Hey You,

It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2.

Tim Sanders is the author of the personal improvement book, “The Likability Factor” and today I want to share with you my notes on a presentation he did on the subject of why people do or don’t like you.

His research and passion for this project is coming from a place where one of the first memories he has of his childhood is being 3 1/2 years old and being abandoned by his mother in a motel room who’d hit the road with some truck driver only to be discovered by a maid 72 hours later.

After living in a bunch of different foster homes his Grandmother decides she’ll take care of him and he credits her with providing him with a happy childhood.

He’d skipped the second grade and this led to him being the smaller and younger kid every year in his class which led to him getting his ass kicked at school. His grandma told him, “You need to learn how to like those boys. That will solve all your problems. Cultivate a belief that you like those kids.” He said, “Why would I like bullies?” She said, “You like people not because of who they are. You like people because of who you are.” That’s good.

These are only a couple of his life experiences that sent him for on a quest to answer the question of . . .

Why Is It Important To Be Liked?

One of the most important life lessons that was ever passed down to Tim was from the chairman of Neiman Marcus while Tim was working for him. The chairman said, “Don’t ever forget to make yourself emotionally attractive. If you do, very good things are going to happen in your life.”

That’s another writer-downer you want to trap onto paper or pixel somewhere and reference daily.

Tim has since coined being emotionally attractive as Likability.

The writing of his book involved finding and scouring millions of pages of research to find the answer to questions like, “Why do you

listen to somebody? Why do you extend extra effort for someone but not for someone else?”

This led him to the conclusion that “Likability” was one of the most misunderstood words in our culture.

He’s learned that likability doesn’t come from telling people what they want to hear. It doesn’t come from using someone’s name over and over in a conversation. It doesn’t come from mirroring physiology.

Likability reflects your capacity to consistently produce positive emotional experiences in other people.

When you make people feel good, they reciprocate more often than not and do what they can to help you feel good too. People who have a high L-Factor are resourceful and seek solutions and synthesis.

People with what researchers call a low L-Factor have a tendency to create negative psychological experiences in the lives of other people. 

Tim calls people with a high likability factor “Angels”. They want people to feel enriched.

Likability can be scored on a level of 1-10. They have a 20 question document that helps determine what level you are.

What research has found is that if you rank at a 3 out of 10 on the scale of emotional likability there are a few things you can count on experiencing . . .

1) You’re one of the first people let go when lay offs happen.

2) You’re more likely to get the anal probe at the airport. Research has shown that if you’re smiling as you walk through security you are less likely to be “randomly selected”. One research study cited that if you’re walking down a city street smiling you are THREE TIMES less likely to be attacked than someone who has a blank expression or a frown on their face.

3) If you’re a psychological beast (person with a low L-Factor) you have a higher chance of being hauled into court and to not be believed by the judge or the jury.

Anyone with common sense can look at these outcomes and say to themselves, “Yep, that seems about right.” And yet people still wallow in behavior that attracts shit into their life.

Two Factors That Fuel A Low L-Factor

The First of These Is The Scarcity Mindset.

People who indulge in a scarcity mindset are prone to have a low L-Factor. He believes that when someone has a bad attitude that scarcity is ALWAYS to blame. Scarcity thinking makes you believe that there’s not enough _________ to go around – women, money, love, food, water, etc. fill in the blank.

This means that when a surprise/change shows up that they don’t like, they’re jarred into the same scarcity mindset a dog goes into when you jerk the food bowl away from them while they’re eating.

When someone has scarcity relative to respect, this is what leads them to negatively gossip. Scarce-minded people think everything is win-lose and zero-sum. This is why someone else doing better irritates them.

When people have a scarce mindset around time, this really cripples them. Every day and half, people who work are expected to read the equivalent of a novel in the form of emails that they have to skim selectively/speed read.

Do You Experience Number Rage?

