We’ve all met those people who everyone seems to instantly click with. They tend to be the co-workers everyone loves to work with or the neighbor people go out of their way to talk to. What do these people all have in common? They are likeable. No matter your personality type, anyone can become more likeable and reap the rewards of improved relationships, better work performance, and a happier life. There’s no magic formula to becoming likeable, but there are some characteristics and actions you can try. Here’s how:
A smile is a quick way to tell people you are interested in what they have to say and that you are happy and approachable. Smiling can instantly break down walls and is a simple act that can launch your career and personality. People automatically mirror body language, so talking to someone who is smiling is more likely to make you smile. Charismatic people throughout history, ranging from U.S. presidents to Hollywood stars, have been able to get people to lower their guards with a simple smile.
Be an engaged listener.
One of the biggest aspects of having a likeable personality it being able to hold a good conversation and be a good listener; after all, people feel much more comfortable when they can talk about themselves. Don’t get distracted or let your thoughts wander—focus on who you are talking to and cherish your time to have a conversation together. Many listeners are so worried about what they’ll say next that they don’t really listen to what the other person is saying—likeable people ask questions to keep the conversation moving and to keep themselves involved and engaged. This shows the other person that you are interested in the conversation and what they have to say.
Likability naturally comes through people who are authentic and genuine. If you try to fake, most people will be able to see through the facade. People who are genuine are true to themselves, honest, and trustworthy. They are confident in their own skin and abilities and aren’t looking at other people as competition, but rather as people they can connect with and learn from.
It can be easy to overreact, especially when something goes wrong, but doing so can give a poor impression to the people around you. People who are likable keep their cool in extreme situations so they don’t risk hurting anyone or doing or saying anything they will regret later. These people also understand the importance of the timing of their actions and are patient by waiting until the right moment to talk to someone or address a situation. According to author Napoleon Hill, “Remember that silence may be much more effective than your angry words.”
People who are always looking for the limelight or who are tooting their own horn can be difficult to be around because they come off as being self-centered. Conversely, people who are likable let their simple actions do the talking and are confident in their personality. They are humble instead of seeking attention and reach out to people because it is the right thing to do, not because they’ll get attention and praise.
People who are likeable look for the best in others and in every situation. Instead of dragging people down with excuses and negative thoughts, likeable people praise others and encourage them in a natural way. They point out the good in a situation without being too flowery and try to avoid negative thinking or self-talk.
If you can count on someone to always do what they say, chances are you will find that person likeable. People who are likable are true to their principles and are consistent. If they say they will do something, they will. They are steady in their interactions with others by not favoring certain people or groups. With a likable person, you know what you will get from them every time and you don’t have to worry about what their mood will be like that day.
Likability isn’t a personality type that can be built overnight, nor is it something that can easily be defined. However, by working to incorporate these characteristics into your life, you may just see the likeability and relationships grow and your career and life take off.