Everyone wants to be liked. While I think we certainly understand that we won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and we don’t need everyone to like us, I think we all have an innate need or desire to be well liked. And the reason this is important is because people give opportunities to people they like…and you want every possible opportunity you can get. Whether it’s to help other people, become financially secure, get a raise, meet the right person, whatever your dreams and goals may be, those things can’t be done without the assistance of other people. It’s much easier to seize opportunities when you’re liked. And being more likeable is something all of us can work on. So, here are my 5 tips to help you become instantly more likable and the kind of person other people want to be around.
5 Tips to be More Likeable
1.) Lead with your best qualities
Don’t lead with your flaws. So many people lead with their flaws because they think it’s funny to be self-deprecating or that they’re being real by putting their issues out on the table when they first meet someone.
I’ve met so many people that tell me about their 20-year history with trauma or divorce or mental illness and their struggles…things you don’t normally tell someone in the first 10 minutes of meeting them. I think this is because people think if they only have a couple minutes with a person, to help the person understand who they are, they must share the most traumatic or significant part of their history.
While there’s certainly a time and place for this when you know someone more intimately, I think it’s distracting when you first meet a person. I want to know the greatness in you, and so does everyone else! So, lead with your best qualities! And if you’re in a funk, just feeling “meh” lately, check out this podcast!
2.) Connect by asking questions
People love to talk about themselves. When we get nervous, we tend to go on and on about ourselves just to fill up dead air. But if you’re trying to win the favor of another individual, and you’re trying to get to know them, the best thing you can do is NOT talk about yourself. Instead, ask questions about them!
Have a list of 5 questions you truly, genuinely want to know about people. For instance:
- “Where did you grow up?”
- “What was your childhood like?”
- “What do you do for a living?”
Asking questions is the best way to learn more about a person, and it also makes you more likeable. Nobody likes to spend time with someone who goes on and on and on about themselves. But, like I said before, people LOVE to talk about themselves. So asking lots of questions is a sure-fire way to be more likeable.
To be a great conversationalist, not only do you have to connect by asking questions, but you have to ask good follow up questions, too. When you first meet a person, they often give vague, short answers in an attempt to be polite. By asking a follow up question, you show that you’re truly interested in what they have to say.
We’re often hesitant to ask follow up questions because we don’t want to look stupid as if we didn’t understand the person’s vague answer. But really, most people are vague because they want you to ask a follow up question.
So, to be more likeable, have about 2-3 additional questions ready as follow -ups. I promise, people will walk away thinking you were interesting and a great conversationalist…and little will they realize they were the ones doing all the talking.
4.) Mirror the Other Person’s Energy
Have you ever been in a conversation with a person that is really hyper and loud and vivacious, while your energy is very calm and chill, and that person keeps upping their energy almost in an attempt to get you to match theirs? We’re most comfortable with a person whose energy matches our own.
So pay attention to verbal and physical cues a person is sending off while you’re speaking to them. Pay attention to the person’s body language. Are they starting to move away, are their eyes drifting, have the left the conversation mentally? If so, take that cue to re-engage them by directing the conversation back to them.
5.) Just be you
Don’t try so hard. A funny story… while shuttling my kids and a bunch of their friends around in the car, I was going through my list of 7,000 questions that I typically ask (not to be more likeable, but to get a sense of who these kids are), and I made a comment trying to be funny. Then, my daughter said, “Mom, don’t be such a try-hard.” I said, “What’s a try-hard?” And she goes, “Someone that trying really hard to fit in.”
While I really was just trying to be funny, the point is, even as adults, we find ourselves feeling a little self-conscious about who we are, especially in a new circle of people. There’s nothing more obvious than someone who’s trying to act like someone they’re not – dressing like someone else, taking on their mannerisms or speech patterns and humor, or pretending to like all the same things and go to the same places. It’s just obvious.
Instead, just be you. Be you times two – a cleaned up, polished, likable version of yourself. Nothing’s cooler and more attractive than a person who’s confident, happy, and self assured in their own skin.
Remember, the best way to be more likeable is to be yourself. I hope these five tips are helpful to you. I know I try to remind myself of them especially when I’m in a new environment. I try to be more likeable by making the people around me comfortable, so we can all relax, and we all like each other.