When it comes to social skills, what we might deem as quirky or “just the way we are” can rub others the wrong way and reduce the chances of us being likeable.
Many of us have grown up being taught that we shouldn’t care what people think of us or if they like us, that we should just be ourselves. While this is inherently true, wanting to be liked is human and goes a long way in improving our human interactions. Likeability can help even those who struggle with socialising to have an easier time connecting with others.
Remember that no matter what you do, not everyone will like you but you can change a few things that will make you a more caring person, one who is pleasant to be around.
If you’re wondering how you can be more likeable, without seeking others’ approval, read on.
Actually listen during conversations: These days it’s so easy to get distracted during conversations with our cell phones just within reach. How many times have you found yourself either glancing at your phone mid-conversation or the person you;re listening to keeps checking their notifications? It can be pretty annoying, right?
People like to be listened to so make an effort to avoid distractions of all kinds. Actually pay attention, nodding and responding appropriately. Offer your support where necessary. Share in their joy, sorrows and victories. Avoid rushing in with a story of your own and instead allow others to share their experiences.
Follow up: It’s very easy to feel like you’re all alone in this world especially since many of us end up fighting our battles on our own with nobody to ask how we’re doing. Show that you care and actually listened to friends and acquaintances by following up either on the phone or the next time you meet. Ask about that trip that they planned, the exam they were taking or after the health of their loved one, etc.
Avoid showing off: Have you ever met people who can stop talking about this bigshot that they know or how they travelled to such and such a place or how accomplished they are? It can be a complete turn off. Unless the conversation is predominantly about all the accomplishments you all made, avoid bragging. Let others find out your accomplishments on their own instead of making them the center of everyone’s attention.
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Be positive: Let’s face it, bad things happen to all of us. Life can be tough but this doesn’t mean that these hardships should be the sole focus of our attention. Constantly complaining can put a damper on good conversation and make us tedious to be with. To be more likeable, steer the conversation towards the positive even if all you want to do is rant. Positivity will make people more drawn to you.
Body language: Common etiquette rules state that your body language can speak volumes even when you actually don’t say anything at all. To make a good impression, watch your body language. Put your arms to your sides instead of across your torso. Smile and maintain eye contact during conversations. Nod and contribute when you’re being spoken to. Sit facing the person speaking to you.
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