10 Ways to Make Yourself More Likable

Posted on September 7, 2020

We all have differing levels of social skills. Some people are naturally charismatic and endear themselves to others easily. Others might be outgoing yet social awkward, and some might be shy or introverted and find certain social interactions overly effortful or unrewarding. In other words, being perceived as likable is more important to some people than to others.

More importantly, our likability is not entirely up to us. It depends on the context, our roles and functions within the group, the people around us, how much we have in common with them, their biases and our own, and a variety of other factors. Some people may never warm up to us no matter how likable we are. They might be staunchly opposed to our lifestyles, culture, or choices, rubbed the wrong way by one or more of our characteristics, have grudges and resentments we are unaware of, or just be difficult people whose minds cannot be changed. While it is possible to increase our likability in a general circumstance, it is important to remember we can’t appeal to all people all of the time.

That said, if you find yourself wishing people responded to you more warmly and openly, or with more acceptance, there are things you can do to make yourself more likable:

1. Be a better listener. People like being listened to, and there are no shortcuts here. To be a good listener you have to actually listen to what the other person is saying, instead of running through the great story you want to tell the moment they finish speaking) and you have to find ways to convey that you’re being attentive. Head nods, ohs, and ahs, can go a long way.

2. Be supportive. It might seem cool to make light of a minor complaint when someone expresses it (“I had to work all weekend.” “Well, that’s why you make the big bucks!”), but what the other person is looking for is validation (“Aw, that sucks.”). If someone tells you about something they achieved, offer sincere congratulations; if someone tells you about something upsetting, offer sincere sympathy. If someone tells you about an amazing experience, reflect some excitement.

3. Follow up. This is an opportunity most people miss. If someone tells you they have an exam coming up, ask them how it went. If you know they went on vacation, ask how it was. If they mentioned that their kid was sick, ask how their kid is feeling. People note when they gave you information and following up the next time you see them or by text indicates that you listened and that you cared enough to inquire or comment about it late. Doing this can earn you significant likability points.

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Category(s):Personality problems

Source material from Psychology Today