How To Get Someone to Like You

I thought this was going to be one of the shortest articles I've written. How do you get people to like you? The answer is: People like you for liking them. SIMPLE. End of article. But then again, anything that simple has got to have some complex ideas holding it up. It's like the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The hall is considered a masterpiece by architectural critics who look at pictures and sip wine all day. The building is covered in stainless steel sheets. It looks simple and clean but that building was a bitch to build. Same with your conversation. There's a lot going on under the skin to make a simple statement such as, "I like you," work.

People take convincing. They pop out of the womb shaking their head and carrying a bullshit meter.

Walk up and say hello. Their needle flips to red. The alarm goes off: CLANG CLANG CLANG. Security robots scoot out secret doors. People point guns at your head and call you "Kenneth".

Ever get 'that look' from a stranger? I know I have. It's says, "Yeeeeaaaaahhhhhhh….." The back turn follows. 'Shit,' you think. 'I'm just not being believed here. This person sees right through my flimsy excuse for conversation.' An existential crisis is soon to follow.

We don't want that.

Its easy to act as if you like someone. Just recite the words. The hard part is getting them to believe you. "Sincerity - if you can fake that, you've got it made." - George Burns

Yep, sincerity takes skill. Fortunately I'm about to help you with that.

There are four main channels of interpersonal communication.

* Content of your words * Tonality * Facial expression * Body movement

You appear more sincere when you make all four channels harmonize. Think of them as instruments in an orchestra. If the tuba is playing the Nutcracker Suite and the piano is playing The Flight of the BumbleBee, you have a problem.

"I like your dog," you say. "He seems to express lots of personality." You deliver these words with a flat tone and a tentative facial expression.

The dog's owner squints her eyes. "Thanks, I think." She feels skeptical about your intent. She feels confused as to what you really think. She wonders if you're digging for irony and just really saying the dog's boring and she, the owner, should be banished for having questionable taste in canines. Who knows? It's a mystery. The clues as to your intent are jumbled.

But now imagine taking control of your orchestra, pick up that baton and get your instruments playing the same music at the same time. Imagine making your tonality dance over your words - to match your positive message. Imagine smiling as you talk and moving in as you speak just slightly to show you're into what you're talking about.

"Actually," you say, "I want to get a cocker spaniel puppy one day. I want to train him to wear googles and ride in a sidecar attached to my motorcycle. Perhaps he'll wear a scarf too."

She smiles. "That'd get you some attention."

"Yeah it would. I like your smile by the way. You have nice teeth."

Harmonize your communication - look, feel and sound as if you believe your words. Do that and people will believe you. Then you can convince them that you like them and they will like you and the Universe will be happy.


"I like talking with you. I hope I get a chance to do that again soon."

"Sure. Let's hang out. Take my number. Come to my party. Tickle my cat. Mi casa es su casa."

Simple words of appreciation are effective when they're believed. The Disney Concert Hall is a good place for a date by the way. And you can make anyone like you by liking them.