Brain Hack for Likability


Hi! Welcome to this week’s training. I’m Sherri Wilson, an educator, strategist, and introverted entrepreneur that empowers other introverted entrepreneurs the art of persuasion and influence so you can communicate your message clearly and confidently.

Social acceptance, ‘being liked,’ has so much power because it holds the feelings of loneliness at bay.
— Rollo May

There were over 3400 Google searches on “how to know if someone likes me.” Just as mysterious to us is how to get someone to like us. 

Remember the good ole days as kids. It was as smile as: 

“I like you. Let’s be friends.”

Or grabbing someone’s hands and saying, “Let’s go play!”

That confidence of making new friends was smothered by the reality that NOT everybody likes us. But why is that such a bad thing? When we were young, it felt like a life or death matter. But who cares?! Do you like everybody? Of course not.

However, it’s important as entrepreneurs to know the HOW of being liked because being liked is essential to getting new customers, keeping them, and turning them into fans.

Extroverts think everybody likes them. They’re often the life of the party, can tend to be very confident, and laugh at their own jokes and like their own stories! And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s how they’re wired.

But for introverted entrepreneurs initiating that first conversation and then it not being awkward after is tough! Sometimes I feel I’m missing the part of the brain that’s designed for small talk!

But there is a hack. Actually a chemical called oxytocin that YOU, yes you the introverted entrepreneur can use to spark likability.

If something can be said to make an awkward moment even worse, I’m going to say it.
— Carrie Underwood

 Oxytocin is often called the “Love Hormone” or the “Bonding Hormone.” Mothers are overflowing in oxytocin after the birth of their babies so they bond with them. Men are flooded with oxytocin after sex. Even animals have oxytocin, which is evident by the weird videos of cats nursing other animals or adopting baby ducklings when they’d normally eat them.

You can use oxytocin to spark likability very easily by creating positive interactions with others that causes their brains to release oxytocin and a desire to return the favor. 

You see, oxytocin is a tool the brain uses to know who’s safe and who you should avoid. 

And it’s not hard at all except for the fact you have to START the conversation. And here’s how to do it. Are you ready? Ok, here goes. You say…

“Hello, how are you?”

Right! That’s it. 

Of course, you want to keep the conversation going by using the context of it. For example, if you’re at a conference, you can ask them, “What brought you to this today?” Or “What do you hope to get out of this conference?” 

Or maybe you meet someone on the elevator. You can ask them, “What brought you here (the city not the hotel lol)?” 

And then give your full attention to them and use the rest of the convo for more opportunities to continue the conversation for however long you have or feel is good. 

But how do you end it, which can be AS STRESSFUL as starting it!

Ok, here it is:

“It’s been nice visiting with you but I better get to my next thing!”

I know. Earth shattering, huh?

Other ways to spark oxytocin is touch (like on the shoulder), group movement like exercising or dancing, stories, movies, and music. Gazing at one another and sex are always ways to spark oxytocin but I’m assuming that’s not really your goal in professional interactions. Lol. 

All of these (minus the gazing and sex) are great ways to continue a pleasant working relationship including hugs if and when you feel appropriate  because hugs release oxytocin. 

If that goes too far for your introverted-ness just sign off your emails with, “Hugs.” :)

Sherri Wilson