How to make friends & build lasting relationships

Follow these 5 simple steps and become a more likeable person

Disclaimer: This post relies on some of the principles taught by this book: How To Win Friends And Influence People (Dale Carnegie). This post summarizes some of the key principles taught by this book, we highly suggest you read the book for yourself as it is a great guide for improving your personality.

A quick summary...

You might sometimes struggle to make new friends, or maybe you just say the wrong things at the wrong times. You might even find yourself arguing with others a lot and still not convincing them to your way of thinking.

This post will help you to improve your relationships with your friends, colleagues, and clients at work and will also show you, how you can easily make new friends anywhere anytime.

5. Never criticize anybody if you want others to like you 🥰

Criticizing others is easy and many of us do it all the time. In fact, giving a sincere compliment or showing gratitude seems to be much more difficult for us than to criticize others about their behavior.

Animals will learn much more effectively if they're rewarded for good behaviour than if they're punished for bad behaviour.

The same principle can be applied to people. This is because humans aren't primarily driven by reason but instead by emotions.

Most people will feel personally attacked if criticized. This leads to them not truly wanting to listen to you, thus not encouraging them to change their faulty behavior in the first place. Contradictorily, their natural reaction won't be to accept your criticism. Instead, they'll most likely try to defend themselves or even attack you back.

Summarized: criticizing others will just lead to others liking you less. The book suggests you make it a habit to never openly criticize others and accept their shortcomings.

4. Make people feel important and show appreciation 👑

Every human being has a strong desire to feel important; To be important; To make a lasting impression in some way. We all love to be complimented if we do a good job and we also love to hear genuine compliments from friends and colleagues about our appearance or about the things we do.

This desire is not surprising at all. Without the desire to feel important, we wouldn't have had the spirit to create kingdoms, conquer cities and countries and build multi-million-dollar businesses. 

Of course each one of us weighs the importance of appreciation differently but in the end, every one of us has the craving to feel important deep within himself.

So to make yourself a better, more likable person, make sure to compliment your friends sincerely more often. Also make sure to show appreciation by being more grateful about the little things in life, for example, if someone cooks something for you or holds the door open for you.

Sometimes a tiny "Thank you" is enough to make you come across much nicer.

By the way: Do not try to fake a compliment! People will find out eventually.

3. Try to remember someones name and don't forget it ever again 🤷‍♀️

You might be the kind of person that says "Ah, I'm really bad with names, I'm so sorry" as soon as they meet a person they've met before. Most of us don't take the time to remember the names of the people we interact with. In fact, I'm guilty of this myself.

What you probably didn't know, is that people love to hear their name. The book uses the following sentence to describe this phenomenon:

A person's name is the sweetest sound they know. People care more about their own name than about all the other names in the world combined.

And it's true. Remembering people's names can actually bring astonishing results in your social life and in your professional life. This seems so simple and unimportant, but it's actually true. Especially if you're a salesperson or a business owner, calling your employees or clients by their name has a much greater impact than you may think.

How can I learn to remember someone's name?

Easy: Next time you meet someone and they get introduced to you, try to repeat their name in your head a few times. Next, after you have some time for yourself, write that name down. Of course, this requires some practice but you'll eventually get used to it.

2. People like to talk about what they want and what's important to them 💬

I'd like to start this section with an example from the book:

Do you like strawberries? Probably. But if you were to go fishing, would you bait you hook with them? Of course not! Because in fishing, it doesn't matter what you want. What matters is what the fish want.

This simple statement can also be applied to us humans when we have a conversation. Especially if you're not talking about a common interest, people usually have little to no interest in what you have to tell or what you have achieved. To become a great person to talk to, you have to understand what the other person wants and desires - you have to find out what your partner loves to talk about.

If you want something from someone, make sure to find out what's important to them first. Don't start with your request. Instead, start by talking with your partner about something that's important to them. Your partner will appreciate this for sure and most likely gladly accept your request or even better.

1. Arguments CANNOT be one. Avoid them by all costs 🤬

Yes, even if you're right and 100% sure about it - avoid arguments at all costs. Although you might win the argument for sure, it won't have a lasting positive effect on your life.

Let's make an example.

Imagine you're the owner of a car dealership. Whenever a customer, who claims to know a lot about cars, tells you something that you don't agree with you'd correct him immediately. Obviously this would result in an argument each time. Imagine, that you'd win these arguments each time or maybe even lose it fom time to time. Do you think the person you were arguing with would still buy a car from you? Most certainly not, right?

Arguing with another person doesn't make much sense. If you lose the argument, you lose the argument. If you win, the other person will resent you for have hurt their pride. In fact, even if you're right, your partner will most likely still disagree with you. And yes, even after you've proven them wrong.

Avoid those disputes from the start. Try to accept the disagreement and try to see it as a different perspective. Maybe you were wrong, maybe not. Control your temper and listen to your opponent's thoughts carefully and accept them fully. This might even lead to your opponent's defensiveness to decrease.