companion to have.
7. But avoid complimenting them too much
Even if you're being genuine, over-complimenting someone can be taken as a sign that you are lying, or buttering a person up in order to get something you want. Be sparing with your compliments; give enough to show that you like the individual and want to win their favour, but not so many that they think you're some weirdo who's obsessed with their hair/clothes/accent.
This may seem incredibly basic, but it's so important to do! Earlier, we mentioned mirroring, which is as much of a natural phenomenon as it is a deliberate effort you can make. So, if you smile when talking to someone, they will most likely smile in return. This will strengthen the connection between the pair of you faster than it would do if you just sat there looking miserable.
9. Share a secret
You know who loves secrets? Everyone. Secrets make us feel trusted and special. More than that, though, they make us feel like we have a bond with another person - something that no other person is privy to. So, if you're trying to hit it off with someone new, tell them about that time you accidentally broke your neighbour's window by kicking a football through it, or how you once stole a slice of birthday cake and then managed to blame it on the dog. Trust me, they'll love it.
10. Let them talk about themselves
But enough about you - what about them? Human beings are incredibly self-indulgent creatures, and we just love to tell other people about all sorts of aspects of our lives, no matter how dull. Let them lead the conversation when you can get away with it - they'll start to like you without even realising.
So, next time you're in a tight spot and not sure how to start up a conversation with someone you've been itching to talk to, keep these ten tips in mind. You never know, they might just help you cement the foundations of one of the most important relationships of your life.