Hey, Psych2Goers! Have you noticed your friend circle getting a bit smaller lately, but you’re not really sure why? As we get older and come out of school, it’s natural that your friend circle gets a bit smaller. Instead of being around hundreds of new people each day, we’re usually only exposed to the same handful of people. Now, don’t get me wrong. Having a small, tight knit friends circle where everyone has each other’s back is fantastic and healthy, but having a couple on/off friends or even no friends can be a sign that you might be doing something that drives friends away. But what could it be? Let’s take a look at 5 unexpected traits that make you instantly likable and help grow that friend circle back!
#1: You’re accountable for your words and actions.
Have you ever met someone who always thinks they’re right even when they’re proven wrong? I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty annoying when someone can’t be accountable for themselves. Your words and actions are your own. If those words or actions cause harm to someone or cause some sort of bad situation, that’s on you to take accountability for. When you try to pass that blame, that can instantly cause people to not like or want to be around you. The next time something you say or do hurts someone’s feelings or causes a bad situation, stop. Instead of coming up with an excuse or even a lie as to why you did or said something, sincerely apologize for what you said. No one wants to feel like they’re wrong, but you will feel so much better for owning up to your mistakes. It might even help you learn for the next time!
#2: You don’t call all the shots all the time.
Narcissists are a hot topic nowadays, and the general consensus is that no one likes being around a narcissist. In 2016, a study was done comparing the most common personality and friendship characteristics in long friendships. Being agreeable and open to others’ ideas were two qualities that were high in long friendships. Basically, no one wants to be around someone who’s self-absorbed and wants it their way. If you want it your way, you can go to Burger King. With friendships, much like any other type of relationship, it’s a give and take. One weekend, you and the squad might do something you want. The next weekend, let someone else choose. When they do, unless they’re suggesting bungee jumping off a bridge, smile and let them know you’d love to. This is a definite way to help you be more likable and have people want to hang out with you more.
#3: You don’t monopolize the conversation.
Do you know someone who is constantly talking? Not just a little bit either. I’m talking the kind of talker that makes you ask where the “off” button is. It’s pretty exhausting, even draining, to be around someone like that. This can make you pretty unlikeable. Like we said earlier, any relationship is a give and take, even in conversations. You’re not a professor giving a lecture, and your friends and loved ones didn’t buy tickets to TED Talk. When you’re having a conversation and have finished your thought, pause to let the other people in the conversation speak. Now, here’s the trick. When the other people are talking, DON’T THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SAY NEXT! Actually listen to them, that way you can expand on their point or even ask questions to keep the conversation moving forward. This can make you much more likable to be around and talk to.
#4: Your actions match your words.
I, unfortunately, used to be someone who would make promises to friends. Whether it was promising to help someone move, promising to pick someone up from the airport, or even promising to watch someone’s pet, I would make the promise because I knew that’s what a “good friend” and a “decent person” would do. I also have issues with the word “no”, but that’s another video. Instead of being honest and letting them know I might not have the time or mental capacity for whatever the task is, I just say yes. Then, I have to make up some excuse as to why I can’t do that thing. This puts my friend is a really tight spot by needing to find a replacement or leaving them doing all the work. After a pattern of dropping the ball, this can explain why you’re not asked to be a part of things anymore.
The next time someone asks you if you can do them a favor, take a moment to do a personal inventory before answering. If you have a lot on your plate with work, school, family, or even personal projects, it may not be a good idea to take on more. Your friends appreciate you for being upfront and honest with them. This is a great way to build a bond with friends and build up your likeability.
#5: You create a positive environment around you.
Does anyone remember Rachel Dratch’s character Debbie Downer from SNL? She and her friends were at Disney, the happiest place on Earth so-they-say. While sitting down to lunch, all she did was bring her friends’ moods down by spitting out depressing fact after depressing fact. What’s worse, she didn’t pick up on any social queues from her friends to stop talking about these more serious topics while on vacation. Now, put yourself in that scene. Would you want to be around Debbie Downer? Most likely not. (And we don’t blame you!) When you create a positive environment, it helps to attract people and boost your likeability. It’s like the old saying goes “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” You don’t make friends by being sour.
The next time you feel the need to bring up something negative, whether it be bad news, gossip, or even something awful that happened this morning, ask yourself if this is something that will propel your conversation? Will it benefit the group? Am I just trying to vent? If you’re seeing that saying this negative thing is just for your benefit, try writing it in a journal later on. That way, you can get that negative thought out of your system and help create a positive environment with the squad.
Sometimes, we can fall into the trap of thinking only about ourselves which can really impact the people around us. We hope you found some quick and easy tips to help you be instantly more likable. If you try these tips, let us know what happens in the comments below! As always, keep an eye on Psi for more Psych2Go content!
Have a wonderful day!
The references used in and to compose this article are listed below:
Boothman, N. (2000). How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less. books.google.com. Thomas Allen & Son Limited. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://books.google.com/books?id=pH8IGavumXwC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Friedman, H. S., Riggio, R. E., & Casella, D. F. (1988). Nonverbal skill, personal charisma, and initial attraction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 14(1), 203–211. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167288141020
Laakasuo, M., Rotkirch, A., Berg, V., & Jokela, M. (2016). The Company You Keep: Personality and Friendship Characteristics. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(1), 66–73. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550616662126
Thomas, A. (2016, August 4). 39 Extraordinary Traits of Likable People. Inc.com. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://www.inc.com/andrew-thomas/39-extraordinary-traits-of-likable-people.html