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How To Make People Like You: 10 Tips To Make New Friends (Even When Shy)

By Remy Meraz June 12, 2024

How To Make People Like You: 10 Tips To Make New Friends (Even When Shy)

Introduction: Building Bridges - How to Make People Like You

Learn to connect with others authentically

Making new friends and influencing people positively isn’t just about mastering a list of social skills—it’s about cultivating a genuine interest in the well-being of others. Whether you are shy or outgoing, the key to making people like you lies in your ability to engage authentically in social interactions.

From maintaining eye contact and using confident body language to understanding the subtle art of conversation, the right approach can open doors to not just new friendships but also to enhancing your personal and professional life. This guide will equip you with practical tips and insights to help you make people feel comfortable and valued in your presence, thereby increasing your social circle and influence.

Remember, the journey to improving your social skills and building meaningful relationships begins with a simple but powerful foundation: self-love and respect for others. Let’s explore these transformative strategies that can help you connect deeply with people around you, even if you're naturally shy.

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10 Tips To Make New Friends (Even When Shy)

Overview of the tips

Building a social circle and fostering friendships can seem daunting, especially if you’re shy or introverted. However, with the right approach, anyone can create meaningful connections that enhance both personal happiness and professional success. This section outlines 10 practical tips that focus on using authentic body language, enhancing self-confidence, and engaging effectively in social interactions.

Each tip is designed not just to help you make new friends, but also to deepen your existing relationships through respect, understanding, and genuine interest. We'll explore how to maintain eye contact, use positive body language, and actively listen—skills that make others feel valued and comfortable around you. Additionally, these tips will help you overcome common barriers such as anxiety and self-doubt, allowing you to communicate more openly and honestly.

Whether you're looking to expand your social life, increase your influence, or simply make people like you, these strategies provide a foundation for building lasting, supportive relationships. Let's dive into these transformative tips that can help you connect with others and turn every interaction into an opportunity for friendship and growth.

Tip 1: Smile — With Feeling!

The power of a genuine smile

A genuine smile is your first step towards making a lasting impression and winning friends. It’s about much more than just moving your facial muscles; it's a reflection of your openness and warmth. Smiling not only makes you more approachable and likable, but it also sets a positive tone for any interaction.

When you smile sincerely, it enhances your self-confidence and makes others feel more comfortable around you. This simple act can disarm social anxiety, bridge gaps in communication, and foster an immediate connection. Moreover, smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness by releasing dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.

Therefore, always remember to smile with feeling—not just when meeting new people, but in all your social interactions. This will not only improve your social life but also influence people positively, making them feel recognized and appreciated in your presence.

How To Make People Like You: 10 Tips To Make New Friends (Even When Shy)

Tip 2: Use a Person's Name

Why personalization matters

The simple act of using a person's name is not just a social nicety, but a powerful means of engagement. When you address someone by name, it doesn’t just capture their attention—it makes them feel seen and valued. This is a crucial step in building rapport and deepening relationships, as it signals respect and consideration for the individual.

Incorporating a person's name in conversation reinforces that you recognize them as an individual with unique identities and feelings. This can significantly enhance the personal connection during interactions, making conversations more engaging and meaningful. Additionally, it helps in remembering details about the person, which further personalizes future interactions, thereby fostering a stronger bond and mutual respect.

Using names is a strategy grounded in psychological research, which shows that hearing one's own name activates specific parts of the brain associated with self-perception and social behavior. So, remember to use names thoughtfully and frequently to make your social interactions more effective and memorable.

Tip 3: Listen First, Talk Second

The importance of active listening

Active listening is a crucial skill in all forms of communication, particularly when you are trying to make new friends or influence people. It involves more than just hearing words; it requires attention to body language, tone of voice, and emotional undertones. By listening actively, you validate the speaker's feelings and thoughts, which is essential for building trust and empathy.

Effective listening shows that you value the person's words and are genuinely interested in what they have to say. This not only makes people feel respected and appreciated but also lays the groundwork for a deeper and more meaningful relationship. It helps to mitigate misunderstandings and signals that you are engaged and attentive.

How to engage effectively in conversation

To engage effectively in conversation, begin by maintaining eye contact, which signals interest and sincerity. Use body language that is open and inviting, and nod or give short verbal affirmations to show you are following along. Avoid the urge to plan your next statement while the other person is speaking, which can detract from your ability to listen fully.

Ask clarifying questions to demonstrate that you are paying attention and to deepen your understanding of the speaker's point of view. Reflect on what has been said by paraphrasing or summarizing the main ideas, showing that you not only listened but also processed the information. These techniques not only improve the quality of your conversations but also enhance your ability to influence and win friends through genuine social interactions.

