6 ways to make others like us
According to Jack Shaffer, a professor of psychology and FBI agent with many years of experience, there is a golden rule to attract others. It sounds pretty simple: “Make your interlocutors like themselves.” Seems hard to achieve? Here are 6 wonderful pieces of advice Jack has applied both at work and in a private relationship.
Make a mistake
When Jack starts delivering a lecture to new students, he makes a seemingly unintentional mistake while pronouncing some words and lets students correct it. “I pretend to be confused, thank them for attentiveness, and correct the mistake.”
This method helps him to achieve three goals. First, when students correct a teacher’s mistake, it allows them to feel more confident. Second, they start communicating with their mentor more freely. Third, they allow themselves to make mistakes because if a more experienced person mistakes, they can mistake, too.
You can apply this method to attract any person. Make mistakes, show you are not ideal, let other people correct you. And they will find you appealing. Remember that exactly mistakes make us more tolerant of ourselves and others.
Do not forget to sympathize
Every person finds it very appealing when others listen to him/her carefully and share their emotions. Of course, if your boss starts telling what a difficult day he’s had, you do not need to groan: “Oh, what a nightmare, you poor little thing!” You can simply say something ordinary like: “Yes, you really had a hard day today. May happen to everybody!”
If a colleague tells that he has managed to cope with a difficult issue, why not sum it up like this: “It seems you are doing pretty well today! It is wonderful!”
Attention! Take care not to overplay here. We need to convince an interlocutor that we share their feelings and understand them. While trying to support a person, you shouldn’t repeat all his/her words exactly. Such repetitions seem unnatural, and people are likely to turn on their defensive mechanisms.
Talk with people about themselves
We are too occupied with our own affairs and too rarely really interested in people we meet. But in order to awaken their interest, we need to be sincerely interested in them.
How many people do you have who are ready to talk with you exactly about your problems, not theirs? What do you feel when you meet with a friend and just sit silently, listening to his/her problems and making occasional comments on this or that thing? Most probably, you think that a friend just needs your sympathetic ear and feel frustrated because nobody cares about your problems. If, on the contrary, your interlocutor gives more or all attention to your life, you feel that he/she really cares for you. That is why we find appealing those people who talk with us about us.
Of course, this art is not that simple to master since people are rather self-absorbed and egotistic creatures. But, at the same time, this point is an exact reason why we value this ability in others, and it is why this method (talking with people about themselves) is highly effective in the process of winning somebody’s affection. Once you master it and start applying it to every sphere of your life, including personal and professional, you will learn to engage and stay in successful relationships.
As Dale Carnegie mentioned, you will get more friends in two months if you show a sincere interest in them than in two years’ trying to seem interesting to them.
Moreover, according to researches, when people are talking about themselves, their brain satisfaction centers are activated in the same way when they get satisfaction from tasty food or money.
That is why in order to win people’s affection, it is important to talk with them about their life. Ask questions about their families, biography, children, opinions on various topics, and they will be grateful to you, sometimes even subconsciously.
Make another person praise themselves
There is a thin boundary between an ordinary compliment and flattery, that is why it is better to make interlocutors praise themselves. For example, somebody is telling you the following: “I worked day and night to finish this project.” Then you may say: “Yes, one needs great will power to do that.” Most likely, a person will answer something like this: “Yes, I had to do my best to finish it on time. I’ve done a great job. That’s it.”
Pay an indirect compliment
Sometimes, direct compliments sound too annoying. The majority of people are not ready to accept them or feel somewhat uncomfortable about them. In such cases, it is much better to use indirect compliments.
Imagine you want to ask your accountant Jane for a favor and add such a phrase: “By the way, Jane, the boss believes you are the most diligent person in our team.”
Of course, you may praise not only professional but personal traits, too. Like: “Jane, the boss is constantly praising the salad you’ve prepared for our last party.”
Ask for a favor
Make use of Benjamin Franklin’s effect. Once he said: “A person who’s done you a favor once, is more likely to eagerly help you again than the person you’ve done a favor yourself.” A person doing another one a favor experiences a boost of self-esteem. So, if you want somebody to like you, it is better not to do that person a favor but ask for a favor yourself.
Sure, do not ask for too many favors. As Franklin mentioned, “Guests are like fish. They start smelling badly on the third day.” The same can be said about people who are asking for help too often.
To sum up
The ability to make a person praise themselves is really an art. Practice it, make other people feel satisfied with themselves, and they will definitely like you. Even if it is subconscious affection at first, later on, it will manifest itself in warm friendship, firm partnership, or even romantic relationship.
For sure, all these points do not spur us to become double-faced. No. They can help us to build meaningful connections with others and contribute to our happy and peaceful life.