Knowing how to be pleasant in dealing with others can be a crucial element in creating social bonds. Beyond our knowledge, skills and interests, something as simple as knowing how to make people feel comfortable around us predisposes them to adopt a positive attitude towards us.

In this article we will look at some basic tips on how to be nice to others and get the sympathy flowing. Modifying our habits from these ideas can be helpful in making friends, dealing with neighbors and work colleagues, etc.

How to be more pleasant: guidelines to follow

In personal relationships, not only does it matter what one is, understood as that which defines us psychologically, but it also greatly influences how we show ourselves to others. Although the human mind can adopt an infinite number of details and nuances that make each individual unique, when socializing there are a few details that are capable of making a difference in the process of making a good impression on others.

The truth is that what sets the tone of a dialogue is not what is said, but rather the elements that are often non-verbal and that accompany the communication and that structure it. Let’s see how to take advantage of this to make a conversation adopt a friendly tone in which the other person feels welcome.

1. Maintain eye contact

This is one of the classic tips when it comes to personal relationships and communication, because it has different facets. On the one hand, not looking into the eyes expresses insecurity or the will to hide something, but on the other hand, it also creates a rarefied atmosphere in which our interlocutors do not feel comfortable.

So, maintaining eye contact is one of the minimum requirements to be pleasant in a conversation, although, of course, it is not enough. Obviously you don’t have to look into each other’s eyes constantly , as trying to do this is artificial and unsettling. It is best to look at the face of the person you are talking to and try not to push them away for long periods of time.

2. Take into account the cultural level of the other

Culture can be divided into many areas of knowledge, and the person you are talking to at any given time will most likely not know as much about each of them as you do. Assuming that he or she will understand the references you use or the concepts you appeal to to explain something is not the best way to go about it.

Think that if it is a matter of technicalities or lines of reasoning belonging to highly specialised areas of knowledge , and you resort to them constantly, you will make the other person uncomfortable. Not because you feel bad about not knowing what you are talking about, but because in order to understand what you are saying you have to be interrupted.

So, if it is necessary to refer to these concepts, explain what they are first.

3. Don’t be afraid of silence

A good conversation can be full of silences. That’s why it’s better not to be afraid of those moments when no one is talking, than to say anything just so you don’t have to go through that kind of situation. What makes some silences uncomfortable is not the lack of words themselves , but the context in which they occur and, above all, the way we react to them.

4. Shows interest in the other person

It is important that the other person can talk about what he/she considers important about the moment he/she is going through in a particular area of his/her life, or in his/her life in general, depending on the purpose of the conversation . Ask questions about what might interest or concern him, and listen.

5. Do not adopt a paternalistic attitude

Some people confuse the ability to give advice on a subject they know about with the ability to treat others as if they were children or knew nothing about life. It is important to avoid this and to keep in mind that each person has his or her own criteria and capacity to know what is best at any given moment.

6. Remember what matters about each person

Remembering details about people we have talked to in the past shows interest and is generally responded to with gratitude by others , especially if what we keep in our memory is something personal beyond basic data such as name or age.

7. Uses relaxed nonverbal language

Try not to use non-verbal language that shows you are defensive. For example, keep your arms crossed or hunch over the chair you’re sitting in as you speak. It’s best to be relaxed, with your limbs relatively far from the vertical of your chest.

8. Take care of your personal hygiene

Beyond the style you use to dress, hygiene is fundamental. The simple fact of not respecting this guideline makes people physically more distant , with the consequent impact on social relations.

Bibliographic references:

  • Graziano, W. G. (2002). Agreeableness: Dimension of Personality or Social Desirability Artifact? Journal of Prsonality , 70(5), pp. 695 – 728.