We all want to be liked by others, but few of us actually know how to be more likeable. Making yourself more appealing to others is a subtle social skill and it requires a good understanding of some key principles of human psychology to master.
If you’re interested in how to be more likeable as a person, either to benefit your social life, your dating life or your career, I’d like to give you my perspective, based on my experience as a communication and confidence coach.
Before anything else, there is one crucial aspect to grasp.
You Can’t Get Everybody to Like You
No matter how you are and what you do, not everybody is going to like you. Human tastes and preferences are very diverse, and very often the very behavior that will get some people to like you, will make others dislike you. And you just can’t switch between behaviors as you want, all around.
I’ve met some very likeable people over time. But none of them were liked by all. Even persons who were very upbeat and friendly with others, some found to be annoying because of this trait.
So if you’re goal in learning how to be more likeable is to get everyone to like you, forget it. It’s not gonna happen. However, you can make more people like you, you can increase your likeability factor, and this can be a goal worth pursuing.
Since I touched on this idea, it’s worth adding another thing.
Wanting to Be More Likeable May Be a Form of Approval Seeking
I regularly coach men and women who want to be more appealing to others. One thing I noticed about them is that, frequently, they already are very likeable and many people do like them. But they aren’t happy with this. They feel they need to get everybody to like them, and this is their motivation.
This is what I refer to as an approval seeking attitude, and it’s not only unproductive, but also psychologically unhealthy. It’s often rooted in shyness, low self-esteem, perfectionism or a deep feeling of inferiority to others. This is what makes them want to be adored by all and never be rejected.
But this is a very unrealistic and disturbing expectation to have, which does more harm than good in one’s life.
If you feel that such a motivation is a big component of what is driving you right now to want to learn how to be more likeable, then I encourage you to shift your priorities and instead of trying to learn this, seek to learn how to stop approval seeking and be socially confident.
And I can definitely provide the solution. Check out this instructional presentation I created, where I will show you how to overcome an approval seeking attitude, and give you a clear-cut process for building rock-solid social confidence. Make sure you watch it, please.
This being said, if you still want to become more likeable, here are my 5 key ideas on how to do so.
1. Be Positive
People who are happy and positive tend to be by far the most likeable people. These are the people who talk about positive stuff rather than negative stuff, show optimism, radiate feelings of joy through their body language, joke around and focus on having fun.
This feel-good, have-fun attitude is extremely contagious, and it makes others around them feel good and enjoy themselves as well. And then they end up liking such a person for helping them feel this way.
2. Be Confident
Confidence is also a very likeable trait. Sure, some people find it intimidating, but most are very drawn to it; and as I said, you can’t please everybody. There is something very alluring about a person who is centered, self-assured and at ease with themselves.
If you lack confidence, fortunately, you can develop this trait. Confidence is nothing more than the result of a certain habitual way of thinking about yourself and others. And there are now a few very effective tools for developing it. Again, I suggest you watch this video to learn more about these tools.
3. Have Empathy
Empathy is essentially the ability to understand another person’s feelings and point of view. This is a very important social skill because all people have a strong desire to be understood by others. And empathy permits you to genuinely understand them, as well as to convey this.
Empathy is something you can develop mostly by interacting with others, going beyond superficial conversations and actively seeking to understand them. This is the best way I know to gain empathy: real contact with real people and their inner and outer worlds.
In addition, reading books with complex characters, learning psychology and observing people and their behavior can also help significantly.
4. Have Integrity
Integrity is a very likeable attribute, and one you won’t hear much about. When you have integrity, it means that you say what you think and you do what you say. Your thoughts, words and actions are aligned.
Why is this important? Because it makes other people trust you. And there is a big overlap between trusting someone and being fond of them. Cultivate your integrity and you’ll notice others will be more open with you; they will appreciate you more and like you more.
5. Have Something Interesting To Say
Last but not least, as a rule, the more interesting what you have to say is the more interesting and likeable you tend to be as a person. So no discussion on how to be more likeable could skip this concept.
How do you have interesting things to say? There is no shortcut. The bottom line is that you need to a have a rich life, with diverse activities, challenges and learning experiences. Then you’ll naturally be able to converse on a wide range of topics and have intriguing things to share. You become an interesting person by developing an interesting lifestyle.
As you can see, becoming more likeable is not really something you achieve through a bunch of quick tricks you can use in social interactions. Sure, tricks may help a bit, but they are not a solution to create a visible and lasting enhancement of your likeability.
If you want to be more likeable, it’s important to develop the traits and attitudes of highly likeable people. Which is something you can absolutely do. I’ve seen many folks achieve this over the years, and it’s an amazing process that will yield benefits you can’t even imagine until you experience them yourself.
Image courtesy of Zitona