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15 Optimal Ways to Make People Like You (Backed by Science)

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15 Optimal Ways to Make People Like You (Backed by Science)

From lovesick teenagers to salespeople – we have all questioned how we can better appeal to others. The truth is much grittier: you can’t make people like you. Thankfully, that realization isn’t the be all end all. Simply you have to make yourself likable. Working on the 15 traits below can help you win over more people and many can be applied in both personal and professional life. Below are 15 ways in which popular people improve their chances of being liked:

1. Understand the need for a good P.R.

Personal life: Ever notice how celebrities are able to spin a bad situation to their favor? This is not as difficult as you think. Never again say that you – including your talents or business – are not likable. This applies to others as well: avoid saying anything negative about yourself or others whenever possible. Remember the Golden Rule: if you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all.

Professional life: Apply this in business when discussing your competitors. Instead of focusing on what they might lack, highlight how you blow everyone out of the water through quality products or services and not just lip service.

2. Remain positive.

Personal life: Who doesn’t like the hopeful optimist? As negativity through mean words, glares and bad moods is not exactly inviting for people to reach out and get to know you, try to maintain a positive attitude whenever possible.

Professional life: When an inevitable business crisis arises, trust that you will be able to get out of it successfully. That includes preparation through getting insurance, establishing strong networks and a solid reputation so that your customers will trust you despite any disasters.

3. Be interested in others.

Personal life: To be likable, be interested in other people. When you meet new people, ask them pleasant questions about themselves, such as where they were born, questions about their family or pets, and their interests or hobbies. Actually listen. Repeat interesting statements; look them in the eyes (except in Japan where eye contact can be perceived as hostile) and keep asking questions about them. Let them ask questions about you.

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Professional life: Make sure to listen to your clients. Know what they like and how they think you can improve your business. Do this through regular surveys and asking them straight up whenever you’re able to meet with them – face-to-face, on the phone or elsewhere.

4. Make friends with the locals.

Personal life: This advice is rather a double entendre, as locals or villagers are often stigmatized as strange, but proverbial or not, whenever possible and gauging their interest, take advantage of who you are standing in a long queue with or sitting close by. Make people close in proximity know that you are aware of their existence.

Professional life: You can use this for business dealings too – reach out to those in your field whenever possible. Perhaps a new partnership could form.

5. Understand the meaning of “It takes a village …”

Personal life: Place tremendous importance on social, economic and overall security by making volunteer work a high priority. Community support makes you feel good, reminds you to appreciate your current success, and provides new networks to rely upon.

Professional life: Understand that networking is key. Regularly attend conferences in your business field to meet key players. Approach them, ask honest business questions and for their contact information. Follow up with a call and/or email. So long as you can mutually benefit from this relationship, don’t feel as if you’re a burden.

6. Be generous.

Personal life: Most of us love those who make the lives of others easier. Be that person.

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Professional life: When running a reputable and successful business, carve out days for you and your employees to give back through holding volunteer events and/or donating to charities.

7. Treat others with respect.

Personal life: Positive regard towards others is important – and that includes keeping an open mind and curiosity about another’s cultural background, interests and choices – even when they differ from your own.

Professional life: Remaining civil to your competitors makes you look secure and smart to existing and potential customers – and even your rivals!

8. Don’t support chaos.

Personal life: Remain peaceful whenever possible as violence is often the quickest way to get others to avoid you.

Professional life: When you consistently prove to not engage in low-blow acts towards those your competing against, your reputation for honesty will be admired by all. Contrary to reality TV – messiness is not cute.

9. Prioritize health.

Personal life: To feel at your best, look healthier and remain happy, exercise, get optimal sleep, worry less, drink lots of water and avoid food additives, such as the trans fats which are mostly found in cheap, fried food items for a healthy life expectancy. After all, how can you appeal to others if you’re not fully functioning?

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Professional life: Run a clean business through regularly refusing ideas and concepts that slow down your efficiency, quality and mission.

10. Understand the need to smile.

Personal life: Smiling helps you – studies show that smiling tricks your brain into becoming happier. Besides others enjoy it and you can often tell when others are smiling. Ask a friend to smile the next time they speak to you over the phone, and notice the difference.

Professional life: Plenty of sales jobs require their teams to smile while making calls.

11. Remain clean.

Personal life: When you look clean, neat, and have good hygiene, people are more likely to remain around you. Make sure your hair is combed and if straightened make sure there are no lumps. This is also the same when keeping a clean reputation.

Professional life: Run a clean business by staying as transparent as possible.

12. Have a sense of style.

Personal life: Having a great, distinct fashion sense that includes not looking too flashy avoids the appearance of looking like you are seeking attention. Don’t be too dull or people will not know that you exist.

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Professional life: Be unique so that your clientele seeks you out, but refrain from tackiness through constant customer feedback.

13. Perfect a great demeanor.

Personal life: Avoid looking nervous. Rather, remain calm and control your emotions whenever possible. If you act awkward and nervous people will pick that up and may feel uncomfortable.

Professional life: Whenever possible, remain transparent with business dealings so that customers can rely on you. This shows confidence, which helps to gain the trust of the public.

14. Appear friendly.

Personal life: Avoid having expressional stares as they can create bad vibes. If someone looks your way, give a warm smile – but not too warm as to avoid looking crazy!

Professional life: Build and maintain a relatable, easy-to-recall brand.

15. Avoid looking desperate.

Personal life: Studies suggest that 25% of people will never like you, 25% will remain indifferent, 25% will not like you, but you can encourage a new perspective on yourself, while the remaining 25% will like you as is. Avoid the first category as there is often little to change them and focus on the other three groups.

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Professional life: Remain happy with your existing customers while focusing on potential clients that you can positively affect through established services and/or products and brand reputation, while understanding that you will not be able to reach everyone, despite your amazing work!

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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