Learning how to be more likable is something we all struggle with. We want to be true to ourselves, but also want to make sure others enjoy being around us.
Finding that balance is not always easy. We can come off as fake if we try too hard, and if we don’t try at all it seems like we don’t care. But it is possible to learn how to be more likable and still be yourself.
Why do you want to be more likable?
First things first, why do you want to be more likable? Do you struggle to make friends or worry you are coming off a certain way? Or maybe you’re new to an area and simply want to make friends.
If you have heard from people that you come off too nosy or indifferent, that is something you can work on. But if your concern for being likable is solely within yourself, there are others ways to become more likable. [Read: How to make people like you with these charming tips]
What does being likable mean?
I know, it seems pretty self-explanatory. Being likable means you are liked. But is it really that simple?
Being likable shouldn’t mean being popular. It shouldn’t mean having a ton of friends or that everyone likes you. In fact, being more likable comes with the understanding that it is impossible to get everyone to like you. Once you accept that fact, being more likable become a lot easier.
When trying to become more likable, you want to remember that it isn’t about how many people like you, but which people like you. Maybe you want to be liked by your partner’s parents or your boss. You want to be liked by people you like, not by just anyone or by people you want approval from.
Respect and likability are two different things. So remember which one you are going for with certain people. [Read: How to be a good person – 12 small changes to transform your life]
How to be more likeble
Learning how to be more likable does not have to be difficult. You don’t want to put on a show or act a certain way. Simply be self-aware and a person you would want to spend time with.
Here are some steps you can take and some things to consider if you are worried about how to be more likable.
#1 Try not to be needy. This sounds bad, but hear me out. I am all for being true to yourself and expressing your feelings. But when it comes to being likable, no one likes someone who craves attention or needs approval.
If you ask someone to hang out and they say they can’t, leave it there. If they want to hang out, they will ask you about it another time. Don’t push yourself on to other people. Let friendships form naturally. [Read: Effective ways to stop being so needy and insecure]
#2 Read the situation. The modern age is all about subtle signs and signals. People are so scared to say or do the wrong thing, so being able to read body language and vibes is vital.
If you walk into a group and can’t feel that it is an inappropriate time to make a joke or interrupt, you will come off not just awkward, but pushy. Timing and being able to read situations can help you become more likable right away.
If this is something you aren’t great at, take it slow. Observe more before you take a step. [Read: The keys to impressing everyone you meet]
#3 Let go of how others see you. This seems counterintuitive but stick with it. If you are constantly worried about not being likable, you will drive yourself nuts. You will overanalyze every conversation and interaction and being that self-conscious is more obvious than you think.
If you can let go of how others see you, your likability will shoot up immediately. How others see you is usually based more on how they see themselves than who you are. So as long as you’re happy with you, others will be too.
#4 Gain self-confidence. Additionally, self-confidence and charisma can take you very far in the likability department. Liking who you are sends off a message to the world that you do not need approval from anyone and that is contagious.
People love to be around someone who doesn’t beg for attention or need to be reassured that they are liked. Once you like yourself, others will follow your lead. [Read: 15 ways to discover self-love and fall more in love with yourself]
#5 Put in the effort. Being confident and caring more about what you think of yourself than what others think of you is important, but you don’t want to come off as uncaring. Put the effort into relationships, even surface-level ones.
This doesn’t mean you buy everyone a gift on their birthday but go out of your way a bit. Be polite, ask how someone is doing and actually care to listen. Remember people’s birthdays just so you can wish them a wonderful day.
Remember that someone told you their dad had surgery over the weekend or they were getting a new puppy and follow-up. Such small things can really make a difference in how likable you are.
#6 Don’t gossip. This is something that immediately makes you unlikable. Even if people join in on it and you are following others’ lead, gossiping about others is a bad color on everyone.
Just avoid it all together, and you’re in the clear. Now, celebrity gossip and chatting about what happened last week on your favorite TV show is great, just keep the gossip away from people in your real life. [Read: How to make small talk without feeling awkward]
#7 Be there for the good and the bad. This is a place a lot of people fall flat. Being likable doesn’t mean always being positive and bubbly. It doesn’t mean only celebrating good news.
Being likable means being there for the hard stuff too. So whether it is your close friend or your coworker, offer to listen and let them vent. Be there when people need you, not just when you want to be.
#8 Treat others how you want to be treated. Yes, the golden rule you learned in kindergarten is still very much a part of being liked. Would you like to be ignored? Would you like to be interrupted? Would you like someone who was always talking about themselves?
Think about these things before you act. If your answer is no, rethink your next move. [Read: The 22 rules of life to never be unhappy ever again]
#9 Be honest. Honesty is the best policy in just about every walk of life. Yes, sometimes it is important to know when to hold your tongue, but for the most part being open and honest with everyone ensures you are genuine and sincere.
People have quite a decent radar for sincerity, so don’t try to trick people. Stay true to yourself, your opinions, and what matters to you.
#10 Ask questions. Take the time to talk to others and learn about them. I am not telling you to be nosy, and if someone clearly doesn’t want to open up, don’t push them. But, you can’t just stalk everyone on social media to learn about them.
Ask people what they are doing over the holidays, ask their opinion, and discuss important topics. This makes people feel special and like what they are saying matters to you. Taking the time to show interest is what differentiates you from someone that seems likable versus someone who is actually likable. [Read: Meaningful conversation topics for any type of conversation]
#11 Be courteous. Being aware of your surroundings is a major part of showing your courteous side. You don’t have to be a doormat, but go out of your way to make small gestures.
Think about last time you dropped a bunch of papers, whoever stopped to help you pick them up seemed like a saint in that moment. Hold the elevator doors for someone rushing or offer to share your umbrella in the rain. You don’t have to be a pushover, but going out of your way just to help someone with something small makes you and them feel good.
#12 Put your phone down. In this day and age, our phones are like an extension of us, but it is important to live in the moment and actually be with who you’re with. Spending time with someone socially or for work is miserable when one person is just sitting on their phone.
So when you are with people, actually interact with them. Your phone can wait. People like eye contact and words, not just emojis and memes. [Read: Why phubbing is the rudest thing you can ever do to someone]
#13 Be open. One thing that immediately makes people unlikable is a judgmental attitude. Being open-minded is a sure fire way to becoming more likable. Accept others, be tolerant, and respect everyone, no matter your differences.
The first sign of someone who is dismissive, ignorant, or biased is an immediate turnoff.
#14 Be trustworthy. If you told someone you would do something, do it. Being flaky, canceling last minute, or being unreliable makes it seem like you don’t care. Everything from offering to help someone out to letting someone confide in you needs to be carried out.
If you break someone’s trust, it is very hard to earn it back. If you can’t trust someone it is mighty hard to like them. [Read: The friend code all BFFs should be following]
#15 Smile. I am not telling you to walk around with a constant creepy smile on your face all day to be more likable. Rather, smile when you engage with someone. Again, it doesn’t have to be a school picture smile, just a soft grin does the trick.
Smiling is contagious and makes others feel good. Something as small as a smile can really perk up someone’s mood. When you remember feeling happy around someone, even for a moment you find them more likable.
[Read: 15 easy ways to be nice and loved by all instantly!]
It is not that hard to learn how to be more likable while staying true to yourself. All you need is a bit of self-awareness, self-assurance, and some practice.
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