Becoming more likable is easier than you think.
There's lots of research on the traits and behaviours that make people likable — that have nothing to do with what they're saying.
Below, Business Insider has rounded up some of a fascinating piece of research on the best ways to make friends and impress coworkers, all without saying a word.
Speak in a higher-pitched voice
You'll technically have to utter something for this trick to work. But it's less about what you say and more about how you say it.
A 2014 paper, published in the journal PLoS ONE, found that men and women who speak in a higher pitch are perceived as more likeable and more trustworthy.
A small 2011 study, published in the European Journal of Personality, found that extroverts and self-centred people — really! — are perceived as more likable.
The researchers dug deeper to figure out why extroverts and self-centered individuals were considered more likable. As it turns out, one reason is that both extroverts and self-centered individuals “had a more fashionable appearance.”
Look self-assured and energetic
The same study mentioned above found that likability also depended on “the speed and energy of [participants'] body movements” and “the self-assuredness of their body movements.”
Copy the person you're with
This strategy is called mirroring, and involves subtly mimicking another person's behaviour. When talking to someone, try copying their body language, gestures, and facial expressions.
In 1999, New York University researchers documented the “chameleon effect,” which occurs when people unconsciously mimic each other's behaviour. That mimicry facilitates liking.
In one University of Wyoming study, nearly 100 undergraduate women looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open-body position, smiling in a closed-body position, not smiling in an open-body position, or not smiling in a closed-body position. Results suggested that the woman in the photo was liked most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.