When we think back to someone we like, someone we admire, what is it about them that we’re most fond of?
Is it their compassion towards others? Their impeccable character? Their outrageously good-looking smile?
Sometimes we might not be able to place what it is about them that makes them so likeable.
You may have someone you yourself admire, and perhaps you wonder if you too in turn are as likeable. Well, don’t be so hard on yourself, because you may just be more admirable than you presume.
Here are 5 signs to key you in if you are as likeable as you think.
1. You Emit Positive Energy – Because You Present Positive Emotions to Most Situations
Positive energy? While everyone may not be gifted to read your mythical aura that emits brightness, (because you’re just a little ray of sunshine, aren’t you?), energy is just another way of saying how others feel around you.
‘Vibe’? ‘Aura’? ‘Energy’? Whatever it may be, how you feel in a setting or situation can impact how others feel around you.
So, if you display positive emotions, others are likely to mimic your happy facial expressions and gestures. Therefore, they are likely to feel positive emotions around you and want to be with you more.
Meaning they like your company, and ultimately you.
2. You Listen and Let Others Talk About Themselves
When we try to jump into a conversation and interrupt someone with our own thoughts on the subject prematurely, it can backfire. As much as us humans love to talk about ourselves, it’s important to realize others want to talk about themselves too! Which means if you let them, they may just like you a bit more.
Harvard researchers discovered that taking the time to talk about yourself can have its rewards.
In one of the five studies, subjects sat in an fMRI machine and had to respond to questions about either their own opinions on a subject, or another’s. Regions of the brain associated with reward and motivation were most active while talking about their own thoughts on a subject, as opposed to others.
In fact, the need to talk about ourselves is so strong, that in another study conducted by Harvard researchers, some subjects even declined money to talk about themselves more!
As the research article states: “Self-disclosure was strongly associated with increased activation in brain regions that form the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. Moreover, individuals were willing to forgo money to disclose about the self.”
So, go ahead and let your company talk about themselves for a while. They’ll enjoy their time around you more – and increase dopamine! – as long as you make sure to listen and not doze off.
3. You’re Human, and Have Imperfections
A researcher from the University of Texas found that if you make some mistakes but still show that you are a capable and intelligent person, it may make others see you as more attractive.
In the study, researcher Elliot Aronson had people rate fake ‘test-takers’ based on their attractiveness. Test-takers would either do great on a test, mediocre, or poor.
The imperfection? Some test-takers would act clumsy and spill coffee at the end of the interview, after their scores were revealed.
People rated the test-takers who spilled coffee at the end of their interview the highest on the attractiveness scale.
Meaning, people want to see you are intelligent and capable, but that you aren’t perfect.
As the research paper states: “a superior person may be viewed as superhuman and, therefore, distant; a blunder tends to humanize him and, consequently, increases his attractiveness.”
Poor test takers, mediocre test-takers, and even great test-takers were still rated lower than the superior test-taker who scored great and spilled coffee at the end. Others may be intimidated if you come across as perfect and make no mistakes. They want to see your human side.
But when you show you are capable and yet still relatable as a human being who makes mistakes, people tend to like you more.
As for the mediocre and poor test-takers who spilt their coffee, it didn’t enhance their attractiveness. In terms of attractiveness, it just lowered their chances when they spilt their coffee.
The reason behind this is due to the idea they made a poor first impression with a low score on the test. So the spilled coffee? Didn’t help.
4. You Make Great First Impressions
It’s no secret that first impressions leave a lasting mark.
According to a study published in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, first impressions from a photograph of someone can influence another’s judgment of them even after they’ve met.
In the study, people would evaluate others based off their photograph and then meet them. The first impression through the photograph influenced the individual’s judgment of the person even after they met them formally.
So, don’t be late to first meetings, make sure you dress to present yourself accordingly, and show your personality through a great first impression, hopefully by emitting ‘positive energy’.
5. You Have a Lot in Common
It’s clear that having something in common with the person you’re talking to can increase the chance they like you. There’s more to talk about, you find yourself wanting to listen to their thoughts on the subject as well, and you share your opinions in a positive light as well.
A study by Theodore Newcomb further engraves this idea. In an experiment, Newcomb measured his subjects’ opinions on controversial topics. He then had the subjects live together in a house for an extended amount of time.
He found the subjects who had more in common and shared beliefs on the topics recorded, liked each other better compared to the subjects with opposing beliefs.
So, do you think you’re likeable? If not, do you think you can integrate some of these signs, or tips, into your life?
The most important thing is to be true to yourself and show others your real self and personality.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not just to make someone like you. Start your encounters off right by laying the groundwork for a great relationship. Make a great first impression, share your interests, listen to the other person’s opinion. And if your capabilities fail you and things aren’t working out, whatever you do, don’t spill that coffee on yourself.
Written by Michal Mitchell
- Aronson, E., Willerman, B., & Floyd, J. (1966). The effect of a pratfall on increasing interpersonal attractiveness. Psychonomic Science, 4(6), 227–228. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03342263
- Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1993). Emotional Contagion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2(3), 96–100. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.ep10770953
Intrinsic value of self-disclosure.
- Gunaydin, G., Selcuk, E., & Zayas, V. (2017). Impressions Based on a Portrait Predict, 1-Month Later, Impressions Following a Live Interaction. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(1), 36–44. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550616662123
- Lebowitz, Shana. Truly Likable People All Share the Same Trait – Here Are 9 Ways to Know If You’re One of Them. 25 Apr. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/charismatic-people-likable-friendship-2018-4.
- Newcomb, T. M. (1956). The prediction of interpersonal attraction. American Psychologist, 11(11), 575–586. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0046141