Many of us aren’t strangers to self-doubt when it comes to worrying whether people actually like us.
Even if it’s just the stranger you sit opposite on every morning commute, your mother-in-law, or your hamster (which sometimes does eye you up a little funny).
Often, people aren’t so straight up if you get all big-eyed and your bottom lip starts to tremble, and you pop the question, “do you even like me?”
We also have a tendency to ponder and overthink small gestures and seemingly negative interactions which can leave us questioning whether or not we’re actually likable.
A positive comment about your hair looking nice might have made you smile for one morning, but you likely still cringe up after that one mean look and eye roll someone gave you when you were hosting a presentation in highschool.
Being likable brings with it many benefits.
It doesn’t just open doors and opportunities, but also lifts up those around you.
Kind people also attract kindness, and who wouldn’t want that?
So without further ado, let’s have a look at these 10 signs that you’re an extremely likable person:
1) You’re genuine
Nobody likes a fake.
A person can change and mould their personality to fit certain social situations or act in a way that’s not inherently who they are to win short-term favour, but the truth always comes out in the end.
That’s why people appreciate genuine and authentic people.
They know that you’re not playing a role or pretending to be someone you’re not, which makes them far more inclined to trust you and feel comfortable in your presence.
2) You show positive emotions
Likable people come with a smile and put a smile on everyone else’s face.
They have an optimistic view on life and are upbeat about everything.
People can’t help but gravitate towards their enthusiasm.
The weather? Glorious!
That film we saw last week? Absolutely incredible!
Your friend’s new girlfriend? An absolute sweetheart.
You might still feel sad or low, and this shouldn’t put you off sharing your emotions when you need a shoulder to lean on.
Part of the authenticity of likable people is that others know that they’ll also be candid when they don’t feel so good.
For the most part, likable people just lighten the atmosphere around them.
They simply glow.
3) You’re a great listener
How great is it when you know you can tell someone about your day and know that they’ll listen wholeheartedly, even if the details are quite mundane?
How disheartening is it if you start telling someone about your day, or something big that’s important to you, and they seem to drift off halfway and start yawning?
Another big sign that you’re an extremely likable person is when people feel confident in sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
You’re not just listening, but you’re actually interested in what they’ve been up to, what books they’ve read, what projects they’ve been working on.
This might mean opening up and getting vulnerable about ways in which they’ve been feeling which might not be so positive.
It might mean you’re privy to a big secret.
It might just mean that you’re the recipient of what-I-did-today.
Part of being a great listener is having active listening skills.
If you don’t cut into what people are saying, you ask open questions, you avoid passing judgment, and you paraphrase what they’ve told you back to them, you’ll know that your ability to listen makes you stand out from the crowd.
People love you for that.
4) You’re empathetic
And when people do open up to you and share what’s been going on, they can be sure that you’ll not only listen but also empathize with what they’re saying.
Whether you can relate to that emotion or experience or not, your first move is always putting yourself in the shoes of whoever is opening up to you and trying to understand things from their perspective.
Extremely likable people are valued for that innate ability to understand the suffering and emotions of those around them.
They’re the first people you turn to for the sagest of advice.
5) You’re kind
Using that heightened empathy, people know that they can turn to you in moments of need.
You’ll be ready and waiting to help them out wherever possible.
It’s often quite easy to see when people only help out or perform an action when there’s something in it for them.
The extremely likable amongst us don’t expect something in return.
They don’t approach helping a friend move house or picking up a partner’s dry cleaning with conditions.
It’s never a case of “well, now you owe me one”.
They’re willing and eager to help out where possible; whether that’s sparing a kind word to a stranger, dabbling in random acts of kindness, or lightening the load for someone who could use it.
6) You put your phone away
…when you’re with other people.
I know, it might seem small, but putting your phone away in the presence of other people is a big indicator of likability.
No one likes spending time with someone whose attention is half glued to a screen, and you’d hate to feel like you’re competing with a cat meme for someone’s attention.
The best people are reliable and responsive when it comes to keeping up with friends online, but will also put their phone down when you’re together to give you their full attention.
7) You’re on time
Even if you do really value a person and find them funny and likable, there are few things more frustrating than standing alone at a bar for an hour when they’re running late.
If they’re always running late, that is.
Sometimes life happens and we do get held up along the way.
Still, showing respect and consideration for other people’s time is a big part of likability.
It’s actually quite hard to continue liking someone who is always late.
You quickly start to feel like they don’t value your time or don’t consider you worthy.
8) You’re funny
There’s nothing better than leaving a date or a dinner still round-faced and wheezing at how much someone managed to make you laugh.
This is not however to be mixed up with making yourself or other people the butt of jokes to gain a round of giggles.
Even if they laugh in the moment, people don’t tend to actually like and enjoy those who will put themselves (or others) down for the sake of trying to win over other people’s favor.
They know that those jokes are probably also being made about them, behind their backs.
9) You’re polite
However, a good sense of humor alone doesn’t make you likable.
Imagine a friend or colleague or date who is so funny and charming and seemingly likable.
Then they act like a complete horror to servers or people they don’t deem worthy of their magnetic attention.
They snap their fingers, start interrupting, or blatantly ignore those they deem beneath them.
Truly likable people are kind to everyone.
They don’t turn that likability on and off when it suits them.
They’re polite and genial with perfect manners, and show consideration towards everyone they interact with.
10) You’re welcoming
Whilst someone might tick off many of the above boxes, they might not afford those privileges to newcomers.
Unsurprisingly, you can be popular and still not be likable.
A bit of an archaic example but take Grease. Rizzo might be the queen bee, but it’s Frenchy who welcomes Sandy and treats her with ditzy kindness.
Part of being an extremely likable person means having an open heart and treating newcomers with the same kindness and polite demeanour as you would your close circle.
You never know – they might come to be your closest friends.
Likable people just want to lift up those around them, regardless of whether or not they have pre-existing relationships with those individuals.
Their kindness never comes at a cost and doesn’t need to be earned.
Likable people are likable for a reason.
Through their compassion, kindness, and attentiveness towards others, they make the world a better place.
If you don’t personally relate to every point on this list, don’t worry, and definitely don’t start getting caught up questioning whether or not you’re a good person.
As individuals, we all bring something unique to the table, and I can promise you bring your own set of traits which people really do value.
If you want to improve your likability, this often requires reflecting on areas where you fall short.
The list above is a good starting point.
Be ready to get your hands dirty in improving your empathy or your listening skills, but don’t forget to keep a positive mindset and a smile along the way.