You listen, greet the cleaning lady just as friendly as the boss and do not scold others – you want to have likeable people around you. FOCUS Online explains what everyone can learn from them.
Thomas Muller, Felix Neureuther, Laura Dahlmeier – most people who meet these athletes are enthusiastic about them. Your secret? You are immensely likeable. You can learn a lot from them and integrate it into your own life. If you put some of this into practice, you will soon become a magnet for others.
This phenomenon is called "Acceptance Prophecy" and was defined by psychologist Danu Anthony Stinson from the University of Waterloo in Canada. There is a kind of "self-fulfilling prophecy" behind this regarding your own sympathy values. Reason enough to take a closer look at the seven most important sympathy rules.
Rule 1: Pay full attention to the other person
This is how it works: When you sit down for an interview, put your cell phone aside – and don’t reflexively reach for it every time it vibrates. It goes without saying that you look directly at the person you are talking to and physically face them. Once the conversation has gained momentum, you let the other person have their say and listen carefully. Listening here means actually paying attention to what is being said and not just lurking for the next pause to finally get going yourself.
What happens: The other person feels seen and taken seriously. Since this is not normal in everyday life, this positive perception will be stored for a long time.
Rule 2: Approach others openly
This is how it works: It is not easy to be unprejudiced and unbiased. Likeable people can do this, they first take you as you are. They are just as friendly to the cleaner who walks through the office in the evening as they are to the boss – because they are not concerned with status, they see the people. This has to do with respect. This also means being able to tolerate other opinions and to deal with them in a controversial way. So do not immediately "close down, if the opinion does not fit. Instead, you ask: "I don’t agree with your opinion, but I’m interested in how you came to that conclusion."
What happens in the process: You feel accepted – no matter whether it’s about a discussion, the way you live or the goals you have.
Rule 3: Positive attitude, because optimism is contagious
How it works: Everybody knows it, but it’s not that easy to see the glass half full instead of half empty. Has an infectious power. Because it works like a magic carpet when someone believes in a solution while others bury their heads in the sand or start ranting. People who are unimpressed by hustle and bustle and bad moods prefer to trust and follow you.
This is what happens: You help the other person to change his or her point of view – this makes things easier for them.
Rule 4: Make others laugh – and be able to laugh at yourself
This is how it works: Making jokes about others behind the scenes is not something likeable people need to do. They don’t score points at the expense of others, but by making others laugh. This succeeds through quick-wittedness – but not every sympathetic person is automatically quick-witted – and through composure.
This is what happens: Humor is contagious and brings lightness to a potentially messy situation. Laughter releases tension and many a smoldering conflict vanishes into thin air.
Rule 5: Have no fear of contact
Here’s how it works: It doesn’t have to be the big hug in the morning before work starts. Whereby people who are at peace with themselves also have a pretty good sense of who likes touch and who doesn’t. The latter will not smother them with cuddles either. Touch can also mean that they have no inhibition about approaching others when something has happened. You simply ask how the other person is doing and whether they need support. And because they ask it so naturally and are not afraid of being rejected at times, it comes across.
This is what happens: Quite a lot, because touch is for people like the air they breathe. Psychologist Martin Grunwald from the University of Leipzig even says: "All social touch stimuli trigger entire cascades of biochemical and neurophysiological processes."
Rule 6: Know yourself – and own up to your mistakes
How it works: With these people, you have the feeling that what you see is what you get. They are not phonies, they don’t walk around with a message they don’t fulfill. This also means they own up to their mistakes and apologize where appropriate. They admit when they don’t know or can’t do something, because they don’t fear falling off a pedestal or no longer being respected by others.
Here’s what happens: Trust develops. Because you are not dealing with a show-off here, but with someone who is also sometimes wrong.
Rule 7: Do not put yourself in the foreground
That’s how it works: Loud "Hey, make way, here I come", are foreign to them. They don’t mind attention, but they don’t feed off it. Nor will they sell others’ ideas as their own or otherwise try to upstage them.
What happens: Alongside them, quieter people can also flourish. They create an environment in which ideas can be heard that would otherwise perish.
How you can tell that you were dealing with a sympathetic person? No matter whether fleetingly on the train or at a dinner among friends. You feel comfortable in your own skin and perhaps even catch yourself thinking "I would like to see this person again some day"."