6 Easy Tricks to Become Instantly More Likeable

By Brittany Lyte on 12 September 2014 0 comments

Some people attract new friends and opportunities like a magnet. It's in their DNA. (See also: 12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend)

But likability can also be learned by about 90% of people, according to Rohit Bhargava, author of Likeonomics. The benefits are astounding: better relationships, stronger networks, more career success. That's because people want to be in the company of likable people. And they want to help them out.

And we want to help you out, so read on for six simple tricks to grow your appeal and charisma.

1. Raise Your Eyebrows and Turn the Corners of Your Lips Up

People who seem honest and trustworthy are well-liked and it all boils down to the shape and features of the face. People with square jaws, broad chins, high cheekbones, full lips, and brown eyes tend to be perceived as genuine and therefore more likeable.

"Whether we like it or not, previous well-documented research has shown that people tend to perceive certain personality characteristics or traits in individuals based on the structure of their face," said Daniel Gill of the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow. "This means some people can be judged to be untrustworthy or domineering simply by how they look — a square jaw and large brow conveying dominance, for example. It can have implications for things like mate selection and job opportunities."

But if anatomy isn't in your favor, there's a simple facial expression you can employ to boost your appearance of trustworthiness: raise your eyebrows and curl your lips into a slight smile. Researchers say people who activate this expression on their face are more likely to win the affections of people they encounter.

2. Smile Only When It's Genuine

Research shows that a spontaneous smile engages certain muscles around the eyes that aren't triggered when a person flashes a courtesy smile. That means a genuine smile has greater social currency than a forced one because other people can actually detect whether it's authentic or fake.

3. If You're a Woman, Wear Makeup

Harvard researchers found that women who wear makeup are perceived to be more confident, competent, and attractive. In a word: likeable. Sarah Vickery, a Procter and Gamble scientist who helped author the study, explained to the New York Times that cosmetics "can significantly change how people see you, how smart people think you are on first impression, or how warm and approachable, and that look is completely within a woman's control, when there are so many things you cannot control." All it takes is a coat of blush, lip gloss, and a whisk of mascara.

4. Make Good Eye Contact

One of the most effective ways to connect with another person is to look them in the eyes. It's a major cue that you're present, listening, genuinely interested, and honest in your own remarks. Failure to look another person in the eyes, on the other hand, is an indicator of untrustworthiness, embarrassment, and an overall lack of confidence. These are qualities you'll want to steer clear from on your journey to becoming more charismatic.

5. Don't Sit With Your Arms and Legs Crossed

People who take on relaxed resting poses that occupy a great amount of space are generally perceived as powerful, which is an attribute other people tend to be attracted to since the human brain equates power to competence. Not only that, but research shows that people who take on expansive, open poses aren't just perceived as being more powerful — they actually begin to feel more powerful, too. So stand tall, stretch your shoulders back, and resist the urge to pull your arms in tight against your torso. You are important, so don't be afraid to take up space.

6. Help Others — No Strings Attached

Adding value to other people's lives is really quite simple. And it can go a long way to help you organically grow your network of acquaintances and friends. So connect friends with friends who can help one another achieve a common goal. Lend out the lawnmower. Pick up an acquaintance from the airport. The key is this: Don't expect or ask for anything in return. The favors and help you dole out will come back to you down the road when you need them.

How do you make yourself more likeable? Please share in comments — we'll like you if you do!

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