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People Probably Like You More Than You Think

Do people understand the impressions they make on others or do their anxieties lead them to assume the worst? Across nearly 10 years of research and tens of thousands of observations, the authors have come to this answer: people underestimate how much others like them, and this bias has important implications for how people work together.

Initial conversations can have an outsized impact on how relationships develop over time. Naturally, people often dwell on the impressions they might have made the minute they finish speaking with someone for the first time: “Did they like me or were they just being polite?” “Was my pitch funny or offensive?” “Are they deep in thought or deeply bored?”

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