How to Get People to Like You (and Impress Someone You Admire)

While it's an obvious statement to say that being an adult is hard, there's one aspect of growing up that can be particularly challenging: friendship. As a kid, you expect that when you get older, you'll get a job, pay bills, and manage a household. But you don't entirely anticipate just how hard it can be to get to know fellow grown-ups in the process.

Kelly Campbell, associate professor of psychology and human development at California State University, San Bernardino, has a few theories about why crafting new adult friendships can be tough. One of the reasons, she says, is because enough satisfaction can be found in a trusted and tight-knit group. "As people get older, they weed out low-quality friends," Campbell notes. "They eliminate friends who are draining, and maintain relationships with those who are good for their well-being."

That sentiment rings true if you have friends who have been supportive for years and you share inside jokes that have only grown funnier with time. History with a core group can influence an adult's desire to form new friendships, Campbell says, just as those aforementioned adult responsibilities—careers, marriages, kids—can take up time that would otherwise be devoted to fresh experiences. "A final thing to consider is that when people are younger, their self-esteem is often tied to peer approval," Campbell continues. "As people get older, they generally develop a more secure sense of self, and so their identity is less tied to their friends' perceptions or to the expansiveness of their network."

Nevertheless, attempting to form new friendships is never a bad idea, and the thought can even be exciting if you've had the same squad for a large chunk of your life. If you're ready to expand your social circle, perhaps another question will cross your mind: How can you get people to like you? Thankfully, Campbell has theories on this, too.

We asked Campbell to describe the best ways to get people to like you so that you can use these tips to make new friends. Maybe it won't be as easy as it was during childhood, but at least this way, people can meet you where you're at now.