You can probably relate to the experience of laying in bed late at night and looking at the clock and doing the math of how many hours and minutes of rest you’ll get if you fall to sleep in the next 1o minutes. Some people do this “Late Night Math” multiple times throughout the night and research has shown that when this happens, when you go to work the next day you experience a form of what they call “Number Rage”. And it’s proven that sleep problems lead to personality problems.

The Second Factor is SUFFERING.

It’s all but impossible to feel suffering in your body and your mind and feel that you want other people to feel good at the same time.

You can only do one at a time so someone who’s spends the majority of their time wallowing in suffering is sentencing themselves to a low L Factor which only compounds this state of mind.

People who condemn themselves to suffering have the high tendency to make not only themselves feel bad but also others.

What You Can Look Forward To If You Have A High L-Factor

Emotionally attractive salespeople earn 40% more money than their peers do. One of the reasons for this is that if the prospect likes you, they’ll tell you how to sell them. They’re actually rooting for you to make a sale to them.

If you’re likable at work, you’re more likely to get a better review and more likely to get a raise than your equally talented, not so likable colleagues. If you manager likes you, they give you insider hints on what you need to do to succeed.

You also get higher performance out of people. You get them to reach for the best within themselves. Research has proven that likable teachers not only grade better with the students but the students also get better grades on their tests which is the unconscious desire in the kids to want the teacher to be successful.

Research has proven that you can higher quality care and advice from medical professionals when you’re likable. The same goes for kids with highly likable parents. 

Another finding that’s been uncovered is that the number one reason a young person will stay with a job isn’t cash. It’s having the job create a positive emotional experience for them. What helps to prove this is that they found that over a 1/2 billion dollars worth of IRA and 401K accounts had been abandoned and unchecked on by people the year prior. 80% of the accounts were owned by people 27 years old and younger. Financial security has a different meaning for this generation of youth. It used to be that financial security meant owning your home, keeping your job for 40 years and having a pension to rely on. If you’re 20 years old, financial freedom means being free not to work for a douche bag.

And for parents, studies have proven that emotionally aggressive parents are twice as likely to not see their kids at Christmas when they move away after college.

Another study showed that if you’re a male and you have a negative outlook on life, you’re THREE TIMES more likely to experience two divorces in your lifetime.

The number of friends you have after you’re 50 years old will shrink significantly depending on the way you see the world.

If you ask any doctor, they can tell you that the leading indicator as to who lives and who dies after getting seriously ill is the number of people at home waiting and cheering you on to recover.

People stay connected to you or not depending on your ability to make them feel good.

How Do You Get A Higher Likeability Factor?

Tim believes our nature is to be compassionate – that we’re born that way.

Kids take feelings really seriously. Kids that are really young haven’t learned how to resent other people. They’ve haven’t been stabbed in the back so they like everyone until that person proves to them they aren’t likable.

These traits are the foundation of a likable personality.

But there’s four basic questions someone is going to ask about you when they first meet you. And the researchers have found that these questions are asked in this specific order . . .

1) Friend or Foe?

“Is daddy in a good mood?” is our biological go-to question when we meet someone. Once we determine this, we ask the question of . . .

2) Are they relevant to me?

3) Are they empathetic to how I feel?

Significance is the search in relationships for empathy.

4) Is this person real and genuine?

This is unique to the 21st century in the post-Dale Carnegie era.

If they get a “No” on any of these, you don’t pass go on the high likeability factor scale and you’ve essentially taught them to treat you like a nobody.

Here’s How To Proactively Improve Your Emotional Sexiness


When Einstein was on his death bed, a reporter asked him what one question he would like to ask of the creator. Einstein responded instantly with, “I will ask, ‘Is the universe friendly?’”

Einstein explained that this was the fundamental question of humans over our entire life. In any situation in any arena with your family, kids, friends, coworkers, etc. when you’re flagged as a “Foe” the people’s minds that you’re interacting with shut down and the negative opinion of you is formed.

There’s range to this friendliness factor which at one end starts with the person being open to you because they feel that you like them. And them opening to you says that they like you as well.

