You know the type: The person who simply walks into a room, and everybody automatically likes them. What’s their secret? An ability to make everyone they meet feel comfortable. For some people, it’s a natural gift. But it’s possible for all of us to become more likeable. Here’s how:

  • Don’t just introduce yourself – make a connection. Etiquette expert Dana May Casperson suggests a 3-pronged approach: Visually connect by smiling and making eye contact. Physically connect with a firm handshake – not a bone-crushing one! – that you hold for three seconds. And verbally connect by repeating their name and asking a question. Like, “Good to meet you, Jim. How long have you lived in L.A.?” Our expert says that creates an immediate bond, and sets the tone for your relationship.
  • Let other people shine! Studies using MRI imaging show that our brain’s pleasure centers are the most active when we’re talking about ourselves. So, encourage people to tell you about their accomplishments and adventures. And they’ll associate you with feeling good, upbeat, and confident.
  • Make a good last impression. Roger Covin wrote The Need to be Liked. And he says that the one quality almost everyone seems to associate with likeable people is trustworthiness. So, when you say goodbye, never ask for anything, whether it’s a recipe for their party dip, or their contact information so you can send them your résumé. Because that comes across as needy and insincere. Instead, shake hands again and say something like, “I’m really glad we met. If there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.” And hand them your business card or email address.

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