We humans are social beings, so socialization is very important for us. When we make new friends, we have the opportunity to discover different perspectives, to learn new things, to develop on a personal level.
But not all of us manage to make friends easily. If this is an issue for you, there are some psychological tricks you can use in order to befriend people more easily, like the following five.
1. Copy the person you’re with
This is a strategy called mirroring and it involves mimicking another person’s behavior in a subtle way. Researchers call this the `chameleon effect` and they suggest that if you want to make friends easily you should try when talking to someone to copy their body language, gestures, and facial expressions.
2. Spend more time around the people you want to befriend
Have you ever heard of the mere-exposure effect? If not, it’s a phenomenon that describes our tendency as humans to develop preferences for things simply because we are familiar with them. So, if you want to make friends with someone, it seems that it can be as simple as just spending more time around them.
3. Compliment other people
When describing other people use adjectives that you want people to associate with you. According the a phenomenon called spontaneous trait transference, if you describe someone else as kind and affectionate, people will associate you with those qualities.
The reverse is also true, so take that into consideration if you want to talk bad about people behind their backs, people will associate you with those negative qualities as well.
4. Be warm and competent
Researchers from Princeton University proposed the stereotype content model, which is a theory that suggests that people judge others based on their warmth and competence. So, according to this model, if you portray yourself as warm, people will trust you more easily. Also, if you seem competent to those around you, they will be more inclined to respect you.
So, first you should be warm with someone you want to befriend, and then demonstrate your competence to them. This goes incredibly well in any business setting.
5. Emphasize shared values
According to the similarity-attraction effect, people are more attracted to those who are similar to them in important respects. So, when you want to become friends with someone, try to find the attitudes and values that you share with them, and then let psychology do the rest of the work for you.
So, as you can see there are a few tricks that you can use to make friends more easily. You just have to find the ones that work the best for you. And don’t forget, meeting new people should be something exciting, so don’t stress by overthinking things. Just go for it and don’t forget to always wear your smile.