3 Ways You Can Be More Friendly

Some people are just too good for apologizing for freaking out on you and blaming it on your or the stress they were under and they assume that the person they’ve apologized to forgives them.

But research has found that you are more likely to forgive someone’s rudeness the first time you meet them. You can write that off. But a year into a relationship, it’s gonna take an apology and three acts of kindness to even things up. After 5 years the apology is worthless.

What this breaks down to is not being dependent on things to be going well in order for you to be nice. You want to cultivate the skill of consistently being nice when the world is on top of you and when you’re on top of the world.

1st Way To Be More Friendly: Reconnect To What You’re Grateful For

This is an antidote to bad behavior.

Researchers say that if you get a piece of paper and write down on it three things you’re grateful for about any situation you’re having a challenge with and you fold the paper and put it into your pocket, the very next day you can take that piece of paper out if you’re in a fit of rage about this same topic and your handwriting will confront you and bring you back to center.

Truly happy and grateful people aren’t assholes.

2nd Way To Be More Friendly: Tell Your Face That You’re Happy If You Are

People aren’t mind readers. Give them evidence with your face that you are friendly.

Dr. Albert Mehrabian, the author of the book “Mixed Signals” said that there’s no such thing as a friendly person. Rather there are people who communicate with friendly intentions on a consistent and easy to understand basis.

55% of someone’s judgment as to whether you’re a friend or a foe is determined by your facial expressions you wear. And yet people falsely work from what he or she said, which is only 7% of the equation, when trying to explain why the do or don’t like someone.

A recent study done revealed that the average business manager was smiled at 15 times a day by different people and they only smile back an average of 6 times.

A dog’s way of smiling at you is eye contact and wagging their tail. If a dog couldn’t wag it’s it tail, it’d be a cat. There’s the old saying of, “Dogs have friends, cats have staff.” Quit being the dead pan expressionless cat. Smile back and see what happens.

3rd Way To Be More Friendly: Be Kind With Email

Email is most people’s Achilles heel.

Here’s how to never regret having sent an email . . .

First, don’t send emails when you’re pissed off. Email is for saying, “Yes,” answering questions or for asking questions. You say, “No,” you criticize in person or over the phone because you want them to see in your facial expressions that your intentions are positive.

One way to determine if you’re mad is to close your eyes and put your first two finger tips on your eyelids. If they’re room temperature, you’re probably not angry. They’ll be scorching hot if you are.

If you are pissed, save that email as a draft and sleep on the issue and more likely than not when you revisit it the next day, you’ll probably delete it.

It’s really hard to communicate fully with email without using a bunch of emoticons to make it explicitly clear what you mean. Use your face or vocal expressions whenever possible.


Friendliness is what plants the seed for a relationship to develop.

The lowest level of relevance is when you merely have something in common with someone else – you’re in the same business, from the same state, you both like big butts and you cannot lie, etc.

The highest level of relevance is when I’m the answer to your problem. Relevance is the idea that you are what people need.

1st Step To Being More Relevant: Cultivate a More Sincere Interest In The People In Your Life

Leaders need to be sincerely interested in those who follow them.

Some people like parents demean what their followers are passionate about and this puts up a wall where a river of communication could flow.

Stephen Covey, the famed author of “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” told a story of one of his friends who had a son who absolutely loved baseball. The father barely even knew what a baseball looked like. But what he did was he immersed himself in the sport and took his boy to go see a game in each of the stadiums and this bonding time took their relationship to an entirely new level. When Stephen asked his friend if really loved baseball that much to go through all that effort and he said, “No, but I love my boy that much.”

Becoming highly interested in what makes another person’s heart sing helps them to trust you have their best interest in mind.

Here’s a way to go about putting this into practice . . .

Take two pieces of paper and on one, write down a list of five hobbies/passions you have in your life outside of your job. If you don’t have five, remember or think of things you always wanted to do and list them.