Tip 4: Conversation Recall: Prove You're Paying Attention

Techniques for remembering details

Proving that you are paying attention during conversations is crucial for building rapport and trust. Remembering details can significantly enhance your interactions and demonstrate genuine interest in the lives of your conversation partners. Here are some techniques to help you remember key details:

  1. Focus Actively: Avoid distractions and focus intently on the conversation. This helps in retaining the information being discussed.
  2. Use Mnemonics: Associate information with visual images, a structured pattern, or acronyms. These tools can make recalling details easier.
  3. Repeat Information: Paraphrase or repeat back what you’ve heard in your own words. This reinforcement makes the information more memorable.
  4. Make Notes: If appropriate, jot down important details in a notebook or your phone after the conversation. This can be particularly useful in professional settings or networking events.
  5. Connect Details to Existing Knowledge: Link new information to what you already know. This creates a "memory chain" that enhances retention.

By incorporating these strategies, you not only keep track of important conversation points but also make the person you are speaking with feel truly valued and understood.

How To Make People Like You: 10 Tips To Make New Friends (Even When Shy)

Tip 5: Avoid Issuing Orders — Ask Questions Instead

The shift from commands to queries

Transitioning from issuing orders to asking questions is a powerful way to enhance social interactions and make people feel respected rather than directed. This approach not only encourages a dialogue but also empowers the other person, making the conversation more interactive and democratic.

Asking questions demonstrates that you value the opinions and contributions of others, fostering a sense of collaboration. It invites sharing and gives the other person a chance to express their thoughts and feelings, which is crucial for building deeper connections. Moreover, it helps to avoid potential confrontations that can arise from commanding language, which can be perceived as aggressive or paternalistic.

By incorporating questions, you create an environment where ideas can flow freely and where individuals feel supported and understood. This method not only makes conversations more engaging but also significantly increases your likability, as people appreciate being involved and heard rather than just instructed.

Tip 6: Be a Real Person, Not a Robot

Authenticity in interactions

In a world where social interactions can often be superficial or scripted, authenticity is a breath of fresh air. Being genuine in your conversations and actions not only makes you more likable but also builds trust and respect among your peers. Authenticity involves being true to your own values and beliefs while respecting those of others, rather than conforming to societal expectations or mimicking others' behaviors.

To be authentic, let your real personality shine through in every interaction. Share your feelings honestly, admit your mistakes, and ask for help when needed. This vulnerability shows that you are human and relatable, not a perfect robot. It encourages others to open up and creates a safe space for genuine connection.

Remember, people gravitate towards individuals who are real and down-to-earth because they are easier to relate to and trust. By embracing your true self, you foster deeper, more meaningful relationships that are built on a foundation of authenticity and mutual respect.

Tip 7: Ask for Advice

How seeking guidance can build rapport

Asking for advice is not just a way to gain valuable insights; it's also a strategic tool for building relationships. When you seek advice, you are essentially placing trust in another person's knowledge and perspective, which can significantly enhance their feelings of self-worth and respect towards you. This mutual respect is fundamental in establishing rapport and deepening connections.

When you ask someone for advice, it shows that you value their opinion, which can make them feel appreciated and respected. This act can soften barriers and create a collaborative atmosphere where both parties feel more connected and engaged. Additionally, it shifts the dynamic from one of competition to cooperation, which is more conducive to forming lasting friendships.

Moreover, seeking advice encourages a reciprocal dialogue where both individuals can share knowledge and experiences, further enhancing the social bond. By being vulnerable and open to learning from others, you not only gain practical insights but also foster an environment of mutual trust and respect.

Tip 8: Treat People With Respect

The cornerstone of all positive interactions

Respect is the fundamental element that underpins all successful social interactions. It involves acknowledging the inherent worth of others, regardless of their background or beliefs, and treating them with dignity and consideration. This principle should guide every conversation and interaction you have, as it sets the stage for mutual understanding and reciprocal respect.

Treating people with respect involves more than just polite manners; it includes listening intently, acknowledging their opinions, and responding thoughtfully. By demonstrating respect, you not only foster a positive atmosphere but also encourage others to reciprocate in kind. This mutual respect can bridge gaps between diverse individuals, creating a foundation for strong and enduring relationships.

Furthermore, respect can diffuse conflicts and build trust, making it easier to collaborate and communicate. When people feel respected, they are more likely to open up and share their true thoughts and feelings, which is crucial for building connectivity and deepening bonds in any relationship.

How To Make People Like You: 10 Tips To Make New Friends (Even When Shy)

Tip 9: Avoid the Clichés

Why originality counts

In a world teeming with overused sayings and hackneyed expressions, originality can be a breath of fresh air in any conversation. Avoiding clichés is not just about refusing to repeat tired lines; it's about expressing your thoughts in a way that is uniquely yours, which can significantly enhance the authenticity and impact of your interactions.

