Asking More Questions Could Be The Key To Being Well-Liked

What does it take to be well-liked? Many of us have this assumption that the key to being well-liked is to give more than to receive. Financially — we think that the way to win people's hearts is to buy them dinners or shower them with gifts. Emotionally — we hope that taking time to attend to someone's needs and showing them how much we care will make them like us more.

Actually, all these selfless gestures will certainly help you experience a satisfying human connection, but they are not the determining factor when it comes to winning heart votes. You'll be shocked to know the real answer to the question of how to be more well-liked, which is more simple and unconventional than what we think. Turns out, the secret to being well-liked is not to give more — but to take more.

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, all you need to do to boost your image in other people's eyes is to ask more questions. There's nothing selfless about displaying inquisitiveness and receiving information from people — but it can make you stand out. Here's why.

The more questions you ask, the more liked you are

According to the research at Harvard Business Review, there are two things that people try to get out of having conversations: "information exchange" and "impression management." Information exchange is essentially a process of learning, whereas impression management refers to the deliberate or unconscious effort to shape other people's perceptions of you. If you want people to like you, try to score high on impression management.

And guess what: Asking questions is akin to killing two birds with one stone. The study examines tens of thousands of spontaneous conversations between people who were getting to know one another romantically, whether offline or online. Some participants were instructed to ask at least nine questions in 15 minutes, whereas others were instructed to ask no more than four questions in that time.

The result shows that individuals who asked more questions in online conversations were more well-liked by their interlocutors as they got to learn more about their object of interest. Speed daters who asked more questions also had a higher chance of being taken out on a second date than those who did not. Therefore, make a habit of preparing a list of questions on various topics that will help you get to know a new potential partner better. Not only does it help you create a good impression, but it also allows you to get to know the person on a deeper level.

How to ask the right questions

One way to become a better questioner is to ask follow-up questions. While there are numerous different kinds of questions you can ask someone, from a simple "How are you?" to asking a question that is entirely off-topic to the subject matter at hand, the most impactful of them are follow-up questions since they show the person you are speaking to that you are paying attention and you are keen to hear more.

For instance, if you're talking passionately about your favorite movie and your interlocutor abruptly shifts the topic to something else, you'll wonder if they listened to you at all and start losing interest. However, to be a good follow-up questioner, you'll have to be a good listener first. Otherwise, you won't be able to focus on what the other person has to say to get enough information to ask follow-up questions that are really on-point.

To practice active listening, you must give the speaker your undivided attention and do not interrupt them. That way, you'll be able to obtain sufficient information to ask the worthwhile question and impress the person. Asking questions helps break down barriers and takes your relationships to new heights. When people feel like you care enough about them to ask numerous questions, they will feel motivated to open up with you and enjoy talking to you.