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5 Ways to Be More Likeable

Two African American women standing together in front of wall The topic of this piece may create some frustration for advocates of self-love and self-acceptance. Doesn’t the idea of trying to be liked sound like it flies in the face of those who would suggest that there is no need to make an effort to be liked? That being who you are is enough and that we shouldn’t try to be more likeable? My question is why can’t it be both/and? Hear me out.

What does it mean to be likeable?

Being liked and being likeable are all about being authentic. When you are true to who you are, you come across as genuine. Being genuine makes people want to be around you. You become an example to live by, and you inspire others to be true to themselves as well. Ultimately, self-love and acceptance go hand-in-hand with being likeable, and I would suggest that it is difficult to have one without the other.

As humans we value connection with others. We are a community oriented species and we naturally look for those who we find attractive to be in our group. A strong indication of whether someone will be ‘liked’ is how well they know and are at ease with who they are. Look, even science says so.

It is likely that the idea of being liked or likeable appeals to you as a college student. You are in a position where you will be networking with many different individuals from diverse communities. You may feel that it is important to put your best foot forward in an effort to be attractive and loved. The first step in the process is to begin with an effort at loving yourself. When you enjoy who you are, your confidence radiates out to others, making them, in turn, more comfortable with themselves.

You can be genuine, while also making an effort to do some inner work and reflect on how you may be perceived by others. This requires being conscious and aware of how your actions impact other people. The following is a list of ideas to consider when you are actively working on personal development in regards to your interactions with others. If you hope to be more likeable, first think about how to get to the root of who you truly are, and then let your personality shine through from there. Use the following ideas to enhance the personality traits you likely already have.

Happy and engaging conversation between a man and woman

Cultivate a Habit of Deep Listening

People enjoy telling their story. If you’re hoping to enhance your likeability try to cultivate a habit of listening to people on a deeper level. If they are telling a story about their day, really listen to them. This means putting down your phone and focussing in on what they are telling you. Make just enough eye contact so they feel that you are being attentive to them. Pick up on specific problems or parts of the story they are telling and ask a question about it. Share some thoughts from your own experience, but make certain that the chat is a two-way exchange.

Listening is one of the fundamental components of communication, and it is particularly important when we are constantly bombarded with distractions and interruptions. Be a more likeable and genuine person by actively participating in the act of listening. People will appreciate being listened to and they will offer the same to you when it is your turn to speak. For more on the practice of deep listening, check out this blog by Mindful Magazine.

Be Thoughtful with Your Language

This second tip ties in with the first. Speaking and listening are fundamental to proper communication. Though this seems obvious, we often forget that our words have an impact on people. Perhaps this is due to the individualistic nature of our society wherein people feel that they have the right to express their opinion even to the detriment of others. Although I do not discount the importance of individualism and speaking your mind, it is also important to be mindful of the language and thoughts you express.

Our actions and the words we choose to use speak to our inner nature. If we are focussed on belittling people and speaking negatively, people may develop a less-than-favourable opinion about us. If we choose to speak with kindness and use language that is appropriate, we may be perceived as more approachable. Speaking in a friendly tone and maintaining an open demeanor can also make us seem amiable. Being mindful about how we listen and speak is a first step in becoming more likable.

Be Open-Minded

People love to have their opinions heard. Likable people are perceived as more personable because they tend to be open-minded when talking to people. They are open and willing to engage with a variety of people, regardless of their background or experience. They listen without judgement and avoid the tendency towards preconceived ideas about other people. They have their own opinions and they may not agree with another person’s point of view, but they are willing to take the time to listen and make an attempt to understand.

In order to develop this skill, practice active listening. Attempt to cultivate a stance of true curiosity whenever you meet someone whose perspective differs from yours. Ask questions and allow the individual to offer their thoughts and ideas while also sharing your own feelings. You will find that participating in this kind of communication pattern will open up the doors to deeper dialogue.

Be Balanced

Now, certainly being balanced is not always a possibility. We all have off days where we are not feeling our best. However, if being grumpy tends to be the norm for you, you may want to begin looking at making some changes in your life. Usually a persistent gloomy mood means that there are some underlying causes of unhappiness.

Short of an underlying personal issue, make sure to maintain a consistently balanced and reliable personality when engaging with people. When people’s moods fluctuate greatly or are perceived as unpredictable, this tends to affect their likability. If you are deemed unpredictable in social settings, people may even actively avoid you. When entering a social situation, make certain that you are feeling grounded and level-headed, this way people will perceive you as reliable and balanced.

If you are having a bad day, remember that you do not have to say everything that comes to your mind. Sometimes it is best to keep your thoughts to yourself, smile, and nod.

Get on the Same Wavelength

It may come as a surprise, but in social engagements we love when people mirror our actions. In other words we have a tendency to mirror those who are around us. Think about it, if someone smiles at you, what is your reaction. Do you smile back? This is a natural reaction that begins in infancy, we learn to mimic the facial reactions of others as we learn how to engage in social interaction.

Mirroring or social synchronization is an essential component of developing social ties. By syncing up with those around us we are building rapport. If we take the time to actively develop this skill, it can be a powerful way of building connection with other people. When we learn to sync up with others while maintaining our own sense of self, it facilitates feelings of empathy and it may make the other individual feel as though you are on the same wavelength as them.

Practice Being Social

We are social beings. We love to be heard and we love to communicate with each other. That does not mean it is always easy. As a new college or university student you may hope to hone your skills in the communication department as a strategic way to make connections and begin to network with others. You never know who may be your future boss or employee. Taking some of the above techniques into consideration as you navigate your university career may help you to connect with others while maintaining a link to your authentic self.

Social engagement is just one way to boost your credibility in the academic sphere. Focussing on academics is certainly a primary aim for students. Should you need help navigating any of the challenges university and college have to offer, please check out our services. We at Homework Help Global are always available to make your life go a little more smoothly.