IamGale here, the psych and marketing guy of TRP, giving you a breakdown of why we like people. Why some people are able to make friends with anyone. How persuasion really works and how you can become instantly persuasive.
Today you’ll learn:
- How to make a great first impression
- How to create friends anywhere you go
- How to persuade people you don’t know
Alright, so how do we get people to like us? Well, let’s reverse engineer the situation. Think about the people you like? Why do you like them?
Let me tell you a story. I'm at a birthday party and I meet a guy named Peter. And I immediately like him. Let me tell you why. This guy is hooking up with girls left right and center. He's talking to everyone at that party, making connections everywhere. He’s just having a good time. Then he comes over to me. And he talks to me, he’s genuinely interested in my e-commerce business and then introduces me to one his cute friends and excuses himself.
We human we work off incentives. If there’s a reward for doing something we’ll teach our brains to like it. If there’s a negative incentive we’ll teach ourselves to avoid it.
Now, why do I like Peter?
I like Peter because I’m envious of his social skills. His game is amazing. He knows a lot of cute girls. He’s also a valuable resource because he can introduce me to important people which make him an important business connection. And if I didn't like him, I might get outcasted from the group so I kind of need to get along with him.
So right there, just through his actions, Peter has provided me positive and negative social and economic incentives to like him!
We don’t normally think of giving people incentives to like us, but we all do this subconsciously. Peter is now not only a guy I really like but someone I respect a great deal.
That my friend is what will you become by the end of this post.
So let’s start at the beginning.
How to Make a Good First Impression
When I first met Peter he had this incredible presence. It was just me and him (and 40 over people) but it felt intimate because of one thing.
The first thing is this:
Peter had amazing eye contact. He was 100% there with you when he spoke to you and when he listened to you. He had a had firm handshake. And looked me in the eye while he was shaking my hand. If you want an example, check out this video breaking down Bill Clinton’s Eye Contact. Imagine Peter doing this at a party, and you’ll see how powerful it is.
Peter also did more subtle things. He related to me. When I told him about my e-commerce business, he mentioned how he himself had his own e-commerce before. We also related to how our mutual friend was crazy. And how like me he loved ultimate frisbee.
Now he may have been stretching it a little, but the important part here is this:
He made a great first impression with his presence (which comes from his eye contact, handshake, and body language) and by finding things in common with me. I felt like we were the same person. The funny thing is, I only realized this after the party. When it happens in the moment, it’s just magical.
How To Create Friends Anywhere You Go
Now following Peter’s example, I’m going to show you how you can apply this wherever you go. Think about how useful this skill is. Travelling becomes way more fun now because you can connect with anyone you meet. You start making friends and building your network. You meet more women and have more social proof at parties and event. You become the guy everyone wants to be.
To create friends anywhere you go there’s a few simple things to remember. Like Peter, you want to get in the habit of approaching people. You approach people and show a genuine interest. You find ways how you're similar to the person you're meeting.
But sometimes those strategies aren’t enough. Or you don’t have the massive social proof that Peter got from his friends at the party. What do you do then?
There are two strategies here that work really well when travelling. Here's the answer:
Create a deadline.
For example, you say you can only stay for 5 minutes. Let the person know you can’t stay for long. This provides them an immediate comfort because you’ve set the expectations for the event. You can walk up to anyone and as long as you say you have to go in a couple minutes, you can do whatever you want. I did this tonight with a girl at the pub who was uneasy with me at first. It’s amazing how comfortable she got with me after I told her that. She instantly softened.
Friendly Body Language.
As humans, our facial expressions and emotions are universal. Even if you don’t speak the local language people will still understand your body language. That’s why this strategy is crucial when travelling. Here’s a few important things to remember. Talk with your hands! People trust you more when you use your hands. Try it. Read this passage out loud right now twice. Once without your hands, and once with your hands. You’ll notice an immediate difference. Also, keep your palms facing up. This shows that you’re friendly and non-aggressive. If you use friendly body language like this, you’ll really help yourself in making friends anywhere you go.
How To Persuade People You Don’t Know
When persuading people, always play to their self-interest. This is similar to Peter. He gave me economic and social incentives to like him.
Either through your actions or your stories you want to display that you have valuable skills and that you’re a resourceful friend to have. While this may seem shallow on the surface. We all do this subconsciously. Experimenting with telling stories about yourself that show your character in a positive light.
Do you like photography? Tell the stories behind some amazing pictures you took recently. Are you good with investing? Tell a story about a recent investment trend going and how some people are benefiting massively from it. Are you a good at fitness? Tell a funny story of stereotypes you see at the gym.
Just casually mentions things that show you in a positive light. This goes a long way in providing people economic and social incentives to like you subconsciously.
Now there’s also another important strategy that you need to know. I like to think of it as the Ben Franklin Effect 2.0. There’s a famous story about how Ben Franklin asked one of his enemies to borrow one of his books. And after his enemy lent him the book, the enemy grew fond of Ben Franklin.
It’s dubbed the Ben Franklin effect because when people do you favours they like you more.
However, there’s an even better strategy that amplifies this effect that I want to end this post on. It’s counterintuitive, but it works.
When people do you a favour they like you more. However, when people reject you they also like me more.
I know what you’re thinking, “IamGale, you’re full of shit. How does getting rejected make them like me more?” Ahh, let me tell you a secret that every great persuader knows.
Here’s the secret:
When someone rejects you, you create in guilt in them. As humans, we hate feeling guilty. To alleviate that guilt we’ll often do things we wouldn't do normally.
This is huge! I know this has happened to you multiple times. It's also why people who are persistent often get what they want in the end because we feel bad about rejecting them so often.
But this isn’t about being persistent. It’s about getting what you want. People who are really great at persuading are not only persistent, they make big asks.
This means if you want someone to lend you money. Ask them first for 10K, then when they say no. Come back and ask them for 1K. Psychologically it seems like you’re compromising and being a lot more reasonable. This makes it more likely that they’ll fulfill your request.
This works with everything!
Say you’re in school. You're getting Cs, but you want As. Here’s how you can get bumped to B or even an A without doing any extra work.
After class, go up to your professor and tell him that you want an A. Then ask him what will it take for you to get an A. It's magic.
When I was in school I did this will all my professors and 90% of the time I’d suddenly go up to an A. The other 10% I got a B. All because I made a big ask.
Do you want someone to volunteer for your event? Ask they if they can be the chief volunteer organizer for the full 3 days. When they say no, ask them to volunteer for one four shift. That second request is very likely to get accepted.
And because they’re doing you a favour the Ben Franklin effect comes into play and they like you even more! So remember, first you always make a BIG ask, then ask what you really want. Because we hate rejecting people and because we want to alleviate our guilt, we’re very likely to cave on that second request. And that's how you persuade people.
- To make a good first impression be present, have good eye contact, a good handshake, and find commonalities.
- To quickly make friends, use time deadlines and friendly body language.
- To persuade people, give them economics, social incentives to say yes.
- And make a BIG ask first, then ask for what you really want.