The Groundhog’s Day Guide to Get People to Like You


"So rise and shine campers and don’t forget your booties. That's right, woodchuck-chuckers - it's...GROUNDHOG DAY!"

Wouldn’t you like a magic formula to get people to like you and learn how to overcome shyness? (and btw just what is shyness?) I think most would brave their shadow for that.

It can be done, but it works differently than many people think. That’s why most people get it all wrong.

In the movie Groundhog’s Day, everyone hated Bill Murray’s character in the beginning, but by the end they all knew him, loved him, wanted a piece of him.

So in this post, I’ll pull some tips from February 2nd that’ll have people sure as heckfire remembering you. BING!  

A movie you can watch over & over & over…

SPOILER ALERT! …well, from 1993

First of all, if you’ve never seen the movie – check it out. It’s uniquely funny in a way that only Bill Murray can pull off.

Basically, Murray’s character Phil is a meteorologist who’s sent to do a news story on Punxsutawney Phil (that’s the groundhog) on Groundhog’s Day. Soon Phil realizes he’s stuck in some sort of loop and reliving the same day with no way out.

After seriously over-thinking the issue and getting WAY depressed, he eventually falls in love with Rita, the producer for his news story.  Since he literally has all the time in the world, “day by day” he learns more about her and what she likes. Then, he tries to BE the perfect person for her.

He pretends to be interested in the things she’s interested in. He tries to be amazingly impressive, all to get her to like him.

Well guess what? Nope, it doesn’t work.

How to become AWESOME!

When I was younger I desperately wanted to be in Phil’s situation because of what happens next.

He gives up on Rita and decides to take advantage of having eternity in a day.

  • He hears piano music and loves it, so he learns to play
  • He becomes an ice sculptor, using chainsaws
  • He approaches his career with new zest and professionalism
  • He also goes around helping others wherever he can because it makes him feel good

By the end of the movie, he’s the star of the town’s Groundhog’s Day celebration. He’s an amazing pianist and ice sculptor. He’s great at his career and everyone knows and loves him including Rita (and they’ve only known him for ONE DAY technically).

Why most get the “getting people to like them” thing wrong

Here’s the thing. I wanted to be in Phil’s shoes for the wrong reasons – the same reasons most people get this all wrong.

I thought about how nice it’d be to have all that time to practice say, guitar, martial arts, sports, etc. I figured if I could master all those things, people would be amazed by me and like me.

That’s the wrong way to look at it. That’s what Phil did in the beginning when he was trying to win Rita’s heart. People being impressed by you and people liking you are not the same thing.

And while the examples above might seem extreme, have you ever thought to get people to like you means being “cool” or funny or acting in a certain way or saying the right things? I have. Those are all along the same lines as trying to be impressive.

That’s because directly trying to get people to like you doesn’t really work. You need to take a more indirect and wholesome approach for others to be drawn to you.

Groundhog’s Day lessons on being likeable:

  • The easiest way to get people to like you is to first be interested in them. In the beginning, Phil faked interest in the people of Punxsutawney because he wanted something from them. By the end, he was genuinely interested in their lives. Either way, his interest attracted others. So instead of trying to be interesting (which will come off as “needy”), instead be interested in others.
  • Build a life that’s interesting and fulfilling to you. When I say you shouldn’t try to be interesting to others, I don’t mean you should be boring. In fact, you SHOULD live an interesting life, BUT it should be a life that’s interesting to YOU! Phil learned piano because HE liked it. He renewed efforts in his career because it gave HIM fulfillment. Once he was living a life he was passionate about, everyone wanted a piece of him because they were drawn to that passion.
  • Be kind and giving. By the end of the movie, Phil was helping people by the hour. Sometimes it was life changing and other times it was just a nice gesture. Most importantly, he did it without expecting anything in return. This is why everyone knew him by the end – word of his character and kindness spread very quickly. (Note – being warm and learning how to be friendly and nice to others doesn’t mean being so nice that you let others walk all over you! )

Take Action

Go watch this movie! Then when you’re in a situation where you want attention, instead of doing something you think would get you that attention, first try to be interested in the other person or be kind and giving to them (buy them a drink or do them a favor).

Also, always strive to live a life you’re passionate about and that gives YOU joy. This will make you more interesting than any technique ever could.

(photo of Groundhog Day 2005 by Aaron Silvers, from Wikipedia via Creative Commons license)

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