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in an article about using psychology to get people to like you, a photo of a party
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In any area of your life, these easy tips will make you seem more charismatic.

Our brains can be coaxed to think certain things or like certain people. It’s all about knowing psychology. We can trick our brains into certain thought processes, but more importantly, we can trick other people’s brains in ways that they won’t even realize — including ways that will make us seem more charismatic.

1. Edible Likability

Food is one easy way to draw people to you. The endocrine system consists of glands throughout your body that release hormones to regulate all biological processes. The hypothalamus, one of the system’s glands, sits toward the center of our brain and is one of the several parts of our brain that controls hormones. It is responsible for a variety of functions including regulating our internal temperature, controlling our nervous system and influencing our sleep schedule, among other things, all by controlling our hormones.

The hypothalamus connects to your pituitary gland, which is mainly responsible for releasing hormones, like the growth hormone and adrenaline. The hypothalamus also controls appetite and food intake. When you eat, the small but essential gland releases endorphins that make you feel enchanted and happy. Any time you eat (or even see food), the hypothalamus releases hormones that make you happy, especially as your tongue breaks down the tastes and the nutrition enters your stomach.

Via classical conditioning — a hallmark of psychology — you can sway someone’s opinion of you to one that is more favorable; since our bodies are inclined to like food, if you consistently bring someone food that they like, they will begin to associate you with happiness and be glad to see you. So bring a potential friend some trail mix or cookies. If someone started bringing you food, wouldn’t you be excited to see them?

2. Increase Their Heart Rate

Because different stimuli cause different physiological responses, you can oftentimes incorrectly identify the source, termed the misattribution of arousal. Essentially, something will cause your heart to beat faster and you may not correctly pinpoint what makes you excited. In one psychology experiment, male participants were asked to walk across a bridge. For one group, the bridge was a swaying suspension bridge meant to stimulate fear, while the other bridge was sturdy. After each participant crossed the bridge, a female experimenter gave him a test before giving them her phone number in case they had any more questions afterward.

Results: A greater number of men who had walked on the suspension bridge contacted the woman. Researchers interpreted this to mean that the men who had crossed the suspension bridge found the woman more attractive. Since participants had an increased heart rate, participants associated the person at the end of the bridge with excitement, due to the misattribution of arousal.

You can adapt this psychology experiment. If you’re going on a first date, do not simply go see a movie. Instead, you want to engage in an activity that will increase both of your heart rates, like playing a sport together. By increasing the other person’s heart rate when you spend time together, you will ensure that they will associate you with excitement and be more inclined to spend even more time with you.

3. Be a Chameleon

As we talk, we gesture with our hands in various ways. We can use our hands to emphasize a statement or replace speech, for example. One way to build rapport through psychological means is through isopraxism — a fancy way to say mimicking movement. We have learned to copy behaviors, including posture, speech and tone. The “chameleon effect” is the tendency to adopt the posture, gestures and mannerisms of another person. We like people who are similar to ourselves (the saying “opposites attract” has been psychologically disproven) and if we subconsciously perceive familiarity in the nonverbals of another person, we will become more comfortable with them.

However, if the other person feels like you’re copying them, they will feel manipulated, which will diminish the chances of building a rapport. So do not consciously repeat behaviors, but gesture with your hands in a natural way to make you seem less stiff and more comfortable. Overall, your gestures and mannerisms need to be authentic; if they think you’re copying, it will have the opposite of the desired effect.

4. What’s in a Name?

According to Dale Carnegie, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Names hold meaning. Every time you use someone’s name, they will feel important as well as feel a stronger connection with you. Anyone can get by in conversation without addressing the other person by their name, but it takes effort to remember someone’s name — especially right after meeting them. Voicing their name reflects the effort.

A name is a sign of courtesy and respect, along with a connection to one’s identity — you are acknowledging their individuality. Using someone’s name is one of the fastest and most reliable ways of building rapport, as well as creating a good first impression. According to psychologist Dr. Lindsay Henderson, “Because our names are such an indispensable part of our identity, we love it when people use them. We feel validated when a person refers to us by name during a conversation.”

Since our names represent who we are, we want to hear people using them. Therefore, you can manipulate someone into liking you more using psychology if you say their name. Do not constantly use their name in an obvious or stilted way, however, but drop it throughout the conversation in natural places. When someone addresses you, they are clearly trying to engage you in conversation. Doesn’t it feel good when someone doesn’t want to talk at you, but with you?

5. Engage in Quality Conversation

When was the last time you really felt heard? Or that the other person was actually interested in what you were saying? On the other hand, was there a time when the other person only talked to you about their own life? Or you could completely tell they did not care about what you said?

Conversation is an essential part of connection. It’s how we share about our life, but we also need to keep a balance between the words coming out of our mouths and the words coming out of others. It’s like a game of tennis, going back and forth, shared between two people. And just like tennis, in this match, people can win or lose.

However, there is a way for you both to succeed: Demonstrate that you are paying attention and engaged. Listen intently. Remember what they say. Ask meaningful questions. People love an invitation to talk further. And if you’ve had a conversation with them before, bring up a topic they talked about last time, like a major project they were working on, and ask them how it went. How do you feel when someone checks in with you? The remembrance always strikes a harmonious chord. Find common ground and emphasize your similarities, especially a shared background. By doing so, you will become more comfortable with each other and foster connections that can strengthen your relationship.

Our brains are easily influenced and when you have the right tools, you can manipulate anyone’s psychology. While these tips may not come naturally to you, they will strengthen the relationships in your life in a way that will fly under the radar.

Writer Profile

Kim Becker

Aquinas College
English Writing, Communication Minor

I’m an aspiring author who has dreamed of publishing my work. Reading, writing and watching science fiction and fantasy remain my favorite pastimes. I love traveling and the memories that accompany those experiences.

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