How to Become a More Likable Person
Friday, February 5 2016 Emily Roberts MA, LPC
What makes someone a likable person? You may think that some people have a better personality than you, have an easier time talking to others or that likable people are just born that way. Nope, you too can be a more likable person, it just takes some practice. If you learn to cultivate the tools in this post when interacting with others, you’ll feel more confident in social situations, have healthier relationships and feel happier in the skin you're in.
What Makes Someone a Likable Person?
Think about a person you feel is likable -- someone who gets along with almost anyone, can strike up a conversation at a business meeting or dinner party or who seems to know what to say or how to appear confident even in awkward situations. What makes them more likable? What makes people drawn to them? It is often their confidence, or apparent confidence in the situation. See, likable people try to make others feel at ease and do their best to be mindful of their own discomfort. They try to act in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable.
Five Ways to Be a More Likable Person
- Ask good questions. If someone is talking, listen. Pick up on something that interests you. For example, if you're meeting someone new, say, "What part of town are you in?" or "How do you like that area, I've heard great things." This shows them you want to learn more about them, which makes them feel good. Asking questions means you are acting interested and people want to feel heard.
- Act interested. Listen to what they are saying. Nod, smile and respond with comments or questions that relate to the conversation. Put away your phone, too. Texting in the middle of a conversation or even checking your phone is incredibly disrespectful. Instead, show that you are committed to the conversation by not distracting yourself or insinuating that you are not interested.
- Make genuine compliments. When you compliment someone about something specific and unique to them, you become more likable and appear confident. "I really like that color on you. You look fantastic in blue," or "I love the way you handled that frustrating email, you are so good at calming customers down." These are genuine and unique to the person and mean more than just a few nice words.
- Try to be kind to everyone. Kindness makes people likable instantly. I was with a client at a coffee shop recently and a woman was very rude to us as we were waiting in line. I wanted to shout back at her ( I wouldn't do that) but I took a breath and said very nicely, "I'm so sorry we are taking a bit longer to make a decision, would you like to go in front of us?" She didn't say thank you and I didn't make a face (although I wanted to roll my eyes). When we finally were ready to order, the cashier said, "That was so nice of you; sorry that woman was so rude." I said, "Oh she was probably in a hurry or something; it's no problem." Not only do I want to be a good example for my client, but a kind and likable person to the world. Likable people don't waste energy on people who disrespect them.
- Validate others. Validating others doesn't mean you have to agree with them. Say your friend decides to yell at her boss because he didn't pay her on time. You can still validate the frustration she must have without telling her advice she doesn't want to hear (you shouldn't have done that to your boss). Validation is a way for others to feel that you hear them and empathize with them. "I'm really sorry to hear he hasn't paid you; that must be so frustrating. I hope he gets the money to you soon."
Another thing to remember about likable people is their intention isn't to be liked, it's to make others feel comfortable. That's because they become more confident and comfortable, too. Chances are you are already a very likable person and remembering these tips will help you feel even more confident in any situation.
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.