Let’s be real. “Be true to yourself” is a nice slogan, but in the real world there comes a time when we need people to like us. It’s only human nature to want people to like you. The problem is that no one actually taught you how to make people like you.
I will show you how to make people like you.
But remember the first line? We are being real.
This is going to require an immense amount of work by you.
If you’re not willing to put the work in, close the browser and stop reading.
This isn’t stuff I made up. These are principles I’ve applied in the real world and that are backed by science. Part 1 contains the science behind the recommendations. Part 2 is the nuts and bolts application of the scientific principles.
Don’t just read this post. Bookmark it.
Read it and study it and apply and practice everything I’m about to show you.
If you don’t like social science or technical jargon, scroll down out the second half of the article to the section titled, The 4 Specific Ways to Make People Like You. Otherwise, read on.
The most concise research paper I’ve been able to find provides a simple – well, four simple – ways to become more likable. See Why Are Narcissists so Charming at First Sight? Decoding the Narcissism–Popularity Link at Zero Acquaintance. (You can read the full paper here.)
“Zero acquaintance” means that researchers showed a picture to some people and then asked those people to make guesses about personality. The test subjects didn’t get to meet the person in the photograph.
It shows what we’ve already known about women (and people in general), but it actually contains actionable advice once you decode it.
Acting like a narcissist will make people like you.
Wait a second! Narcissists are evil, aren’t they!?
Maybe so, if you haven’t gone beyond good and evil.
You can be a McDork who seethes with envy because you can’t believe she is with that guy . Or you can make people like you. The choice, as always, is yours.
People are drawn to narcissists like bears to honey.
Is the sweetness worth the sting? Yes, it is. The findings are clear on two points.
- People can identify narcissists.
- People are still drawn to narcissists.
1. People are darned good at spotting narcissists.
Yes, stereotypes are true. Trust your gut. If someone looks like a narcissist to you, he probably is. “Recent findings also show that narcissism is detectable at zero acquaintance. Observers thus seem to like narcissists at first sight, although they accurately perceive their narcissism.”
Look at a picture of Jordan Belfort. You’ve never met him (i.e., you’re at “zero acquaintance”). Yet you can tell he’s a narcissist even if you hadn’t seen the Wolf of Wall Street.
All you need to do is look at a picture. “Specifically for narcissism, researchers have shown that observers are able to judge targets’ narcissism on the basis of full-body photographs.”
In fact, more information does not usually prove your guts wrong. “These findings parallel research on the accuracy of personality judgments based on thin slices of the targets’ behaviors and physical appearances. In many cases, the accuracy of snap judgments only increases slightly when based on more information.”
2. People love narcissists.
Since you can look at picture and tell if someone is a narcissist, then you’re going to hate the person. Right? Nope. That’s exactly wrong. In fact, “Narcissists indeed make a positive impression on strangers.”
It gets more interesting, as researchers found that, “the aspects of narcissism that are most maladaptive in the long run (exploitativeness/entitlement) proved to be most attractive at zero acquaintance.” Read that again.
Until you finally get it.
“The aspects of narcissism that are most maladaptive in the long run proved to be most attractive.”
Now let’s get to the good stuff. How can YOU become more liked?
The researchers found that, “an examination of observable verbal and nonverbal behaviors as well as aspects of physical appearance provided an explanation for why narcissists are more popular at first sight.”
The 4 Specific Ways to Make People Like You
The study showed that, “Narcissism was related to fancier clothing, a more charming facial expression, more self-assured body movements, and more verbal humor, all of which led to popularity.”
Yes, this is going to take some work on your appearance. You are worth it!
1. Wear fancier clothing.
Yes, fashion matters. You can’t wear baggy jeans – called dad jeans for a reason – and expect women or other men to like and respect you.
2. Use more charming facial expressions.
Learn how to furrow your eye brows. Make goofy faces to crack little kids up. It’s the best practice you’ll ever get, as children are honest. If they don’t laugh, you’re not funny. “Wine and children speak the truth.”
Eye contact is huge. Use your eyes when playing with your kids or nieces and nephews. Learn how to shut a little kid down with a look. (We all remember that look, right? Master it.)
Read this book on body language to understand how to read and make your own facial cues. The Body Language book is great to keep on your coffee table or desk and skim.
When you’re reading to go deep into the subject, check out: “Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life.”
Watching Mad Men is a rare time when television isn’t for losers. Look at Don Draper’s facial expressions and his deadpan humor. Study him like a cultural anthropologist would study a tribal leader.
3. Use alpha body language and make self-assured body movements.
How can you develop self-assured body movement? I cover that in, “Move and Live With Purpose.”
Perform these body language exercises daily, as part of your morning routine.
Watch this TED talk on how to use alpha body language. (Bonus: Using alpha male body language can naturally raise your testosterone level.)
Space is status.
If you’re a big man with dense muscles, your body language will naturally be more alpha. Don’t skip back day, as getting a big back is the single best way to have natural alpha male body language.
Would you sneak up behind this man?
4. Use verbal humor.
Watch these three videos of Arnold on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carlson Notice how he uses humor to diffuse hostile situations. Study them.
There is no better source of how to use verbal humor as an alpha male than to watch Arnold videos. There are dozens of them on YouTube. Watch them all.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Women Can Weightlift to Get Fit, Part 1 Johnny Carson
Arnold Schwarzenegger Make Exercise & Goal Setting Part of Life, Part 2 of 3, Johnny Carson
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Exercise 20 Minutes per Day, Part 3 of 3, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show
Apply those 4 Principles and People Will Love You Even When They Know They Shouldn’t
Yes, actually apply the principles. Read the sources I cited. Watch the videos.
Don’t just nod your head in agreement and say, “Cool article, bro, I totally agree with everything you wrote.”
Step 1. Bookmark this post. Refer to it often.
Step 2. Choose an area you are lacking in.
Step 3. Focus on that area.
Step 4. Get a mirror and practice making facial expressions in front of the mirror. Practice your body language poses in front of the mirror.
Step 5. Share your successes and struggles. If you find a great video that demonstrates one of those concepts, post a link to it or a screen cap.