9 Ways To Make People Like You Without Saying A Word

Various studies have indicated that there are ways to become more likable, without even saying anything.

Strategies include dressing up, demonstrating more energy, and handing the person you're with a cup of coffee.

What you say matters, too — but don't discount the importance of nonverbal cues.

Becoming more likable is easier than you think.

There's lots of research on the traits and behaviors that make people likable — that have nothing to do with what they're saying.

Below, Business Insider has rounded up some of the most fascinating pieces of research on the best ways to make friends and impress coworkers, all without saying a word.

Have the person you're with hold something warm.

An oft-cited 2008 paper, published in the journal Science, suggests that physical warmth is related to perceptions of interpersonal warmth.

In one small study described in the paper, 41 undergrads were asked to hold either a cup of hot coffee or a cup of iced coffee. Then all participants read a description of a hypothetical individual's personality and rated them on multiple traits, including warmth.

Sure enough, participants who'd held the hot coffee rated the individual higher on warmth than those who'd held the iced coffee — even though they rated them similarly on other traits.

The authors write: "Experiences of physical temperature per se affect one's impressions of and prosocial behavior toward other people, without one's awareness of such influences."

Speak in a higher-pitched voice.

Phil Whitehouse/Flickr  CC BY 2.0

OK, so you'll technically have to utter something for this trick to work. But it's less about what you say and more about how you say it.

A 2014 paper, published in the journal PLoS ONE, found that men and women who speak in a higher pitch are perceived as more likeable and more trustworthy. A group of 320 Scottish participants listened to 64 Scottish speakers say the word "hello," then rated the speakers on different traits. Researchers drew connections between the speakers' pitch and the subsequent ratings.

As Michael Woodward described the study on Psychology Today: "Although these judgments may not necessarily be accurate they do appear to be consistent."

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