People who become friendlier and more approachable as they get older usually adopt these 10 behaviors

Getting friendlier and more approachable as we age isn’t just about maturing, it’s a conscious decision to embrace certain behaviors.

When it comes to becoming an affable, likable person, there isn’t one-size-fits-all advice. But there are some common traits that friendly and approachable people seem to share as they get older.

This isn’t about faking it or putting on a facade. It’s about adopting behaviors that genuinely make you more receptive and open to others.

In this article, we’re going to explore 10 behaviors that those who grow friendlier and more approachable with age commonly adopt. So, let’s dive right in.

1) Regularly practicing empathy

Empathy is the cornerstone of human connection. It’s about feeling what others feel, stepping into their world for a moment.

As we journey through life, we amass a treasure trove of experiences that deepen our empathy. From soaring highs to crushing lows, each moment adds another layer to our understanding of the human experience.

Think about it: who do you want to be around when life throws you a curveball? Those who get you, who feel with you. By honing our empathy skills, we don’t just become better listeners—we become beacons of warmth and understanding.

2) Cultivating a positive attitude

I’ve personally found that adopting a positive attitude can significantly enhance one’s approachability.

A few years back, I went through a phase where I was constantly bogged down by negative thoughts. I was cynical, pessimistic and often wore a frown. This took a toll on my relationships, and I noticed people were hesitant to approach me.

I decided to change, and consciously worked towards cultivating a positive attitude. I started with small steps – focusing on the good in every situation, expressing gratitude for what I had, and trying to spread cheer around me.

Over time, this became second nature. And the transformation was palpable. Friends and colleagues started reaching out more often, seeking advice or just a conversation. Strangers seemed more comfortable striking up conversations.

My personal experience taught me that a positive attitude not only lightens up your own life but also makes you more approachable to others.  

3) Being an active listener

Listening is often considered a passive activity, but it’s far from it. Active listening involves fully engaging in a conversation, showing interest, and providing thoughtful responses.

Did you know that according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, good listeners are perceived as people leaders, and individuals who provide a safe haven during difficult times?

Active listening does more than just making you appear interested in what the other person is saying. It shows respect for their thoughts and feelings which, in turn, makes you more approachable.

So instead of just waiting for your turn to speak, try to absorb what the other person is saying. Ask follow-up questions to show that you’re engaged. You’ll find that people will be more drawn to you as a result.

4) Displaying genuine interest in others

Want to become someone everyone loves chatting with? Here’s the secret: show genuine interest in others.

People light up when they feel someone truly cares about what makes them tick—their passions, experiences, and stories. It’s like saying, “Hey, you matter.”

But here’s the catch: it’s not about fake smiles or nosiness. It’s about being authentically curious and respectful of their world—their thoughts, feelings, and journey.

Ask, listen, share a compliment or two—show them they’re worth your attention. You’ll be amazed how this simple act can pave the way for real connections and make you the friend everyone wants to hang out with.

5) Embracing humility

Humility is a trait that can significantly enhance one’s approachability.

Being humble doesn’t mean downplaying your achievements or talents. Instead, it involves recognizing and appreciating the value others bring to the table.

A humble person is approachable because they are open to learning and growing. They don’t let their ego get in the way of forming relationships, and they are often willing to admit when they’re wrong.

And to that I say: embrace humility. Recognize the worth of others, be open to new ideas and perspectives, and acknowledge your own mistakes. This can make you appear more human, relatable, and approachable as you age.

6) Showing kindness and compassion

who happily embrace getting older People who become friendlier and more approachable as they get older usually adopt these 10 behaviors

Kindness and compassion aren’t just virtues, they’re magic keys to becoming friendlier and more approachable.

We’ve all faced situations where a kind word or a compassionate gesture has brightened our day. It’s these instances of warmth and care that draw us to people, making us feel safe and accepted.

Showing kindness isn’t about grand gestures. It can be as simple as a smile, a word of encouragement, or lending a helping hand when someone is in need.

And it’s not just about being kind to others. It’s also about being kind to yourself. Compassion begins at home, and when you’re compassionate towards yourself, it radiates outwards.

7) Learning to laugh at oneself

Let me share a story: Once, during a speech, I stumbled over my words. Instead of shrinking with embarrassment, I cracked a joke about needing an extra shot of coffee. The room erupted in laughter, and suddenly, the tension vanished.

That day, I learned a powerful lesson: the magic of not taking yourself too seriously. People warm up to those who can chuckle at their own slip-ups. It humanizes you, makes you real.

As we navigate life’s twists and turns, we’re bound to trip up now and then. But embracing those moments with a bit of humor instead of cringing in shame can make you instantly more approachable.

So, go ahead, share a laugh at your own expense every now and then. It’s not just good for you—it might just brighten someone else’s day and draw them closer to you.

8) Being comfortable with silence

In a world that’s constantly buzzing with noise, silence can seem unsettling. But here’s an unexpected truth: being comfortable with silence can actually make you more approachable.

Often, we feel the need to fill every silence with conversation, fearing that quiet might be perceived as awkward or unfriendly. But silence can also be a sign of comfort and acceptance. It shows that you’re at ease in someone’s company and don’t feel the need to constantly entertain or impress them.

Moreover, being comfortable with silence indicates that you’re a good listener, willing to give others the space to express themselves without feeling the need to interject or dominate the conversation.

9) Maintaining good eye contact

Eye contact is a powerful tool when it comes to becoming more approachable. It’s a silent form of communication that conveys interest, attention, and respect.

When you maintain eye contact during a conversation, it shows the other person that you’re fully engaged and interested in what they have to say. It makes them feel seen and valued.

But don’t forget there’s a fine line between maintaining eye contact and staring. The key is to make sure it’s comfortable and natural.

10) Being authentic

Ultimately, the most important behavior in becoming friendlier and more approachable is authenticity.

Being authentic is about staying true to yourself, no matter what. It’s about speaking your mind and owning your quirks instead of chasing approval.

Make no mistake: people gravitate towards authenticity like bees to honey. They admire those who stay real and upfront. Authenticity builds bridges and cements bonds.

Hence, forget about trying to be someone you’re not. Embrace your quirks, speak your truth, and let your genuine self shine. That’s the surefire way to draw people to you as you journey through life.

Kindness, the ageless elixir: Touching hearts, bridging lives

As we’ve navigated through the behaviors that lead to becoming friendlier and more approachable, it’s important to remember that these are not quick fixes but gradual shifts. They require awareness, intention, and consistent practice.

At their core, becoming friendlier and more approachable is about embracing our shared humanity. It’s about valuing the worth of every person we meet and treating them with the compassion, dignity, and understanding they deserve.

As we grow older, let’s aim not just to age, but to grow kinder. Not merely to mature, but to become more inviting. Because in the end, it’s not just about the years we’ve lived, but the hearts we’ve warmed and the connections we’ve forged with our kindness and openness.

Picture of Farley Ledgerwood

Farley Ledgerwood

Farley Ledgerwood, a Toronto-based writer, specializes in the fields of personal development, psychology, and relationships, offering readers practical and actionable advice. His expertise and thoughtful approach highlight the complex nature of human behavior, empowering his readers to navigate their personal and interpersonal challenges more effectively. When Farley isn’t tapping away at his laptop, he’s often found meandering around his local park, accompanied by his grandchildren and his beloved dog, Lottie.

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