This isn’t your typical ‘how to be more likable’ list. Because there’s nothing more unnerving than a person who acts like they learned how to be a person from a cereal box.
It’s more so, how to brighten up people’s days without losing an arm, kind of a list. Be likable without losing your mind, maybe.
Here are 8 habits to help you do just that.
1) Compliment others
And not just random compliments that you don’t even mean.
Take the time to get to know people by observing what they value. Is it their job? Unique personality? Their looks?
And find common ground. What do you value? What do you like to talk about?
Be inquisitive! After you give a compliment, ask them questions on that subject. Make them feel like an expert.
The key is to be less random with your compliments and express genuine interest to keep the conversation going. You’ll notice that conversations flow better when both people are actually engaged.
2) Actively listen to people
It’s good to actively listen to anyone and cultivate a general curiosity for people. If it helps it feel more genuine, find your niche and gravitate towards people who share your interests.
I’m not saying use people as your personal Google, but rather pretend you’re on the same research team. Don’t be afraid to give your insights and be of service to others.
And one way you can improve your listening skills is by asking questions!
This will allow the other person to feel more comfortable asking you questions as well.
3) Make others feel cared for
There are many habits you can learn to incorporate that offer people a sense of appreciation:
- remembering little things about them
- thanking them even for the little things
- checking up on them once in a while
- asking if they need any assistance
- celebrating their accomplishments
Anything that makes people feel like you took time to consider their comfort and well-being, really!
We often tell ourselves that people aren’t thinking about us or that they are too occupied to remember one another. So it’s a wonderful surprise when people do reach out and show them that they are thought of fondly.
And it’s so easy to send a message these days.
4) Read the room
What I mean by that is know when to be lighthearted, and know when to be serious.
It’s another way we subconsciously notice people who are dependable because it makes you less unpredictable.
This really depends on what kind of social situation it is. Some people don’t mind the vibe taking unexpected turns. Especially if it’s a close group of friends.
But let’s say you’re in a professional setting, or somewhere where you don’t know everyone. It’s better to see how other people are acting before you decide on what kind of energy you want to bring.
And I don’t know, there’s just something very likable about people who know how to be flexible in the way they express themselves.
5) Don’t make a big deal out of other people’s behaviour
What I’ve noticed sometimes in social situations, is that things don’t always flow. They don’t have to.
I once had a friend that said how human beings are inherently a little awkward. And it’s normal for awkward moments to happen.
Or people aren’t obligated to have the best days of their lives every single day, so it’s okay for someone to be a little more closed off and in a mood.
Or maybe people are neurodivergent and have different ways of socializing.
When you come across situations like these, don’t make a big deal out of it. And create room for them to exist as they are.
For example, if someone is being more quiet than usual, don’t force them to be more lively. Just let them be while keeping a friendly attitude towards them. Like you didn’t even notice they were acting out of character.
And maybe ask them in private how they are doing if you want to.
Not making people feel self-conscious for feeling off will help them feel at ease around you.
6) Keep your word and secrets!
Follow through when you make a promise or communicate when you can’t. And always respect people’s privacy and the secrets they confide in you.
Seriously, the type of trust and intimacy you can build by showing someone that you can keep their secret, especially in group settings is underrated.
I’m not saying you need to learn how to lie on behalf of someone, but a simple, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about this” can go a long way.
If you want to be likeable in the long-term without doing much, have integrity and worry about people feeling respected.
7) Personalize your interactions with people
Look for ways to create inside jokes with people, give thoughtful gifts, or even little nicknames to people if they’re comfortable.
I feel like because a lot of us are subjected to being social through work or other unavoidables, it can make being social very… repetitive. It’s like we almost forget people are individuals.
Personally seeing people as individuals helps me stay curious about them and makes almost all of my social interactions more interesting.
Plus, It makes people feel special.
8) Be comfortable with yourself
Magnetic people are magnetic because they are attractive to themselves.
We all know people treat others the way they feel about themselves. So when I meet someone who is sincerely comfortable with who they are, it makes me feel more comfortable to be myself around them.
Because ultimately, more than liking someone for what they can do for me, what makes someone really likable is if they encourage me to have a better relationship with myself.
In terms of specific habits, this can include:
- confidently expressing myself
- not feeling the need to explain everything
- not taking other people’s behaviours personally
- staying away from unnecessary drama
- standing up for myself and others if needed
It’s like saying that you have a mind of your own, and it isn’t chaotic.
I know I just listed a bunch of things that are supposed to make you likable. But don’t overthink any of these.
There are so many ways to be “likable,” and the truth is there’s no point in being likable if you don’t like yourself. And at the end of the day, people will always appreciate authenticity more than anything.
So just be honest and stay curious about your social interactions. And keep these social tricks in mind to help brighten up someone’s day.