What Can Friendly Persuasion Do For Us And How To Accomplish It

Medically reviewed by Majesty Purvis, LCMHC
Updated February 19, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
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Do you feel anxious in social situations?

Can you be friendly towards another person creating a better relationship? Friendly persuasion is the element of friendliness and trustworthiness that one puts in when interacting with others. It can be a way to win people over in casual and formal situations.

Sometimes when hoping to persuade someone, we may feel tempted to be pushy or even brash. Friendly persuasion is the opposite—it’s the idea that you are more likely to be persuasive when you are warm, helpful, and attentive. You can practice friendly persuasion simply by considering the other person’s situation, needs, and wants, instead of just talking about your own feelings and wants.

Does friendly persuasion work?

Friendly persuasion can work if used correctly. We are often influenced by other people based on how we view our relationship with the person doing the influencing.

If you notice that you feel positively about another person who has been friendly towards you, you might be more inclined to listen to them rather than just have a neutral opinion.

How we win over people is often through friendliness and honesty. Others tend to gravitate towards friendly people. If you're a nice, trustworthy person, you might win over the hardest of human beings.

The intent behind friendly persuasion

With friendly persuasion, intent is a big part of interpretation. Do you want to help the person, or do you do it for personal benefit? If the latter is your primary intent, it may not be perceived as a social activity.

With friendly persuasion, others should get the impression that you're not just trying to help yourself. You want to show that you care, and want to help others, rather than just yourself. While your ultimate intent might be for personal gain, conveying its potential to help others can help you get their support. For example, don’t just be friendly toward someone when you need something from them. Treat them kindly all the time and be available to help them out when they need it. That may mean that at some point they return the favor.

Many times, others can pick up on your intention. People often know whether or not you are genuinely interested in their needs, so if you want to win others over, show them that you care about them and have their best interest in mind. A friendly and caring attitude goes a long way, as it can make the person more inclined and receptive to the persuasion that you employ.

The importance of empathy and non-verbal communication

Empathy is another vital element in friendly persuasion. Friendly persuasion typically requires the use of tact and compassion for your companion. This means that you should truly pay attention to whomever is in your company and even edit your approach if needed. Having an understanding of your audience can help you determine the best course of action.

Friendly persuasion can work wonders. It can be a way to influence another person without trying to be dominant or demanding. For some people, communicating correctly can change how a conversation goes and make it flow much smoother.

Another part, probably almost as important as the rest of this, is non-verbal communication. When getting to know someone, you can talk about their interests all you want, but if you have poor body language, they are also likely to notice, even if it’s subconsciously.

Having an open, inviting aura to yourself, which you can indicate by standing with your body outward instead of inward, focusing on eye contact, and having proper posture can play a huge part in friendly persuasion. It can make it easy for others to talk to you or strike up a conversation.


Sociability and attractiveness in friendly persuasion

Attraction doesn’t have to be physical. Indeed, with persuasive efforts, it's often your attitudes and general approach that matter most. If you present yourself favorably and appear similar to others, you may get others to gravitate toward you. If you talk about like-minded interests, support people's ideas, and let listen to them while they talk, you have a higher chance of gaining their support. Furthermore, if you are an authority figure, you are likely to get even more help if others look up to you.

One type of element that you can throw in there to improve your communication, and involve yourself in friendly persuasion, is being social. Social people interact often with others; they typically love to entertain, be entertained, talk, and have great conversations. These people are normally friendly and optimistic. People gravitate towards social people because they have a way of making others feel comfortable. 

Listening to others and having a relaxed, open mindset can also showcase to anyone that you're worth investing in and listening to as well. If you've ever wanted to get others to listen to whatever you say, you'll probably get this opportunity by first listening to others.

Get support with online therapy

If you want to influence others and persuade others using the best way possible, you may be able to do so by getting professional help. By speaking with a counselor, you can persuade with a much healthier mindset and have much more influence. You'll never know; you may even use your persuasion, such as the straight-line persuasion, for something beneficial--sales industry. Friendly persuasion is a simple type of persuasion, and it's something that you should consider if you want to change how you influence others and how you come across to other people. 

A man in a gray suit and glasses looks down and smiles at his laptop as the colleague sitting beside him, who has short red hair, glasses, and a brown suit, smiles and looks on.
Do you feel anxious in social situations?


Sometimes we have trouble influencing others not because we aren’t naturally friendly, but because anxiety gets in the way of our true selves. Do you find yourself feeling anxious in social situations? That mindset may be coming from thought patterns and habits. However, our thought patterns are easier to change than we often believe. Many therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to find and change thought habits that make us anxious. This type of therapy can be incredibly effective in combatting the symptoms of social anxiety and general anxiety. Studies also show that online CBT can be just as effective and sometimes even more effective than in-person therapy.

If you want help influencing others and gaining control over your own emotions and actions, talk to a counselor at BetterHelp about how you’re feeling.

Learn the subtleties of persuasion
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