Original expressions create a more memorable experience for the listener. They reflect a deeper level of thought and engagement in the conversation, demonstrating that you are not just going through the motions but are genuinely interested in the discussion. This can make people feel valued and respected, which are key to forming lasting relationships.

Furthermore, originality in your dialogue can help you stand out in a positive way, making your interactions more enjoyable and engaging. People are drawn to those who can offer fresh perspectives and ideas instead of defaulting to the commonplace. By cultivating your unique voice, you contribute to more meaningful and influential social interactions.

Tip 10: Use Verbal Confirmation

Reinforcing connection through affirmation

Verbal confirmation is a powerful tool in communication that helps to reinforce connections and affirm the value of an interaction. This practice involves actively acknowledging what others are saying through affirmations such as "I see," "I understand," or "That makes sense." By doing so, you not only show that you are engaged and attentive, but also that you respect and appreciate the other person's perspective.

Using verbal confirmations can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your communication by ensuring that all parties feel heard and understood. It builds trust and can prevent misunderstandings that often arise from assumptions. Additionally, affirmations encourage further dialogue and deeper discussions, as they make people more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.

Incorporating this simple yet effective technique into your conversations will make you a better listener and a more likable person, as it demonstrates empathy and genuine interest in the well-being of those you interact with. This is essential for fostering healthy and productive relationships in both personal and professional settings.

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Why Don't People Like You? 7 Common Reasons

Understanding and overcoming social obstacles

Understanding why people might not resonate with you can be crucial for personal development and improving your social interactions. Here are seven common reasons:

  1. Lack of Eye Contact: Avoiding eye contact can make you seem disinterested or untrustworthy.
  2. Poor Listening Skills: Not listening attentively can make others feel undervalued.
  3. Negative Body Language: Closed-off body language, like crossed arms, can appear unfriendly or aggressive.
  4. Dominating Conversations: Talking over others or not allowing them to speak diminishes their sense of worth.
  5. Complaining Frequently: Constant negativity can drain energy and push people away.
  6. Not Respecting Boundaries: Overstepping personal or professional boundaries can make others uncomfortable.
  7. Lack of Empathy: Not showing understanding or sympathy for others’ feelings can make you seem cold and aloof.

Overcoming these obstacles involves self-awareness and actively working to improve behaviors that might be pushing people away. By focusing on positive body language, practicing active listening, and engaging in empathetic communication, you can enhance your likability and build stronger, more positive relationships.

How To Make People Like You: 10 Tips To Make New Friends (Even When Shy)

Conclusion: Lasting Impressions

How to leave a positive mark on your new friends

In the journey of making new friends and building valuable connections, leaving a positive impression is crucial. Each of the strategies discussed—from smiling genuinely to using someone’s name—aims to enhance your approachability and appeal. Remember, forming connections is about more than just being liked; it's about creating meaningful, respectful, and supportive interactions.

To ensure that you leave a lasting impression, consistently apply the tips you've learned. Use your body language to convey openness, your conversation to show interest, and your listening skills to demonstrate empathy. Above all, maintain authenticity in every interaction. By doing so, you'll not only make others feel valued and understood, but you'll also establish yourself as someone who is enjoyable to be around and trustworthy.

By integrating these principles into your social life, you'll be able to navigate even the most daunting social landscapes with confidence and grace, making new friends who will appreciate and respect your presence in their lives.

Read more about: Self Advocacy, Healthy Relationships

About Remy Meraz

Remy Meraz, co-founder, and CEO of Zella Life, is a visionary leader who leveraged corporate glass ceiling challenges as a woman of color to drive systemic change.

While leading and cultivating high-performance teams from VC-backed startups to Fortune 500, she consistently faced obstacles such as inadequate mentorship, lack of psychological safety, and non-personalized training. Taking matters into her own hands, she turned to executive coaching and NLP training. This life-changing growth experience led to breaking leadership barriers and a passion for cognitive psychology.

Motivated by her experiences, she co-founded Zella Life, an innovative AI-driven coaching platform bridging the talent development gap by enhancing soft skills and emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workplace.

Her vision with Zella Life is to transform professional development into an inclusive and impactful journey, focused on the distinct needs of both individuals and organizations. She aims to promote advancement and culture change by ensuring every professional's growth is acknowledged and supported.

Today, Remy is recognized as an influential innovator, trainer, mentor, and business leader. Under her leadership, Zella Life has delivered significant measurable outcomes for numerous well-known brands. This track record of positive outcomes garnered attention and funding from Google for Startups and Pledge LA, establishing Zella Life as a pivotal force in the learning and development arena tackling and resolving fundamental talent development issues for organizations of all sizes.