Have you ever noticed how some people manage to get ahead in life simply by getting along with others?
Have you noticed how your own liking affect your decision making?
As emotional beings, we make decisions based on our likeability. This is why winning the social game and increasing your likeability quotient smoothen your way, help you get ahead, provide you better opportunities making your life more fulfilling. Because people can move mountains for those they like.
Why you should worry about winning the social game?
The majority of us don't learn how to interact with others, how to behave in social settings, how to make friends, or how to approach others properly. As a result, we struggle to make an impact on others.
I entered the conference hall, looking at the crowd; my heart rate increased, and I could feel my anxiety rising. I suck when it comes to engaging in a face-to-face conversation.
I lack the charisma that captivates people, but I want to increase my influence, connect with people, and make people like me.
As these social events are a good way to expand contacts for my work. I tried visiting conferences, events, parties, but you know what happens?
The moment I enter the premises, I feel my throat choke, my hands sweat. Holding myself up, I somehow initiate a conversation, but I get a few words leading me to stand awkwardly or making my way to a corner. It’s hard. How do people win at such a social game? What do they do that they capture everyone's attention easily?
What to do to hack the social setting?
Our mind is designed for safety; that’s why it’s instant reaction is to look for cues to identify any threat in our surrounding by making a snap judgement. That’s why, in a social setting or while talking to strangers, our primitive minds scan and search for cues. And this is done on a covert level through reading micro expressions, vocal intonations, gestures, and body language.
To hack social settings, and to increase your chances of likeability, you need to be socially intelligent, which means making people feel at ease around you, making them feel as if they are an ally, not an adversary.
And for that you need to learn to appropriately conduct yourself using these tips.
Know what your mind can do it for you:
The first in the list to hack the social setting is to hack your brain. There it all arises, your fear, attraction, confidence and all, and that impacts your micro expressions and energy. The energy you create speaks and people around you catch up with that energy.
Therefore, by giving your brain the right instructions, you will be able to create positive signals through your facial expressions, eye contact, mouth gestures, and other non-verbal cues. Also, you shouldn't get sucked into believing the other person holds power over you. When you believe someone is superior to you, or that you must please someone, your behavior changes. If you let people hold power over you, it takes a toll on your confidence and makes you look anxious.
This means when you want to appear confident and likable, avoid overthinking how people perceive you.
What will they think about you? Whether they will like you or not?
Otherwise, all the fear in your head will make you do things you want to avoid.
Confidence requires a self-belief where you do not let anyone hold power over you. If they do it’s because you've been mentally giving them permission. To come out of this power trap repeat, ‘no one holds power over you,’ in your head until it sticks.
Know the value you bring in:
What makes people connect? In an interaction there is a value proposition two people bring in. What value are you bringing to an interaction?
Is this person's life going to be enhanced by talking to you? They might feel happy, satisfied, informed, comforted, or heard.
People like to be around someone who makes them feel elated or energetic. If you’re low energy, negative or petty, very few people will want to be around you.
So you should know who you are, what is your worth and what can you offer.
Avoid places that drains your energy:
The thing is, regardless of how many behavior hacks you learn, if you go to events that make you miserable, you will find it hard to increase your memorability. When you feel great, people pick up on it.
Instead, when you drag yourself to an event because you feel like you “should make an appearance,” you spoil it.
When you force yourself to socialize in ways that drain you, your confidence suffers. Why not go where you thrive instead of where you struggle to survive?
Faking won’t take you far:
It's hard to get along when you go to places you hate, meet people you hate, and fake it up to get along. Well! That won’t work.
Researchers have found that our emotions are contagious. In fact, our smile muscles unconsciously mimic the smiles we see around us. We are happier around happy people, and we thrive around thriving individuals.
Attending events, you dread makes you miserable, and your misery is contagious. People can spot a fake smile a mile away.
Know the places and people where you thrive:
Do you know what are the places you like to go to meet people? The places which make you feel happy, excited and energetic. Not everyone like going to pubs, clubs, conference, family gatherings, functions. In order to build relationships, it is important to know the places where you feel comfortable and thrive, that bring out the best in you. Spending time with those who drain you or make you uncomfortable will not help you build relationships. Knowing the places which make you comfortable and where you thrive brings out the best out of you. Being surrounded by people where you feel uncomfortable or which drains you out won’t help you in building connections.
Let people tell their story:
Stories are great conversation starters. Everyone has a story. We like to tell stories. We want someone to hear what we have to say, share our life experiences, even tales of our day-to day life. Think about the best conversation you had with someone? How did that make you feel? That’s why, to create a lasting impression, let them tell their stories. Make them feel comfortable talking to you. Let them feel good. By doing this you become more memorable to them. On the other hand, if you get caught up in talking about your own life and your own story that you completely forget to ask about them, you lose your likeability score.
Figure out a location where people are comfortable talking and mixing up:
In the social gathering, is there a right place and time to start a conversation? Should you start the moment you enter? Avoid hovering near the boundary of the Start Zone during the social gathering. Talking to people just entering, or leaving the bathroom is not the best place to start up a conversation with a new person. Talking to people when they are relaxed and open to mingling, gives you a better chance of getting what you want from them.
Practice expressive body language – How do you sit? How do you stand? How do you walk? What’s your vocal tonality like? Non-verbal cues play a crucial role. People pay attention more to what is unsaid than to words. Having a petty and negative attitude hovers over the interactions. That’s why be mindful of your non-verbal cues.
Become genuinely interested in people:
Don’t make it only about you. Shift the spotlight off of you and put it on someone else. If you do it right, you’ll have another friend.
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