How to Make Someone Like You

Are you finding it hard to find friends and to keep them? Try these known ways to get someone to pay attention.


“Mimic the behavior of the individual you’re currently with.”

This approach, known as mirroring, involves subtly imitating another person’s behavior. When communicating with someone, attempt to replicate their body language, gestures, and facial expressions.

In 1999, researchers at New York University observed the “chameleon effect,” where individuals imitate each other’s actions without realizing it. This imitation leads to a sense of affinity or liking between the individuals.

Researchers had 72 men and women complete a task with a partner. The partners working for the researchers either replicated the participants’ behavior or did not, while the interactions were recorded on video.

After the interaction, the researchers asked the participants to rate how much they enjoyed being with their partners.

Indeed, individuals were more inclined to express a positive attitude towards their partner if their partner had been imitating their actions.

Spend a more significant amount of time with the individuals you wish to become friends with.

As indicated by the mere exposure effect, individuals tend to develop a preference for people they are already acquainted with.

In a specific instance of this occurrence, psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh utilized four women to act as students in a psychology class on campus. Each woman attended class a varying number of times.

When researchers displayed images of four women to male students, the men showed a stronger preference for the women they had seen frequently in class, despite not having any prior interaction with them.

  1. Compliment other people

How you describe others with adjectives will reflect on your personality, known as spontaneous trait transference.

A research study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that this phenomenon still occurred, even when individuals were aware that specific characteristics did not accurately describe the individuals who were discussing them.

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, believes that speaking about others can impact how others perceive you.

When you portray someone as authentic and kind, others will also view you in that light. Conversely, if you consistently speak poorly of others, your peers may begin to link those negative traits with you.

  1. Try to display positive emotions.

Emotional contagion refers to when the emotions of others significantly impact individuals. A study conducted by Ohio University and the University of Hawaii found that people can subconsciously pick up on the emotions of those in their vicinity.

The document’s writers suggest that this could be because we instinctively copy the actions and expressions of others, leading us to experience similar feelings.

If you aim to bring joy to others in your presence, strive to express positive emotions.

  1. Be warm and competent.

Princeton University psychologists and their peers introduced the stereotype content model. This model suggests that individuals assess others by considering their levels of warmth and competence.

The model suggests that others are more likely to trust you if you present yourself as welcoming and approachable rather than competitive.

If you appear capable, such as having a high economic or educational background, people are more likely to show respect towards you.

According to Amy Cuddy, a psychologist at Harvard, it is crucial to first show warmth and then show competence, especially in a business environment.

In her book “Presence,” Cuddy states that, in terms of evolution, it is more important for our survival to determine if someone deserves our trust.


  1. Reveal your flaws from time to time.

The pratfall effect suggests that making a mistake can make people like you more, as long as they see you as competent. Showing your imperfections can make you appear more relatable and approachable to those around you.

Researcher Elliot Aronson from the University of Texas, Austin, initially identified this occurrence while examining the impact of minor errors on perceived attractiveness.

He requested that male students from the University of Minnesota listen to audio recordings of people taking a quiz.

If individuals performed well on the quiz but accidentally spilled coffee during the interview, they were perceived as more likable by the students compared to those who did well on the quiz without spilling coffee or did poorly on the quiz and spilled coffee.

  1. Emphasise shared values

A well-known study by Theodore Newcomb found that individuals tend to be more drawn to others who share similarities, known as the similarity-attraction effect.

In his study, Newcomb assessed participants’ opinions on sensitive subjects like sex and politics before having them reside together in a house owned by the University of Michigan.

After their time together, the participants strongly preferred their roommates if they shared similar views on the assessed topics.

A recent study by researchers from the University of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis revealed that Air Force recruits tended to have a stronger bond with each other if they shared similar negative personality traits rather than positive ones.

  1. Casually touch them

Subliminal touching involves subtly touching someone in a way that they may not even realize. For instance, lightly tapping someone’s back or gently touching their arm can create a sense of warmth and connection towards you.

In a study conducted in France, young men approached women on the street and conversed with them. The study found that the men were twice as successful in initiating a conversation when they gently touched the woman’s arms while talking to them, as opposed to not touching them at all.

An experiment conducted at the University of Mississippi and Rhodes College examined the impact of physical touch between waitresses and customers on the amount of tips received at restaurants. During the study, waitresses lightly touched customers on the hand or shoulder while handing back their change.

It was found that waitresses who made physical contact with customers received much bigger tips than those who did not.

  1. Smile

In a study conducted at the University of Wyoming, around 100 female undergraduate students were shown photographs of a woman in four different poses: smiling with an open body posture, smiling with a closed body posture, not smiling with an open body posture, and not smiling with a closed body posture.

The findings indicated that the woman in the photograph was most popular when she was smiling, regardless of her posture.

Researchers at Stanford University and the University of Duisburg-Essen discovered that students had a more positive perception of their interaction when communicating through avatars if the avatars had bigger smiles.

Bonus: A different research study indicates that starting by smiling when you meet someone can increase the likelihood of them remembering you.

Observe others the way they want to be perceived.

Individuals desire to be seen in a manner that is consistent with their self-perception. This concept is explained by self-verification theory, where people look for validation of their beliefs, whether they are positive or negative.

In a series of research studies conducted at Stanford University and the University of Arizona, individuals were asked if they preferred to interact with others who held positive or negative opinions of them based on their own self-perceptions.

Individuals with positive self-perceptions tend to gravitate towards individuals who hold them in high regard. In contrast, those with negative self-perceptions are more inclined to seek out individuals who provide critical feedback. This behavior may stem from the human tendency to prefer interacting with individuals who reinforce their existing self-perceptions.

Further studies indicate that when individuals share similar beliefs about us, our interactions with them tend to be more harmonious. This is probably because we feel acknowledged, a vital aspect of creating intimacy in relationships.


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