We are social creatures who base each other on appearances and presence. The moment we see someone we make our first impression – and that gives the biggest impression. But it’s not the only impression, it’s just the starting point.
The best way to navigate through life is with a bit of help. By learning who that person is, you can figure out how to gain favor and reap the benefits of their help. But before you can take value, you must first give value.
You know the saying you never really know someone, because by the time you realize who they really are, they’ve already changed. Well, this isn’t a lifelong commitment on getting to know someone. This will take a much shorter amount of time. And it’s worth taking the time in order to get that social support edge in your life.
Here’s the bare bones outline of what you’re going to do:
- Compliment the person
- Offer Help; then do so
- Listen as if they’re the only other person alive
- Hugs and handshakes
- See which got the best response & Keep doing that
You can perform all of these for everyone you come across. But it's good to establish a circle of people you can rely upon first. My suggestion is that you only focus on one or two people at a time. You don’t need more than about a handful of meaningful people in your life anyway.
And even more importantly, pick people who are nice and good-willed already. It’s far easier to get somewhere with someone who is plain nice. And don’t be an ass. These people are worth keeping in your ‘network’ in the long haul.
I suggest using a Be Nice or Be Gone mindset here. If the person is very nice for the most part, there’s your target. If they seem they can go either way, then they can go away.
There’s no need to be mean to anyone. We’re just aiming for people who are naturally inclined to help you anyway. Take advantage of the benefits, but offer as much reasonable value you can to them as well. Be nice and you will attract nice.
So long as I’m being real. These five manipulations (yes, we all blatantly manipulate) are liked by everyone. But why bother doing it all for every person, when all it takes is one?
Myself for example, these days I care nothing for compliments or pats on the back. I like to do things by myself. I think it’s nice when someone genuinely listens to me. But I freaking love gifts.
Give me something practical I could use or give me food – especially steak or burgers – and you have won my heart.
I'd argue that it takes good human connection to know what makes a person smile and want to be around you. This is a shortcut to finding that connection.
Compliment the Person
Man: Hey Chief, you look busy today. You look like you’ve been productive/You look like you’ve been lifting.
Woman: You have nice makeup/hair/nails/etc, do you have a huge following on Instagram or something?
Years ago, I was working part-time for a company as a retail salesperson. I remember having a conversation with a more seasoned salesperson one day and he would refer to me as ‘chief’ and ‘boss’. Although I was at a lower position than him, his nicknames for me made me feel incredibly good about myself. I realize now that as a salesperson, it’s what he does. But I realized the power of charm and flattery.
What that salesperson managed to do was seduce me. There’s a saying that only those who want to be seduced can be seduced.
Although I wasn’t actively looking to be seduced, he managed to find a part of me that does. I’m sure in some sense I subconsciously wanted to be addressed with authority and respect, like a boss.
That’s where he charmed me with his flattery.
I was seduced to like him as a person. He gained my favor. He gained influence over me.
I think it’s important to have the ability to flatter and charm your way into someone’s life.
Being called ‘boss’ was like being compared to the pinnacle of authority, a being of admiration and perfection.
I used the same tactic on a woman I started dating. I compared her to some Greek goddess or something.
Weeks later she asked me if I remembered calling her that and that she really liked it.
It left a good impression on her. Although she was already interested in me, meaning she was clearly looking to be seduced, my point stands that I was appealing to her self-interest. I was appealing to a part of her that wanted to be a pinnacle of beauty and admiration.
It’s simple charm and flattery.
We hear that people can see right through your fake compliments, but that may not necessarily be true. Have you noticed incredibly kind people always complimenting others and gaining everyone’s favor?
Get in the habit of complimenting someone whenever you feel there’s something that you like about them
Is there any way I can make your day easier?
Typically, their response would be “no thank you” or something that like. And that’s okay. But keep an ear out on how much they appreciate that you offered.
If they do want your help, listen closely to what it is, and then complete the task for them.
After completing the task, watch closely on how they react to you helping them.
Think about how special you would feel if someone went out of their way to make your day easier. Using their time to help your day go more smoothly. If they don’t say “thank you”, just don’t offer help anymore – that’s not their thing.
Listen As If They’re The Only Other Person Alive
Say this: …
That’s right, say nothing. Shut your mouth and listen to what they have to say. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the same generic advice on listening.
Instead, here’s a great post on charisma and tools that will make you a better listener.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can say after they finish talking. I tend to repeat the last few words they said, so they know I’m listening. But if you’re genuinely interested, which hope to heavens you are – you will make fantastic conversation. Again, check out the charisma combo post to achieve this.
For the most part, keep eye-contact and try not to look ugly. You’re trying to gain favor, so look pleasing to the eye.
Hugs & Handshakes
This one typically goes along with any of the other steps.
Hugs and handshakes usually come after someone has done another person a favor. Or when you see someone again, reach for a hug and say “oh-em-gee I haven’t seen you, in like, forever”, basically complimenting her existence.
These are just nice to praise good behavior.
Yes, gifting is probably the best thing you can do. Because even if the person absolutely hates you, a gift would completely catch them off guard.
But again, this is about gaining people’s favor.
I wrote a great post on how to gift to other people cheap and easy to improve your personal relationships already. I suggest you check it out.
But be warned. Start off small – you don’t want to throw away money on someone who doesn’t really appreciate gifts.
Finally, Decide Which Got the Best Responses
You may notice that the person responds very well to two things rather than only one. That’s normal.
Use that tactic to cultivate your relationship with this person. Be supportive and offer that value to the person any way you can. In return, they will reciprocate value.
Be good-willed to the good-willed. But if you notice that it’s becoming a one-way street, drop the person. They’re taking advantage of your goodwill.
These tactics work on friends, family, intimate relationships, and professional relationships. Keep the good-willed in your phone contacts at all times. Keep in touch and maintain that valuable relationship. You never know when you might need it.
Check out the book Love Languages.
Good habits to gain favor in day-to-day life
- Say “Thank you [name], I appreciate you” to everyone who does something nice for you
- If there’s something you notice and like about a person, compliment them
- If someone sighs, ask them “You sighed, is something wrong?”
- Listen and learn to genuinely care about this particular person’s life
- Learn to gift (cheaply) without expecting anything in return