If you want to be more likable, say goodbye to 10 habits

Let me cut to the chase – even if you abandon all of these habits, you still won’t be likable to every single person you meet.

But you might learn to like yourself a little more in the process and be okay achieving just that.

Here are 10 habits you should say goodbye to if you want to be more likable.

1) Interrupting people

Starting off simple, remember that conversations are a two-way street.

Whether you’re talking to a coworker or close friend, you should always take note of how you navigate conversations.

When you interrupt people, it can make people feel devalued. Like what they’re saying doesn’t matter to you.

Of course, it doesn’t automatically make you unlikeable. We’ve all interrupted people before.

Maybe because we were excited about the topic of conversation or something else came up that cut the conversation short.

So really it’s all about making sure you don’t make an unconscious habit of it. 

2) Dominating conversations

If you’re someone that tends to interrupt people a lot, you may want to reflect on if you’re also overly dominating conversations.

As in, do you tend to talk more than you listen?

Similarly to how you can make someone feel devalued, you can also make conversations feel draining by not providing talking space for the other person.

Like, you shouldn’t be talking at someone. And your goal should be to be understood, not just heard – if that makes sense.

And being understood means you have to put effort in understanding someone in return. 

Again, some people are naturally passive in conversations. You can’t always match energy or have it matched. 

In that case, you can be more personable by asking more questions about them!

3) Being absent in conversations

On the other side of the spectrum are people who make a habit of being absent during conversations.

Sure, you could say the opposite of speaking is listening. But when you take presence into consideration, listening isn’t listening unless you make the effort to respond appropriately.

This is where asking questions or sharing your perspective on what someone else has said can help you engage more.

But you can also build your presence by being more authentic.

That means being honest about where your head is at so you leave little room for interpretation.

For example, instead of ignoring someone because you don’t have the time to respond, a simple, “I’m busy right now and will get back to you at a later time” can go a long way.

This lets the other person know that you are considerate but that you also have integrity.

4) Planting doubt in people’s minds

Being a negative person is indicative of other issues that might be going on in a person’s life. 

It’s your responsibility and right to find your own happiness in your own time.

However, it is also your responsibility to treat others with respect. Meaning it’s important to make the distinction between how you feel about yourself, and how you treat others.

So when someone tells you about their plans or dreams, it isn’t appropriate to tell them about how you wouldn’t do that. Or how they should rethink their life choices.

Especially if they don’t affect you, it’s best to keep your negativity or fears to yourself. Because the truth is, everyone has their own self-doubt to deal with.

It’s important to mention that a lot of people express worry because they care about the other person. 

But assuming it’s all grown adults that are interacting with one another, offering support instead of doubt can help you cultivate healthier and more positive relationships.

And maybe bring to light certain insecurities you may not be aware of that you’re projecting onto others.

5) “Calling it how it is”

People with low social intelligence often display these traits 2 If you want to be more likable, say goodbye to 10 habits

In addition to being more aware of how you are spreading negativity, being brutally honest can also make you less personable.

That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be your authentic self.

However, we must remember that just because something is right for you, doesn’t mean that it is right for others.

And being authentic is about you maintaining your integrity in your own life, not in the lives of others.

It’s okay to disagree sometimes, I guess this applies to just knowing how to pick your battles.

Sometimes it’s better to keep in mind that if someone is happy doing something and it isn’t harming others, being happy for them doesn’t cost a thing.

Also, know that it’s possible to express your contrasting thoughts or opinions without invalidating others.

6) Passively competing with people

Being too argumentative can also give off a vibe that you are in competition with others.

It may not be conscious or intentional. But when you operate from a place of “you’re wrong and I’m right” it suggests that you aren’t interested in coexisting peacefully with them.

That’s not to say you should mingle with people that you don’t like – in fact it would make it a lot easier for everyone if you stuck to your instincts.

Rather this speaks on working on being more peaceful on your own so you don’t need to compare your life to the lives of others.

Some ways people passively compete are by expressing jealousy in conversations, not allowing others to celebrate themselves, and putting others down by passing judgment.

This can be a tough habit to outgrow because it requires both parties to have a certain level of confidence.

That means you should work on being confident on your own so that you can understand what true confidence looks like when you seek like-minded people.

7) Talking badly about others

People that feel good about themselves are able to help others feel the same.

People who don’t, do the opposite! A way this can manifest is through gossip.

While gossip can feel fun and like a tool to get close to someone in a short period of time, it’s actually harmful in the long run.

It’s a foolproof way to build a relationship on shared negativity and also eats away at your integrity.

So while you might offer a fun conversation, people will find it hard to trust or rely on you. And you will attract people that are hard to trust and rely on.

If you want to be likable, you must be able to provide a space for people to be authentic. How can they do that when they are afraid of what you might say about them?

8) Giving superficial compliments

It’s totally fine to tell someone that you like their jacket.

But again, fixating on how someone looks or what they have can make you appear shallow.

Especially if your comments perpetuate certain beauty standards, even if you mean well, it can make people more self-conscious.

For example, if you compliment someone’s nose but in the process you insult other people’s noses for not looking a certain way.

This is similar to some of my other points where you should just be more mindful that it doesn’t become a habit.

Because building a relationship solely on how you boost each other’s egos isn’t stable. 

It might make you likable for a moment. But if you want to be likable in the long run, there’s nothing better than being a genuine person.

9) Pressuring people to say “yes”

7 signs a man is insecure about his intelligence 1 If you want to be more likable, say goodbye to 10 habits

If someone tells you “no,” respect them and don’t try to change their minds.

Especially between two adults, neither of you are responsible for the other person’s well-being. 

When you pressure people to do something for you, it gives off the energy that you don’t care about them as a person. That you only care about what they can do for you.

Pressuring people emotionally can also happen when you have authority over someone and you take advantage of that.

For example, if you’re in a position of power, reconsider the way you approach people. And be prepared to offer choices and flexibility on your requests.

Or if you’re talking to a loved one, don’t take advantage of the soft spot they have for you. Before they are your loved one, they are their own person.

10) Taking everything too personally

When you’re able to make room for others, you’re able to make room for other perspectives to exist.

When you can’t do that, you might take everything too personally. Which can be emotionally demanding for other people to manage your emotions for you.

That’s not to say you should bottle up your emotions. Or avoid being honest about how someone makes you feel.

But rather than playing the blame game or accusing others of ill will, try detaching more from their validation.

For example, practice telling yourself that you don’t need others to agree with your ideas or emotions for them to have value.

And try looking at life from multiple perspectives so you don’t get attached to the ones that make you feel unworthy.

Being likable is sort of a two-way street.

Because it’s worth more to find people that like the way you like yourself.

And in general, people that are genuine like others that are genuine. So if you want to be likable, be someone that people aren’t afraid to like.

Human beings are flawed, empathetic creatures. 

Be someone that will help them appreciate that instead of resenting it.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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