Let me start by saying that you don’t need to be likable. Be natural and true to your ideas and beliefs—those who will like you, good; and those who don’t, who cares?! Taking up forced attributes and trying to be someone who you are not is even more repelling. You are unique. Be unapologetic at that.
Steve Jobs was never liked by the majority of his colleagues and contemporaries. He didn’t care; his legacy never cared. And then you will see the likes of Mother Teresa; even when loved by the world, she is disliked by so many people in propaganda.
Meaning, if you go about trying to be likable to everyone, you will never succeed. And, in the end, with all your time spent, you will realize that your efforts never really mattered. They were all a waste. So, just be true to yourself and empathetic to others; your itch to be likable will stop mattering in your conscience.
Now that being said though, we also cannot overlook the significance of being likable in various aspects of your life—from building relationships to succeeding in your career. So, to ensure that these aspects are well sorted, I do encourage people to pick up few habits, even when they are a pain to adapt to, just to be more likable to others.
Coming to your question, here are 5 simple ways to become instantly more likable:
- Smile (and smile some more)
This is a universal language that never fails to communicate and create a bond between individuals. When you smile, it automatically makes you look more approachable. It makes you a happy-to-go kind of a person. And these are the people who are liked the most. So, start smiling more often.
Besides, when you smile more, it triggers you psychologically, which makes you feel good and happier. And when you’re happy, it cascades to make you more likable.
- Look neat and presentable
Would you approach and talk to a guy who’s dirty with a poorsense of clothing? Unless you’re out donating the homeless, the answer would likely be a NO. Similarly, other people wouldn’t approach and like you if you’re not in good condition physically.
So, it’s important to look clean and presentable all the time. People who are liked the most, you will always find them neat and dressed properly all the time.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology confirmed that people who ask lots of questions, particularly in follow-ups, are more likable by the other conversation partner(s).
So, get into a habit of asking questions to others. When they tell you something, ask them a follow-up question just to show you’re genuinely interested in what they are saying. And when you look interested in what another person is speaking, you instantly become more likable.
One of the best habits of likable people is that they take initiatives confidently. They talk first, they ask first, they advise first, they help first. In short, they act more like a leader rather than waiting for others to do something first. You need to do the same thing.
Be the first one in the crowd to do things. For example, the next time you meet someone, be the first one to greet and extend the arm for a handshake. The next time your boss asks if anyone has any question, be the first one to raise your hand to question.
There’s a very thin line between being likable and being ana#s kisser. You need to ensure that you’re on the right side of the line. So, instead of nodding your head every time and saying “yes” to everyone, you need to have contrary opinions, you need to take stands and you MUST learn to say “NO”.
Sure, these might upset a few people. But at the same time, for people who matter to you the most, you will become ever more likable for taking a stand and saying “NO”.
These are 5 simple things that will make you likable instantly. Just try them and notice the difference yourself.
Now Note: I believe that being likable to others has nothing to do with your happiness. It has to do with your overall self-representation in this world. The better you represent yourself in the world, to others, the more success you will achieve. And remember, while many confuse between them, success and happiness are not the same things. Your happiness is a very intimate affair; your success is what the world has precepted for you. In short, be unapologetic in who you are for your own happiness. And at the same time be likable for your success. Good luck!!
(Courtesy: Anne Grady Group)