20 Simple Social Skills That Will Make You Instantly More Likable

Keep eye contact

As Heidi Grant Halvorson explains in her book “No One Understands You And What To Do About It,” the very first thing people will try to decide about you when they meet you is if they can trust you – and it’s fairly hard to like someone if you don’t trust them.

Their decision is made almost entirely unconsciously, and it usually comes down to how well you can balance conveying two things: warmth and competence.

“Above all else, really focus on what is being said to you – people need to feel that they have been heard, even when you can’t give them what they are asking for or can’t be of particular help,” Halvorson writes. One simple way to show you’re paying attention is to make eye contact and hold it.

“It is an idiotically simple thing, but it remains one of the most impactful life hacks around,” writes Quora user Brad Porter.

Halvorson says that making eye contact is also an effective way to convey competence, and studies have shown that those who do so are consistently judged as more intelligent.

Start this habit immediately, says Porter. It requires no practice or special skill – just the commitment to meet someone’s gaze and look them in the eye while conversing.

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