On the next, write down your five most frequent contacts – people you see and talk to the most THAT ARE NOT YOUR FAMILY. Now for each of the people you listed, come up with two hobbies or passions that they have outside of work. If you come up short on this list, asking these people about their passions can lead to an amazing conversation.

When you put these lists together, they’ve found that after having done this exercise with over 3,500 people that you have a 75% chance of creating a direct match between one of your passions and one of the passions of one of the people you spend the most time with.

This can create a mega-bond between the two of you. As Carnegie says, “You can accomplish much more developing a sincere interest in two people than you could ever while trying to get two people interested in you.”

2nd Step To Being More Relevant: Study How Your World Is Changing

Lifelong students who embrace change are flat out more likeable than those who whine about change are the last ones to know it’s coming.

A study by the American Book Sellers Association said that the average business person reads .7 professional books every 5 years. Wow.

People perceive reading to be hard and they don’t do it because they don’t have to.

On the flip side, the average Fortune 1,000 CEO reads six books every year. He rolled this stat out to make the point that “leaders are readers” but I’m not all that impressed by this number and it doesn’t bring that point home to me. This number says to me a ton about the majority of these CEO’s who are dragging this average to the paltry number of six books by reading nothing at all and the 5% at the top are probably reading a book every week or two.

So you be ahead relevance wise of 95% of Fortune 1,000 if you can manage to read one book every nine weeks. That’s not too much to ask, is it?


When a person in a relationship thinks they’ve been heard, that’s when the connection between the two of you is radically enhanced.

Reaching the lowest level of empathy means you’re a good listener. You can manage to shut your mouth for a second. Incredible empathy is when you can express the sincere desire to see things completely from the person’s point of view.

If you want to master empathy you have to become a deep and powerless listener.

Deep listening is when you are with someone and you’re not listening with your ears but instead are listening with your eyes. You can walk out of that room and name her emotion because you felt into that person’s heart.

Dr. Paul Eckman studied for over four decades how people express their emotions. He found that in every corner of the world from cities to primitive tribal cultures, that people express the seven basic emotions the same exact way in their face.

We have to leak emotions through our face. We can tells stories with our words or body gestures but our face never lies. You can double your deep listening effectiveness by studying it for two hours.

A powerless listener doesn’t tell you what you should feel. They also don’t try to relate by telling about their similar experience; this is sympathy. They say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”


Researcher say our greatest psychological need is to know what’s real.

In this information age where so much data is coming at us that’s always woven with a bias that’s designed to be in someone’s best interest that might not include us, we yearn to have certainty that what we’re buying into is real.

The basic level of this is telling the truth. At the highest level it’s about finishing what you start in life because that’s what makes you genuine in the eyes of others.

Two Closing Pieces Of Advice

1) When with someone, be with them 100%

Like Bill Clinton or not, there are multiple people who say that when you talk to him, even if you’re a nobody, he locks his focus onto you like there’s no one else on the planet. That is what you call genuine presence.

If you treasure a meeting with someone, don’t take your phone with you and don’t have the meeting where you can be interrupted with ease. Learn to lock in on people and you’ll reap rewards you never imagined.

2) If you want the title, you take the job that goes with it

If you want to be a parent, you raise your kid until there’s no more raising to do.

If you want to be a manager, manage people, don’t hide behind your computer sending emails to someone who’s only seven feet away because you’re afraid of confrontation. When you’re upset with someone learn how to criticize the outcome, not the person.

Long after people forget what you did, long after they forget what you said, they’re gonna remember how you made them feel.

I love that quote.

Go get this book and make it at least the one book you read this year or step up like a Fortune 1,000 CEO and take a leisurely 9 weeks to read it. I guarantee you’ll find some killer actionable insights you never learned from your parents, preachers, professors, or politicians that actually help you experience life the way you want to, well liked by the people who matter most to you.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd

PS. If you want even more killer advice from Eben Pagan on what you can do be liked in the business world, you’ll definitely want to put your hands all over these notes on his “Connected” course by clicking here now <—–