Most of time, when we have a big event coming up where we’ll be meeting important people, whether they’re our significant other’s family or new business connections, we start to think about what we can do to leave a great impression. These ideas are usually along the lines of what outfit we should wear (what do these boots really say about me?) or how we’re going to introduce ourselves (got that elevator pitch memorized?) but all of these details are completely irrelevant, if we overlook one small thing.
And that’s the one proven method that will make anyone like you. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with how you look, what you wear, what your job is, or how much money is in your bank account.
Ready to learn what to do to make anyone like you?
Remembering people’s names
Everyone loves it when the person they’re talking to remembers their name. You’ll want to take it a step further and say their name out loud and often. Repeat it right after an introduction. If someone says, “Hi, my name is Danielle,” don’t just say, “Nice to meet you” like we’re conditioned to, take the extra time to say, “Nice to meet you, Danielle.” Try to work their name in again at least once during the conversation. Use it again, a third time, when saying your goodbyes.
In Dale Carnegie’s classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie claims that one’s own name is the sweetest sound to most of us. You might even say it’s music to our ears.
Studies show that when we hear things we like, our brain releases dopamine, a natural mood enhancer. This is why music has such an impact on people. So by repeating a person’ s name to them a few times, you’re not just proving that you care enough to remember it, you’re also causing them to feel a little better.
Maya Angelou once said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Isn’t it crazy that you can start to achieve that by the simple act of remembering someone’s name?
But just a minute – what if you don’t want people to just like you, you want them to LOVE you? Well, there’s a method for that, too!
It’s as simple as letting people know that you care. Ask them questions about themselves. Don’t just ask someone, “How’s it going?” and then walk away without listening to the answer. Ask how their day was and, when they answer, listen. Don’t spend the time during their response thinking about what you’re going to say back or what you can tell them next about yourself. Really be interested in what they have to say.
Doing this will set you so far apart from every other random Joe they meet who asks the standard “How’s it going?” and “How have you been?”
We’ve all been in that situation: someone asks you how you are and you start to reply and then you notice they’re just nodding their head along in order to appear like they’re listening, while their eyes start to glaze over. What’s even better (well, okay, worse) is when you’re in the middle of a story and they start to check their phone and let loose some “Uh huh”s every few seconds, assuming you’ll never catch on to the fact that they’re not taking in a single thing you’re saying. They might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says “I’d rather be on Facebook.”
You do not want to be this person. I repeat: You do NOT want to be this person, for a couple of reasons.
First of all, it feels gross to be a phony. Listening to someone talk on and on about themselves when you don’t care at all is no fun. Having to fake interest in what they’re saying when you’d rather be anywhere else besides in that conversation is just the worst.
Second, people can tell when you’re really not interested in what they’re saying. They might continue the conversation because that’s the polite thing to do, but trust me, they know. Just like you know. All of us, we always know. This could in fact, make the person you’re trying to impress actually dislike you, which is the exact opposite of what you’re aiming for.
The solution: actually care. Be interested. Open your mind. Get excited about learning about different types of people. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what kinds of friendships and connections you can make.
Featured photo credit: make anyone like you via picjumbo.com