One of the most important factors in living a healthy, happy and fulfilling life is having solid, meaningful relationships. While relationships can be complicated and challenging, being a likable person is one of the top traits in successful relationships. Individuals who have likable personalities enjoy greater success in personal and professional endeavors. It makes sense. People are drawn to and respond better to people who are likable. The likable person inspires loyalty and people want to be around him/her. You might be smarter, more educated and more attractive. However, without likability, you are at a major disadvantage.
1) Realize that not everyone is going to like you and be okay with that.
Let’s face it. You could be the most giving, caring, loving, super nice person in the world and there will be people who just will not like you. This is not necessarily a flaw with you as an individual. There were probably some people in this world who did not like Mother Theresa. The fact is, you cannot please everyone and everyone will not like you. Be okay with that.
2) Be positive.
No matter what type of person you are, if you are negative, it will portray a negative image and most likely you will be unlikable to others. The best thing you can do to change all of your relationships, whether close relationships or just acquaintances, is to be positive. Being positive is a choice. You can blame your “bad situation” on outside forces and people. You can be the victim with no control of your fate. Or you can change your total outlook by making a decision to be positive. Be genuinely concerned about the welfare of others rather than simply being right.
3) Tell the truth.
I can almost guarantee you have never met a liar you liked! Being dishonest is the quickest and most sure way to damage relationships. We all make mistakes and mess up. The best thing you can do is to be honest, admit your mistake and ask for forgiveness.
4) Listen to what others are saying rather than always being the one talking!
One of the keys of being likable is to get others to talk about themselves. Harvard neuroscientists have found that when someone talks about themselves, it gives the same signals of pleasure in the brain as food or money. Harvard neuro-scientist Diana Tamir tells the “Wall Street Journal” that “Self-disclosure is extra rewarding.” Rather than being the one always talking, stop, ask and listen to others.
People who smile are much more approachable and “warm” than those individuals who do not smile. People who smile often have a seemingly magnetic force that attracts all types of people. Be cognizant of your body language, including whether or not you are smiling to give off that enviable, likable and approachable vibe.
6) Have a sense of humor.
Having a great sense of humor is an essential social component. Who are you friends with? Chances are you closest friends are ones who make you smile and laugh. Individuals who are genuinely funny are difficult to dislike. Laughter makes people want to be with you.
7) Be committed to conversations.
Nothing will portray a negative image more than looking at your cell phone during a conversation. This seems like it is common sense. However, in this technological age where cell phones are always within reach, it is not surprising that often people pay more attention to their devices than with the person with whom they are interacting with. If you want to give off a bad impression, by all means look at your cell phone during a conversation with someone else. Giving someone your full attention makes that person feel important and worth your time.
8) Call people by their name and use it in conversation.
This is a proven and tried method of building rapport. Read any book on being influential and this will most likely be one of the best methods of inducing a great response. People enjoy hearing their own name, especially when conversing with someone new. If you use someone’s name during a first meeting and conversation It imparts the image that they are important enough for you to remember their name.
If you are a naturally shy person or an introvert, some of these methods may be very difficult and make you uncomfortable. Social anxiety is one of the most common types if anxiety. One of the best ways to increase confidence in social situations is through Hypnosis. Hypnosis is the perfect way to expose someone in a safe and relaxed way to situations that may cause fear or anxiety. The great news is with practice and increased confidence, you too can become the “likable” person you have always wanted to be.
About The Author
David R. Wright MA, LPC, NCC is the owner and Clinical Director of Counseling and Therapy Associates an outpatient mental health clinic in Taylor, Michigan. Mr. Wright is also known as the Motor City Hypnotist and helps clients with all types of issues including weight loss, anxiety, smoking cessation, insomnia and sports performance enhancement. Mr. Wright also performs comedy hypnosis stage shows for a variety of events.