By: Lisa M. Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
I recently talked to a woman who was bombing a lot of first dates. She is gorgeous. Her online dating profiles get a lot of attention. She gets a lot of first dates but almost never gets a second one. She’s been single and dating for more than three years and has never gone on a third date.
She thought it was all about the men. She had a lot of stories about how unavailable or unreliable men were. Not too surprisingly, she started attracting a lot of unavailable and unreliable dudes. In fact, the men in her life that had always been there like her brothers or her friends started behaving really dodgy.
I know this woman, and I know she’s been on some first dates with some incredible men who made amazing partners for other lucky women. The truth is, the men aren’t her problem. She is the common denominator on all those first and only dates.
Here’s the truth: She is a very nice person. However, she isn’t very likable, especially at that first impression. While I know she has a heart of gold, she comes off as cold and demanding a lot of the time. It’s probably a defense mechanism. She works in a very male-dominated profession. However, that all business, somewhat harsh demeanor is eclipsing her beauty, on the inside and the outside.
There is a difference between being nice and being likable.
We’ve all met people who were very charismatic but not that nice under the layers of likability. However, it doesn’t matter a lot how nice you are on the inside, if people don’t like you, they probably won’t bother to get to know you much past that first impression.
There is a science to likability. A lot of it has to do with chemistry. However, there are a few basic tweaks we can all make to be more likable and engage with people more openly.
1. Smile and make eye contact.
I am an introvert through and through. This one isn’t always easy for me. However, it’s required for connection, especially early connection. People subconsciously gauge approachability by eye contact. Very scientific studies have proven we find people who smile more attractive and more interesting.
Unless you’re a super extroverted open book, chances are high you will probably benefit from smiling and making more eye contact than is naturally comfortable. However, once you get into the swing of it, it becomes more natural and gets easier because connecting happens more naturally.
2. Listen to the other person talk like you actually give a crap.
Learn people’s names and use them. People like the sound of their own name.
Start every encounter curious. Make a point of learning something new from everyone you talk to.
Ask questions that indicate you’re paying attention.
Make the person you’re talking to feel like the only person in the room.
3. Be willing to share something about yourself.
We all know it’s not sexy to make any conversation all about yourself. However, it’s also not sexy to be a closed book.
A certain amount of vulnerability is required for connection. You want to give people something to remember you for.
If you focus all of your conversation on the other person, it starts to feel a bit like an interview or an inquisition.
4. Think about what you like about the person you’re interacting with.
Focusing on what you like about a person changes the energy of a conversation. That energy is palpable. The person you’re communicating with will subconsciously feel more liked. Everyone wants to be liked.
Additionally, stating the obvious, you will enjoy the interaction more if you’re intentionally focused on what you like instead of defaulting to being critical or disinterested.
5. Reach out and touch someone.
A little bit of touch goes a long way.
The amount of touch that’s appropriate will obviously vary based on the situation. However, even at a first encounter, a little physical contact increases likability. That’s why either a handshake or a hug is almost always socially appropriate.
A touch on the arm, or the shoulder subconsciously creates a connection. Studies have shown people are 70% more likely to remember the names of people who hug them.
Lisa is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
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