How many times have you scrolled through your IG or Facebook feed thinking "how many of these people would I actually hang out with?" Or perhaps another sensation creeps in. FOMO. "Acckkk, look how much fun they're all having while I'm miserable doing ________."
I'm going to call out the pink elephant in the room.
While we hate to admit it, the number of people we follow or who follow us does not equate to the number of friends we have. And...the number of likes we get does not mean we have close friends that will pick up the phone or lend a shoulder when we need to talk.
Social media, as convenient and "safe" as it appears cannot replace the value we get from face-to-face interactions.
There. I said it. Hard truth right?
But that's ok because I'm going to share with you Dale Carnegie's tips for how to be more likable from his popular book How to Win Friends and Influence People.
We're talking about friends, not followers.
Let me share a little stat.
In an era where 22% of millennials claim that they have no friends, let’s talk about how to be more likable. Read: how to build that human inter connectivity.
This is a real issue because research shows that having a strong community and a few close friends is very important for our mental health and well being.
Don’t forget, there was a long period in human history where we roamed the earth as tribes people. We belonged to tribes.
And many of us still belong to tribes, but not in the same way.
The point here is that the need to belong is deeply rooted in our human needs.
It also means that we need to communicate well to build and strengthen those friendships.
So if making friends is so important then here’s a question for you:
How can we be more likable?
Let’s see what the legend Dale Carnegie had to say about this.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Today I’m walking you through Dale Carnegie's steps for how to be more likable.
Show genuine interest in others. Focus the attention on them. Ask them open ended questions. Ask them questions pinpointing their interests. Get them to talk about things they’re passionate about.
Showing interest in them will make them feel good talking to you.
Everyone likes talking about themselves.
Smile. Give a sincere smile.
Research shows that there are 19 types of smiles, but only 6 of them reflect happiness.
The point here is that humans can detect a real smile from a fake smile.
When you give an authentic smile, your whole body relaxes, and it immediately boosts your mood.
You release endorphins, which makes you feel good, and your cortisol level drops, which reduces your stress.
We also know that smiling is contagious.
So if you are smiling, the people you are communicating with will also be more inclined to smile and feel happy. So it’s not just helping you, it’s helping those around you.
For all these reasons, when you smile, people see you as more approachable, trustworthy, and honest.
Remember their names
This tip stands out the most within the context of meeting someone.
My advice to you is to try to come up with a visual image or sound and associate that with the person you’ve just met. It will help you retain their name so much better. For example, if you meet someone named Harry, and he has a bushy beard, remember the beard and the name will pop into your head.
It comes with practice, so the next conference or networking event you go to, think of an association to help you remember that person’s name.
When you address someone by their name, they’ll feel really special that you remembered their name and you’ll feel like a pro communicator.
Listen to the person.
I’ve said it here before, being a good communicator is predicated on being a good listener.
Developing good listening skills is paramount to fostering positive rapport and building nurturing relationships.
Talking is only half of the social interaction equation. We also need to listen well.
Listen to the person in a empathetic and active way. Show that you are engaged in what they have to say by nodding, smiling, and encourage them to talk about their interests and themselves.
Check out my video on Empathetic listening for some specific examples. [FLASH LINK]
Keep the conversation going, by talking about what interests them.
If they brought up their most recent camping trip, you can ask them about the equipment they use. Bonus points for suggesting your favorite camp sites and nature hikes.
Spend a minute or two figuring out what interests them, and once you find a good topic, juice it for all it’s worth.
If it is a topic you don’t know much about, even better! Now you have a great learning opportunity – get them to help you better understand that topic.
Make the other person feel like a VIP.
You want to make them feel like the most important person in the room
How do you do this in a sincere way?
Laser focus. Zone in on what they are telling you, how they are expressing themselves.
In other words, when you are speaking with them, you are not looking away or distracted by other people or things. Certainly, avoid looking at your phone or watch.
Jackie Kennedy was known to make those she communicated with feel very important. When she talked to you, she made you feel like you were the only person in the room.
That’s an incredible gift as a communicator because people really do notice it and more importantly, they appreciate it and will remember you for it.
So to sum things up:
- Show genuine interest in the person
- Give them a sincere smile
- Remember their name
- Listen actively with empathy
- Figure out what interests them and stick to that
- Make them feel like the most important person in the room
As social media interferes with our ability to connect with each other in real-life settings, remember Dale Carnegie’s 6 steps to likability.
Because it’s more than being likable. It’s about nurturing the human connection.
Social media is great and all, but don’t let it alienate you from your humanity and from that human connection.
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I’ll see you in my next video. 😊
Happy Explearning 🐝