Research-backed Ways to Become More Likable

There has been a lot said about how to get more people to like you and how to attract people to yourself. Psychologists and other human behavior researchers have been exploring a lot of these suggestions. By testing out various theories and running experimental tests, they have suggested a number of simple ways to get more people to like you. These simple changes could be game changers in your new and existing personal relationships. Even in the work context, the importance of emotional intelligence over and above intellectual intelligence has been the subject of much discussion. Here are three ways to increase your likeability factor according to science.



First Impressions Matter

We have always heard that first impressions matter, and they certainly do if you are trying to be more likable. In the first few seconds of meeting someone new, there is an opportunity to leave them with a positive impression of us. This is something simple that you can practice with your face.

While this might not sound ground-breaking, research by renown body language doctor, Dr. Donna Van Natten takes this deeper. According to Dr. Van Natten, it takes as little as a 10th of a second for someone to judge someone they meet. Their perception of you can easily become negative in the first 2 seconds on your interaction.

The doctor has some important tips on how to create an immediate positive impression. The teeth and the eyes play a crucial role in that. When people meet, there is an immediate search for eye contact because this allows them to try to read the other person. It is also a sign of trust. Many people come from backgrounds and cultures where eye contact is not commonplace; they may need to work harder to master this technique. When it comes to the teeth, showing teeth and smiling is a universal signal of friendliness. Smiles are often contagious and can lighten up a tense or uncertain situation. Smiling is something we can all practice more often to become instantly more likable.

Speak Well of Other People

There is something about people who always see the good in others. In a very interesting study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers at Purdue University found that people who say a lot of positive statements about others tend to be seen in a more positive light.

It was found that people were remembered by others by the kind of comments they made of other people, whether positive or negative. For example, if you were to tell a stranger that so and so is dishonest, the stranger is more likely to associate dishonesty with you when they think of you later. On the other hand, it was found that people who described others as being funny or intelligent were themselves later remembered by their listeners as funny or intelligent. This study shows the power of creating a positive perception and mental image by the words that we speak. It is important to choose our words carefully.

Stay Curious

One of the big temptations when we are trying to be more likable is to talk about ourselves and share interesting pieces of information. While there may be some perks to doing this, numerous studies are indicating that people are more drawn to people who are interested than those who are interesting.

Being genuinely interested in others and asking interesting questions is a secret to becoming more likable. George Mason University psychologist Todd Kashdan is the author of the book Curious? He has conducted studies that show just that. He described showing interest as a “secret juice” not just for building but also for maintaining relationships.

Editor's Picks

reset password

Back to
log in