7 Habits That Makes You A Likeable Person

Have you ever watched a television show where you find yourself immediately rooting for one of the characters? Perhaps you are rooting for the second lead who conceals his feelings, gives moral support, and treats the lead actress in a gentleman-like manner. 

I know you can’t help but scream, “Oh, just confess to her!” while you’re watching it, right? 

It tends to happen when we encounter likeable people. Their response to situations and mannerisms make us respect and appreciate them. Their likeability makes us root for them. 

With that said, below are some habits that you can inculcate to increase your likeability: 

  1. You are an active listener.  

Do you find yourself focusing on what you will say next when you are having a conversation with someone? Or perhaps you are looking at your smartphone while someone is talking to you? When you do this, you fail to engage in active listening most of the time. In other words, you hear the story, but you don’t listen. This causes the other person to feel ignored and unseen. As quoted from an author, Sanjo Jendayi, “Listening doesn’t always equate to hearing. Hearing doesn’t always lead to understanding, but active listening helps each person truly “see” the other.” Dianne Grande, a licensed clinical psychologist, suggested several ways to be an active listener, such as listening without judgment, leaving the person to finish their thoughts without interruption, or asking questions if you need clarification. Mastering active listening will increase your likeability, which will lead to enhanced empathy and improved relationship satisfaction. 

  1. You are authentic. 

Is it essential to align your actions with your core values and beliefs? Do you hope to connect with your true self and act in accordance with it? Have you ever experienced negative feelings when you act in ways that violate your self-concept? 

If you answer “Yes” to the above questions, you are considered authentic. 

People are drawn to authentic people because they are true to themselves and are comfortable in their own skin. Their focus is on fulfilling their passion and purpose rather than meeting external expectations. Authentic people also exhibit more confidence, emotional resilience, and strength. 

  1. You don’t pass judgment. 

Have you ever had a preconceived idea and built a mental picture of another person before they have even interacted with you? Being too judgemental creates a lot of conflict during our interactions, and makes you prejudice towards a person who looks, acts, or thinks differently than you.  It’s natural to make judgments to be aware of potential danger, but too much of it will only create unnecessary disputes with others. Freeing yourself from doubts, prejudices, and misconceptions can genuinely help you understand others in a better way and increase your likeability.  

  1. You don’t seek attention. 

When you are in a social gathering, do you enjoy being in the centre of attention? Do you find yourself relying heavily on others’ opinions of you and trying to fish for their compliments? 

Attention seeking is not entirely wrong. Instead, this behaviour ranges from expressing our most natural desire for human contact to extreme manifestations of psychological suffering. 

People gravitate towards those who are humble when they are given the spotlight. If you receive a compliment on your outstanding accomplishments, you not only accept the compliment but also redirect the focus to everyone who made it possible. You value the people in your life and pay attention to them instead of making it all about yourself.

  1. You use positive body language. 

It’s not about what you say, but how you say it. People are drawn towards those who exhibit positive body language during a conversation. Your tone of voice, expressions, gestures, strong posture, and movement of various body parts can make all the difference while you are interacting with the other person. Body language is likened to a silent orchestra; it reveals your thoughts and feelings. According to research by Borgomaneri, Gazzola, and Avenanti published in 2012, the openness of one’s body language affects how likeable an individual appears to be. However, there are cultural differences regarding open body language.  According to a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Emily Cook, looking at the eye of the conversation partner indicates openness and interest in many Western cultures. Those from other cultures, such as those from many Eastern cultures, may avoid prolonged eye contact, as looking slightly downward or to the side is considered respectful.

  1. You compliment other people.

“Whatever you say about other people influences how people see you.” 

(Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project) 

Have you ever seen a person describing her friend as genuine and kind? Do you notice what kind of trait that you associate with the person? You will subconsciously assume the person to be genuine and kind as well. This is known as spontaneous trait transference. Mae, Carlston, and Skowronski reported in a journal published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, demonstrating that such an effect happened even when people knew certain traits did not describe the person speaking. It’s also true that if you disparage people behind their backs, your friends will begin to associate negative attributes with you as well. 

  1. You balance passion and fun. 

Are you passionate about your work? Do you believe that all work and no play make  Jack a dull boy? Your ability to be not only passionate about your work but also have fun with your colleagues and classmates can increase your likeability. Being too serious and too absorbed in your work may give a signal that you are unfriendly and can lead to burnout. You will find that people are  drawn towards you if you have meaningful interactions with them and minimize gossip.   

Final thoughts 

Most of us may have come across the idea of wanting to be more likeable. However, perhaps later, you feel embarrassed about having such a thought and think of it as pretty shallow. 

Is it really shallow, though? 

It is human to want to be liked. The key to becoming likeable isn’t to appear desperate and approval-seeking, but rather to become a better, more genuine, and more caring individual.

REFERENCES

Authenticity | Psychology Today. Psychology Today. (n.d.). Retrieved January 5, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/authenticity

Borgomaneri, S., Gazzola, V., & Avenanti, A. (2012). Research Motor mapping of implied actions during perception of emotional body language. Brain Stimulation, 5(2),

70-76.doi:10.1016/j.brs.2012.03.011

Grande, D. (2020, June 2). Active listening skills | Psychology Today. Retrieved January 5, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-it-together/202006/active-listening-skills

Mae, L., Carlston, D. E., & Skowronski, J. J. (1999). Spontaneous trait transference to familiar communications: Is a little knowledge a dangerous thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(2), 233–246. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.77.2.233

Raypole, C. (2020, January 15). Body language: What it is and how to read it. Healthline. Retrieved January 6, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/body-language

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