13. Tell them a secret
Self-disclosure may be one of the best relationship-building techniques.
In a study led by Arthur Aron at Stony Brook University, college students were paired off and told that they should spend 45 minutes getting to know each other better.
Experimenters provided some student pairs with a series of questions to ask, which got increasingly deep and personal. For example, one of the intermediate questions was "How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?" Other pairs were given small-talk-type questions. For example, one question was "What is your favorite holiday? Why?"
At the end of the experiment, the students who'd asked increasingly personal questionsreported feeling much closer to each other than students who'd engaged in small talk.
You can try this technique on your own as you're getting to know someone. For example, you can build up from asking them about their last trip to the movies to learning about the people who mean the most to them in life. When you learn intimate information about another person, they are likely to feel closer to you and want to confide in you in the future.
14. Expect good things from people
According to the Pygmalion effect, people treat others in ways that are consistent with their expectations of them and therefore cause the person to behave in a way that confirms those expectations.
In a Harvard Magazine article, Cuddy says, "If you think someone's a jerk, you'll behave toward them in a way that elicits jerky behaviors."
On the other hand, if you expect someone to be friendly toward you, they are more likely to behave in a friendly manner toward you.
15. Act like you like them
Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called "reciprocity of liking": When we think someone likes us, we tend to like them as well.
In one study, for example, participants were told that certain members of a group discussion would probably like them. These group members were chosen randomly by the experimenter.
After the discussion, participants indicated that the people they liked best were the ones who supposedly liked them.
16. Display a sense of humor
Research from Illinois State University and California State University at Los Angeles found that, regardless of whether people were thinking about their ideal friend or romantic partner, having a sense of humor was really important.
Meanwhile, not having a sense of humor, especially at the office, could backfire. One study of 140 Chinese workers between 26 and 35 found that people were less well-liked and less popular among their colleagues if they were "morally focused."
That means they placed a high value on displaying caring, fairness, and other moral traits. The researchers said that that was because morally focused individuals were perceived as less humorous by their colleagues.