We Want People to Like Us

Everyone wants to be liked. It’s a natural human desire. We want to have meaningful connections with others. Some might say, we need meaningful connections with others. After all, without them, we probably wouldn’t have fallen in love and gotten married.

We probably wouldn’t have found that best friend who understands us inside and out. But it goes beyond the few people in our circle that we share our lives with. If we want to be in good favor with our boss; if we want to form solid relationships with our business partners; if we want to have a thriving business, we need to be likable.

In his book, “How to Make Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie lists 6 ways to make people like you.

1.) Become genuinely interested in other people.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Just study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known.

The Dog

He’s often referred to as “man’s best friend.” And in fact, he’s so successful that he is about the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living. He is provided a home, food, and love without having to do any work. Cows provide milk, chickens lay eggs but a dog offers something special.

He offers love! A dog will wag his tail excitedly when you come within ten feet from him. If you stop to pet him, he will want to slobber you with kisses to tell you how much he likes you. When you return home from work, he will run to greet you, leaping in joy. He will want to be around you always, never getting enough of you.

And behind all of this show of affection, there are no ulterior motives. He doesn’t want to sell you anything. He just wants to be your friend. Likewise, if you want success in your career, business, and relationships, you must have a genuine interest in other people.

2.) Smile.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” Kind of blunt but there is much truth to this statement. A smile lets a person know that you’re happy to see them. A smile is welcoming, contagious, and powerful; so powerful that companies encourage their employees to smile even while speaking on the telephone, due to the fact that your “smile” comes through in your voice. So, don’t be stingy with your smile.

Smile at your children. Smile at your spouse. Smile at your neighbor, your co-worker, the stranger walking by, etc. Don’t feel like smiling? Do it anyway and watch how it changes your day and your relationships.

3.) Remember their name.

The average person is more interested in their own name than all the other names on earth combined. Ever heard someone say, “People are going to know my name”? It’s a common deep desire that some people will go to great lengths to achieve. A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Remember it and call it easily and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment.

If you forget a person’s name or misspell it, you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage. Half the time when we meet a stranger, we can’t even remember their name by the time we say goodbye. We can change that by repeating their name after them and again several other times during the conversation. If it’s an unusual name, we can even ask how it’s spelled. Associating their name with a particular image is also often helpful.

Remembering names and making people feel important is one of the simplest and most important ways of gaining goodwill.

4.) Be a good listener.

If you want to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. Ask questions that they’ll enjoy answering and encourage them to talk about themselves. And most importantly, be interested! Have you ever spoken to someone whose eyes were everywhere else but on you? They asked you a question and didn’t look the least bit interested in hearing your answer? Their mouth might not have been speaking but their eyes and body language spoke volumes.

Some people even believe that they need to appear “busy” in order to look important and make people like them. This will do anything but make someone feel special. If you want to be a good listener, give that person your full attention. Look them in the eyes, sit on the end of your spine, share in their emotion, and listen with your mind. This kind of listening is the highest compliment we can pay someone.

5.) Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things they treasure most. A person can talk for hours about something they’re passionate about. Therefore, if you want someone to enjoy conversing with you, find out what interests them and what they enjoy talking about.

6.) Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

The deepest craving in human nature is the desire to feel important. We don’t care for cheap, insincere flattery, but we crave sincere appreciation. Almost all the people you meet feel superior to you in some way. A sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance.

By giving out sincere compliments, you will brighten up a person’s day and give them a sense of confidence. But don’t belittle someone who makes an honest mistake. It will cause them to feel undervalued and disrespected. Little phrases such as “I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind as to—” “Won’t you please?” “Would you mind?” “Thank you” are the hallmark of good breeding and go a long way. Basically, it all boils down to this: Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Following these six rules will not only help you make friends but will help you grow meaningful relationships and good rapport with everyone you meet.


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