6 Easy Ways to Be More Likable

by Kelly Medeiros on 30 April 2014 1 comment

As people, we all have a basic need to feel liked. But you don't need to be a glamorous celebrity or the most interesting man in the world to have people adore you. Often, it's just the simple things that can make a real difference. Here are some easy skills that anyone can use to instantly win over others, and also feel good in the process. (See also: How to Be Happier and More Likeable at Work)

1. Ask Questions of Interest

If you've ever watched reality dating shows, you know that nobody likes the people who only talk about themselves the whole time. This certainly holds true for life in general; however, we are programmed to talk about ourselves, given it positively affects our brain chemistry. But knowing this, you can instantly boost your likeability when you turn the tables and start asking someone thoughtful questions about themselves to get them talking. Truly listening will only enhance the effect and make people feel important. It's a simple strategy, but one that is often overlooked if you accidentally or purposefully get too focused on yourself. (See also: Improve Any Conversation With a Simple Listening Tactic)

2. Remember Names

Always remembering someone's name can instantly create some goodwill, especially with developing relationships. Same thing goes for remembering other details for that matter. Recalling things like where someone is from, kids' names, or other pertinent details, shows you care and creates a great impression. In fact, the best salespeople often follow such strategies to personalize relationships and win over clients. The Internet is awash with advice on learning to remember names, but start with some basics:

  • Repeat the name after you learn it;

  • Spell it out;

  • Associate it with a context ("Bill from Accounting");

  • Actually care enough to remember.

3. Pay a Genuine Compliment

Who doesn't appreciate a good compliment? Saying something nice to someone is a great way to relate and have people like you. But before you throw out the praise, be sure to make it thoughtful and genuine. Fake compliments are obvious, and kissing up can do just the opposite of what you're intending. Look for things truly worth noting. It can be as simple as telling someone you love the shoes he is wearing today to more personal accolades, like remarking how someone always so fun to talk to. Such kindness resonates with people, and they will associate you with the good feelings it gives. (See also: 5 Tips to Giving Better Compliments)

4. Be Approachable

People gravitate towards those that look approachable. Doing something as easy as smiling can illicit a positive response and make people find you more likeable. Negative body language, like scowling, folding arms, and looking closed off does just the opposite. With approachability comes your ability to also approach others in a positive way. Doing so sends a pleasant message and looks like you care. Just avoid the over-aggressive approach, or worse yet, in certain social situations, using bad pickup lines. (See also: Improving Your Body Language)

5. Use Humor

Beyond an approachable demeanor, having a sense of humor can be an effective tool in getting people to like you. Just be sure you use the right kind of humor, which means not being offensive and only using neutral targets or things you have in common. I often find my humor is aimed at myself. Some may call it self-deprecating, but it's more of a way to find common ground with others and lighten the mood. Humor can help in many ways, as it makes you more enjoyable to be around, diffuses tension, and puts people at ease, just to name a few benefits.

6. Share Something About Yourself

Sharing something about yourself with others makes you more relatable and can give people the chance to make an instant connection or even commiserate with you. Sharing personal details doesn't have to be about heavy or life-altering things, however. Try starting out with the smaller stuff, like mentioning an interest or favorite place, which is easy to share and ultimately can strike a chord with someone. People love it when others end up having something in common with them. And, even if what you share isn't a mutual thing, it can still make you seem more down to earth or interesting when you open up.

What are some other helpful skills that you can add to the list? Start by sharing something in comments!

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Out of the 6 things, I find remembering names to be the hardest. Will check out that Forbes' article on how to get better at it.