How To Get People To Instantly Like You
. . . Mastering The One-Minute Relationship
By Jonathan Robinson
Whether you're in sales, are looking for an intimate partner, or just want to make more friends, you need to learn to make a good initial impression with people. In the first minute of any encounter, we decide if we like and trust the person we're meeting, or if we would rather avoid them. Fortunately, there is a science to getting people to instantly like you. By learning how to create rapport with anyone you meet, you'll feel more confident and relaxed around people, and you'll experience more professional and personal success in life.
To master the one-minute relationship you first need to know what we each want - and don't want - from other people. Human beings all have a need to be accepted, respected, and appreciated. Conversely, what we fear is any form of rejection. When we meet someone for the first time, we subconsciously ask ourselves, "Is this person probably going to like me, or will they probably reject and/or bother me?"
To answer that question, we look at various subtle clues in the first minute of our meeting, and from those clues we either feel connected or distant from the person we just met. In general, we tend to like people who are like ourselves. We feel safer, more comfortable, and more relaxed with people who walk and talk like us, and have interests similar to our own. Therefore, by becoming 'similar' to the person you just met, there will be a strong tendency for that person to like you.
There are two ways you can use the 'law of similarity' to build rapport with a person you just met. First, you can look for an interest you have in common, such as a person you both know or a hobby you both share. Have you ever been talking to a person, feeling like the conversation was going nowhere, and then they mention a topic you feel passionate about? What happened? Suddenly, there was a sense of connection. For example, if two people realize they each love ballroom dancing, they'll feel a bond with one another. Before you know it, as they talk about the intricacies of dance, they'll likely feel like old friends.
The problem with finding a common interest is that it's not always easy to do. If you simply ask someone about what they do for a living, it's likely you won't share the same line of work. Yet, there's a surefire way to immediately use the law of similarity with any person you've just met. By matching a person's non-verbal behavior, you become similar to him or her. To do this, simply notice how a person talks, sits, or stands, and attempt to 'mirror' their behavior. Often, when we feel connected to a person, we unconsciously begin to mimic their body position. If, when you first meet someone, you talk at about the same speed as he or she, and hold your body in a like manner, you'll already have something in common. On a subconscious level, the person you just met will feel a mysterious rapport with you. It works like magic.
Some people worry that if they sit or stand like the person they're with it will be noticed and seem weird. It won't. People aren't aware of their own body, so if you sit or stand like them, they won't notice it on the conscious level. But subconsciously, their brain will be saying, "This person is just like me - therefore I can trust them." By talking at about the same speed and loudness as the person you're with, you'll create another way in which you are alike. When people are different than we are, it makes us feel less trusting. On the other hand, when we immediately 'hit it off' with someone, it's often due to the fact that they talk and stand in a way that's similar to us.
Many years ago, I had a dramatic experience of the connection that can come from this mirroring. Cheryl, my former girlfriend, had a father who was a military officer. At the time, I had a bohemian lifestyle living in spiritual communes, hitchhiking across the country, and so on. The information Cheryl's father had heard about me made him want to avoid me - because he viewed me as dissimilar to him. Yet, finally, Cheryl convinced her dad to meet me one time for dinner. He greeted me at the door with a frown on his face. His arms were tightly folded across his chest. He bellowed, "Well, Mr. Robinson, I've heard a lot about you!" I responded in a similar tone of voice, "Well Mr. Smith, I've heard a lot about you too, sir!" Cheryl thought I had suddenly gone psychotic. She had never seen me stand or talk that way.
Throughout dinner, I mirrored Mr. Smith. Although he wanted to hate me, subconsciously his brain was telling him, "This boy is just like you!" Although he didn't know why, by the middle of the dinner, he felt a mysterious rapport with me. Soon, he became more at ease, and, as he did, I resumed being my normal, mellow self. After dinner, when Mr. Smith briefly left the room, Cheryl took me aside and said, "What did you do to my dad?" I said, "What do you mean?" She responded, "While you were in the bathroom, he told me he thought you were the finest young man he had ever met!" As this story shows, matching someone's body language and voice tone is an enormously powerful way to create feelings of trust and connection.
When mirroring someone, it's not necessary that you imitate every little movement they make. All you need to do is stand or sit in basically the same way as he or she. If he's sitting in a very relaxed manner, sit that way yourself. If he's standing straight and formally, follow his lead. Mirroring happens all the time without people being aware of it. The next time you're having a really good conversation with someone, notice how each of you is sitting or standing. You'll probably notice you're in roughly the same body position. By consciously matching the body position, voice tone and speed of people when you first meet them, you can consistently create feelings of acceptance and trust.
Jonathan Robinson is the author of "Communication Miracles for Couples: Easy and Effective Ways to Create More Love and Less Conflict". This book is available at your local bookstore, or by calling Conari Press at (800) 685-9595, ext. 2944.
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