I know what it’s like. I was in a similar situation myself. When I was little, I had no friends. I was an introvert. Even my parents didn’t like me. My dad left when I was 3, and mom told me it’s because he didn’t like me. And I believed her.
My teachers didn’t like me because no matter how hard I studied, I always got bad grades while my classmates did not study as hard, and they always got better grades.
When I started my own business, my employees didn’t like me. My very first employee quit the next day. I assume it’s because she didn’t like me.
How did I change all that? Money. Everyone likes you when you are rich. But not really. Money makes no difference because if someone has less money than you, they are more likely to envy you and not like you, and there is a big difference. If someone has as much money as you or more, they are not going to care.
So how do you get people to like you, even if you don’t have money? There are five ways that worked for me:
1. Don’t be perfect
People like you when you make mistakes because no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. I used to trade stocks, and I lost $70,000 doing that, but what I realized is that most people who trade stocks lose money. I’m talking 95% of retail traders.
If I tell someone that I lost all that money, they are going to believe me and relate to me because maybe they lost money as well.
On the other hand, if I say that I made a lot of money, they are going to be skeptical about it, and they are going to question me. That’s the opposite of what you want.
2. Ask For a Favor
It’s called the Ben Franklin effect. It works when you ask someone to borrow a book. But don’t stop there. Always ask for more. People make that mistake that they don’t ask for enough in life, and then they complain that they don’t get it. But if you just ask for it, you will realize that you can get almost everything you want.
There is a book by Jia Jiang called Rejection Proof where he went around asking people for a favor. He assumed he would get rejected most of the time because he asked for things that you wouldn’t normally ask for. He asked for a little extra and free stuff. And a lot of times he got it.
What he realized is that it depends on two things. The first is that asking for a favor is not a universal law. One person might say yes and another might say no.
Second, it depends on time and place. If someone tells you no today, they might tell you yes tomorrow. The situation might change.
If you are applying for a job, and you only applied one time, don’t stop there. If you don’t get it, you can apply again. You can apply five times. You can apply any number of times. If you want to work at Google, you can keep applying until you get it. There is no one to stop you from applying multiple times.
3. Ask For Advice
Everyone likes to give advice. People do not like getting advice as much except if they are paying for it or if it’s from a celebrity or someone they know.
If someone came up to me at a gym and offered advice on how to do my exercise correctly, I’m not going to listen to it because I did not pay for this advice, so to me it’s worth zero dollars. If he was my personal trainer and I paid for it, that would be a different story. Or if it was Arnold Schwarzenegger giving me advice. Then I would listen to it. Not only that, but I would travel to see him and pay him thousands of dollars. Of course I would value it more.
4. Give a Compliment
Instead of giving someone advice, give them a compliment. That works much better. There is a book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. His idea is that you shouldn’t criticize people, but make them feel important. You can always make someone feel important by giving them a compliment, especially if it’s about their choices in life as opposed to physical appearance, which is something that they can’t change.
Try to give a compliment about something that they can change. Something they are in control of. Even if people don’t want to talk to you, most times they are going to be nice and friendly to you. And then you can keep talking to them. Or they may tell you to go away, which is fine, too, because it would still improve your social skills.
5. Talk Less And Listen More
We usually like to talk more than we like to listen, but people don’t like that. In most cases people are selfish, and it’s not even a matter of selfishness, but our thinking that we are more important.
If I’m telling you a story, do not interrupt me and tell me you own story because I don’t care about your story. I care about my story. Let me finish, and then maybe you can tell me how much you liked my story. And don’t tell me yours. That’s how you make friends.
If you want to talk about yourself, you can do that, but you are not going to see any results.
Now, before you use these 5 ways, ask yourself if you really want everyone to like you. It’s not possible. Even if you do everything you can, there are still going to be people who don’t like you. And that’s okay. At some point it should be their job to get you to like them.