How to Make People Like You

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Your Scenario: You have six months to complete a big project. You're leading a team of five. They all hate you, your mama, and your mama's mama. You've had bad encounters with all of 'em at a "How-to-make-$1-billion-in-2-days" conference two days ago. You talked about each of their mamas. How, then, do you make them like you? It's the million dollar question.

To understand how to answer that question, first understand how humans really think.

The way people think, the way people act: We're similar. We're lemmings, almost. Social psychology lets us understand what goes on inside every one of our intricate brains, no matter who we're dealing with. Ever had an argument? Then made up? Why did you make up? It probably had a similar scenario:

  1. Bob and Jane argue
  2. Bob sends Jane flowers
  3. Bob and Jane kiss

What made Jane switch her position? Because Bob was nice. And, because Bob was nice, Jane returned that generosity.

It's the whole "I-love-you-because-you-love-me" factor (a.k.a. "reciprocity" factor).

Punch Bob. Watch Bob punch you. Smile at Bob. He'll smile at you. Like Bob. And, he'll like you. It's the concept derived from our favorite psychologist, Robert Cialdini:

You offer somebody something; that person feels obligated to repay you.

So how do I make people, who hate me, like me?

Simple: Like them. Genuinely. That's it. Simple, sweet, and way beyond sexy. It also applies to every situation imaginable. Altogether, now:

I like you. You are a bad-ass.

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Posted on July 31

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