1. Don’t Put People Down. Not Even Yourself.
With everything going on in the world today, it can be hard to find people who are not only positive but trustworthy as well. Nobody likes to be blatantly put down, of course, but even a tendency to gossip about others is often perceived in a less than flattering light. Even if the object of your negativity never finds out about your scorn, you're still showing everyone listening that you're the kind of person who likes to talk about others behind their backs. After all, if you're willing to put down someone who isn't around, what's to stop you from doing the same to them the next time they're out of the room?
Don't let the positive vibes stop flowing when it comes to others however, and always make sure not to put be too self-condescending. Though a humble person is lovely, someone who is constantly hard on themselves is likely to convince others to do the same.
2. Learn People’s Names and Use Them
Research shows that people feel validated when others use their names, not only to greet them, but to refer to them during the course of a conversation as well. As simple as it may seem, remembering someone's name is a sign that you took the time to notice them and that they aren't just another face in the crowd.
3. Keep It Genuine
As easy as this one sounds, it can be among the most difficult to pull off for many people, especially in an unfamiliar crowd. This can be due to anything from a tendency to revert to mannerisms that we were taught were "polite" to a conscious effort to try and present an image that we think someone else wants to see. This is not to say that you're going to be more likable if you're flat out rude to someone you meet at your husband's Christmas party, just that you're less likely to come across as fake if you simply relax and be yourself. For instance, try talking to someone in the same voice that you'd use with a good friend rather than the "polite voice" you tend to put on with authority figures and you'll soon discover that the more at ease you appear, the more comfortable you'll naturally make everyone around you.
4. Stay Conscious of Your Body Language
Research reveals that as hard as we try to make people like us, most people actually decide whether they do or not within the first 7 seconds of meeting us. Though this may sound terrifying, think of it more as reassurance that a great first impression goes a long way. When it comes to what exactly a killer first intro entails, a great deal of it has to do with body language, so make sure and stay conscious of your own while attempting to make new friends.
Things as simple as keeping your arms uncrossed, smiling, speaking in an enthusiastic and reassuring tone, making eye contact, and leaning in towards someone while they're talking are all great ways to communicate friendliness.
5. Know That Listening Respectfully To Someone’s Opinion In No Way Obligates You To Agree With It
You know that few months before every election when your social media feed suddenly starts to look like the Hunger Games? That's where this bad boy comes in. Though it's a good idea to try to avoid engaging in arguments over things like politics or religion in general, at some point in your life you're likely to come into contact with someone who disagrees with you on something fairly substantial. The secret? That's okay.
At the end of the day, listening politely to someone's argument or opinion doesn't mean that you have to either agree with them or attempt to change their views. Instead, just say things like "that's an interesting way to look at it" or "I'd never thought of it like that before." This will not only avoid an argument but will make them more likely to listen respectfully to your views if you feel like offering them in return.
6. Ask Thoughtful Questions
If you're ever at a loss for something to talk about with someone, rest assured that the one thing almost everyone loves discussing is themselves. Not only is asking about someone and the things they love always a great conversation starter, asking follow-up questions throughout the conversation is a great way to make them feel special. Not only does it offer them reassurance that you're genuinely listening to what they have to say, it also shows them that you're interested.
7. Utilize The Power of Appropriate Touch
"Appropriate" being the keyword here, this one isn't a license to go out and get all handsy with the nearest cute dude at the bar. It goes back to a chemical called oxytocin that's released in our brains each time we make physical contact with another person. This can come in the form of anything from a handshake to a hug, or even just a friendly touch on the shoulder. By utilizing the occasional appropriate touch or gesture, you can actually make people feel more trusting and at ease with you.