Sometimes friendship comes so naturally that you forget where and how you first met someone, or what caused you to become so close. However, there are also times that you make an effort to befriend a new acquaintance or become closer friends with someone who is already in your social circle.
In this case, it can help to use some psychological tricks to help the potential friend like you more, while still staying genuine and sharing bits of yourself that make the person want to be friends with you.
Check out these 18 psychological tricks to get people to like you right away.
#1 – Copy them
A strategy called mirroring can be helpful in gaining you new friends. The trick involves subtly mimicking the other person’s behavior. It’s important to remain subtle while copying your potential friend. Try mimicking their body language, gestures, and facial expressions.
This trick was put to the test in a 1999 study by New York University researchers. They documented the “chameleon effect,” which happens when people unconsciously mimic each other’s behavior. The NYU researchers had 78 men and women work on a task with a partner. What they didn’t know was that their partner was a confederate working for the researchers. These confederates engaged in different levels of mimicry while researchers taped the interactions. Participants reported liking their partner more when the partner mimicked their behavior.
#2 – Spend more time around them
The mere-exposure effect proposes that people tend to like things that are familiar to them. This phenomenon was discovered by MIT researchers in the 1950s when they discovered that college students living closer together in housing projects were more likely to be friends than those in different dorms or different parts of campus.
This phenomenon is likely because students who live close by have more day-to-day interactions with each other, including greeting each other in the hallway, spending time in the kitchen, and hanging out in the common room.
Other experiments since then have shown that spending more time around someone, whether you interact with them or not, helps you be recognized more and liked more.
#3 – Compliment people
Complimenting people has an interesting psychological effect called spontaneous trait transference. This is when people associate the adjectives you use to describe other people with your personality. For example, if you describe someone as kind or helpful, people will begin to associate these qualities with you.
The same is true for negative words. If you are constantly putting people down and trashing them behind their backs, your friends will start to associate the negative qualities with you too. This psychological trick is pretty easy to master on paper, but more difficult in day-to-day interaction. The best way to remember this is to compliment people and do your best not to put other people down.
#4 – Be in a good mood
Being happy is contagious. Being sad or mad is also contagious. This effect is known as emotional contagion and describes what happens when people are influenced by the moods of those around them. This psychological trick goes hand in hand with the previous one. If you want to make the people around you feel happy, then you should communicate positive emotions.
The people you associate with will begin to attribute you with their happy mood and are more likely to want to be friends with you and be around you more often.
#5 – Make friends with their friends
Triadic closure is a social-network theory that suggests that two people are likely to be closer when they have a common friend. If you want to be friends with someone, it is easier if you already have friends in common.
Students at the University of British Columbia highlighted this psychological phenomenon by designing a program that friends random people on Facebook. They discovered that people were more likely to accept the random person’s friend request if they had more mutual friends.
#6 – Don’t always throw out compliments
While compliments are a great way to gain friendships, too much of them can be a bad thing. This is described in the gain-loss theory of interpersonal attractiveness. The theory suggests that your positive comments will make the best impact if you deliver them occasionally.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota tested this theory in 1965 by having 80 female college students work in pairs on a task. After completion, the researchers allowed those students to “overhear” their partners talking about them. They discovered that students preferred it if their partner’s comments went from positive to negative. This suggests that people like to feel that they’ve won you over somehow.