Social Growth

Ways to make people like you (Dale Carnegie)

ways to make people like you
Written by Moritz Schröder

Finding ways to make people like you sounds a little weird at first, doesn’t it? Nobody wants to be the kind of person that doesn’t know how to make people like you, that doesn’t know how to make friends. And most people actually think that they have pretty good social skills anyway, so why bother working on them?

Well, once you read the fantastic book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie you will realise that even though we all are social beings to a certain degree, there is still plenty we can learn and improve about our interaction with others. The “six ways to make people like you” as described in Carnegie’s book are therefore helpful for anyone who wants to be a better friend, a better co-worker, a better spouse or simply a better and more compassionate person.

Ways to make people like you
Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people

ways to make people like youWhat is it that people love more than anything? That’s right: they love themselves. That’s what is on our minds constantly, that’s what we like talking about. Ourselves. The word “I” is the most used word in the english language. So if you are looking for ways to make people like you, the number one rule is: talk about something they are interested and passionate about: them!

For this, you don’t need to be interesting yourself. You don’t need to be a great conversationalist either. Instead, you need to be interested, you need to be a great listener. This is more difficult than it sounds, since we all are self-centered to a certain degree. But once you become genuinely interested in others, without having any agenda, you will find out that you have a unique skill, a skill that few others possess.

Principle 2: Smile

Aaaah, smiling. So simple. So natural. Yet so few people really use it to their advantage. A single smile can make a person’s day – hell, week – sometimes. It makes a lasting impression on others. It tells them that we like them, that we are glad to see them and that they make us happy. What bigger compliment could one possibly give?

This of course only works if we really mean it. Don’t fake smiles, one of those insincere grins doesn’t fool anybody.  Instead, try to find little things about other people that amuse you or genuinely make you feel good. And then smile about them, and share that smile with the person. Smiling is probably one of the simplest ways to make people like you, but it is also one of the most effective.

Principle 3: Remember that people love to hear their own names

names carnegieThink back to the last time someone addressed you with your full name. How did that make you feel? Did it give you a feeling of appreciation? A feeling of being considered important by the other person? Did it make you feel like your name holds some value to others? Well, then you reacted just like everyone else. We all love to hear our names. But even more importantly, we love the people who use our names! Just the fact that they took the time to remember it already makes them stand out. Most people don’t take the time to remember names of people they just briefly met. As Dale Carnegie said:

“Most people don’t remember names, for the simple reason that they don’t take the time and energy necessary to concentrate and repeat and fix names indelibly in their minds. They make excuses for themselves; they are too busy.”

Don’t be like that. Make an effort to remember people’s names. Make it a skill you are developing. And then use it to your advantage by addressing people directly and throwing their names into the conversation. Remembering and using the name is also among the easiest ways to make people like you, but you will be amazed by the instant results.

Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

This is taking principle number 1 one step further. Once you found something in the other person that you are genuinely interested in, make sure that you master the art of being a good listener. Encourage the other to elaborate. Compliment when appropriate. Know how to ask good questions. And keep your opposite talking about themselves.

Interestingly enough, once you master those skills, you will start getting compliments about what an interesting person you are. People will call you a “great conversationalist” when in fact you barely say anything at all. Just by knowing how to listen attentively you will make others like you.

Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interest

Theodore Roosevelt was always known as a guy who could make anyone comfortable, a guy who seemed to have something to talk about with everyone. So how did he do it? Well, he actually stayed up late the night before the meeting and read up on the topics he knew that person was interested in. Talk about dedication to bond with others!

You don’t have to take it as far as Roosevelt, but if you want to connect with someone, don’t force yourself upon them. Instead, make sure that you speak their language. Find out what your opponent is interested in. Then talk about that, or, even better, get him to talk about it. It is impossible to make a bad impression as long as you talk about things the other person likes.

Principle 6: Make the other person feel important

This final principle of ways to make people like you goes all the way back to the bible. The golden rule is: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” So how would you like others to treat you? How would you like to feel? The answer is simple: we all want to feel appreciated. We love when our skills (or even just our presence) are recognised and pointed out by a small compliment. We want to feel important, want to feel like we matter. So if you can give this feeling to another person, and sincerely mean it, I guarantee that person will love you for it.

The secret is to be sincere. You have to find something that you truly admire in the other person and then point it out.

Summary of the six ways to make people like you

So there you have it. The six ways to make people like you, according to Dale Carnegie. None of them are rocket science. Actually, pretty much all of them should be done by everyone anyway. And yet, these six rules are neglected by so many people so often. How much more pleasant our lives could be if we all stuck to those rules of personal interaction. So to remind you, here they are one more time:

  • Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people

  • Principle 2: Smile

  • Principle 3: Learn and repeat people’s names

  • Principle 4: Be a good listener

  • Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interest

  • Principle 6: Make the other person feel important

Go out, apply them, and see for yourself if they work. If they do, keep it up. If they don’t, you haven’t lost anything.

Published in Social Growth

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