From the moment we are born, we crave love and affection – that’s what makes us human. Our sense of self, purpose, and fulfillment stems from social connections and we all want to be liked. Unfortunately, not everyone wins popularity contests, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you are a loser.
The likeability of an individual does not depend on any genetic traits that are unchangeable, but on behaviors, habits, and traits that are cultivated. True, most people stumble upon the path to likeability accidentally, but if you’d like to make more friends, create a good impression, or develop better relationships with colleagues, you can intentionally adopt some of these habits that most exceptionally likeable people seem to have in common.
10 Traits That Most Likeable People Share
There’s something contagious about positive energy that just attracts people like bees drawn to honey. People who are likeable, invariably exhibit enthusiasm in their behavior, from their gestures and expressions, to the way they talk and communicate with others.
Positivity doesn’t just reflect in what you say, but it also shows from body language and those subtle non-verbal cues make a huge difference.
Sincerity is a trait we all desire, but it’s also one that few of us possess. Yes, we’re all guilty of faking things at times, whether it’s concern for other people or our interests in music, art, and books. Sincerity and genuineness are common traits in people who are likeable, because this increases trust. It is one characteristic that ensures you will always get an honest opinion, rather than hearing only what you want to.
Start by being honest and truthful to yourself and as you expand that honesty to your other relationships, you will find that people appreciate you more.
Most people are afraid to speak their minds and reveal who they truly are because of the very real fear of being judged. Let’s be honest – you’ve probably been guilty of judging someone for not speaking as well as you do, for wearing fake Nike shoes, for not knowing about that trendy new pub, and a million more trivial reasons.
People who are likeable are invariably open minded and reserve their judgments until they actually get to know someone really well. This trait would obviously make you likeable as people know they can be themselves with you and don’t have to hide who they really are. It encourages a level of comfort that is hard to find.
4. Patient & Composed
Patience and composure are hard to cultivate, especially if you’ve grown up in a big city, but this is perhaps where you need these traits the most. Likeable people tend to be patient and composed and will rarely if ever give in to frustration or anger.
After all, who would like the company of someone is constantly complaining and flying off the handle each time something doesn’t go his or her way? If you find it hard to develop such a degree of patience and composure, start by practicing stress relief and anger management techniques like meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
5. First Impressions
As cliché as it may sound, first impressions can make or break you. Most people form opinions of you within a few seconds of meeting you and they unconsciously use further conversation to bolster those early opinions. Individuals with great likeability take advantage of this fact by making great first impressions, notably through their positive body language.
Maintain good posture, make eye contact, always smile, and use a firm handshake to forge strong connections, as you will rarely get a second chance to create a ‘first’ impression!
6. Confident Not Arrogant
Likeable individuals are confident and comfortable with who they are and what they believe to the extent that they are not afraid to appear foolish or worse. They are true to themselves and what they believe, radiating great confidence, but their confidence does not translate into arrogance or disrespect towards other viewpoints.
If you are confident and comfortable in your skin, you can be yourself and at the same time people know who you really are – they never have to wonder about what you’re hiding!
Empathy is not easy to cultivate, but if it’s a character that you find lacking in you, it’s something that you definitely need to cultivate. Likeable people with lots of friends usually have high empathy levels, which is why they have genuine concern for others and this is evident from their interactions with others.
When such people offer to help or say they feel for you, you know that they really do. When you are low and feeling miserable, who would you prefer to have console you? Someone who genuinely cares or someone you suspect is faking concern?
That friendly drunk may be the life of the party with his crazy antics and wild sense of humor, but he’s not someone you want to open up to or confide in; he’s fun, not likeable. Someone who is really likeable will have great listening skills and will make an effort to be attentive when you talk. You can count on them to actually give you feedback and advice based on what you say.
Yes, who would have thought that there would come a time when people need to be instructed on civility. Sadly, people today have little time for common courtesy or chivalry. That’s what makes someone with these traits so much more refreshing and, as much as we hate to say it, ‘civilized’.
Most likeable people will always use the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, they will wait for you to enter the elevator first, they will hold the door open for the next person at the store, they won’t try to cut through lines, and so on. Try common courtesy and you’d be surprised at how much better it makes you feel and how much of an effect it has on those around you.
Exceptionally likeable people are helpful, sometimes to the point of being compulsive helpers! Yes, it probably stems from the strong empathy they have, but this is one trait that can also be cultivated. Try to help others, not just when it’s convenient for you or when you stand to gain something, but sometimes simply because you can. Not everyone will reciprocate and some may try to take advantage of you, but most people will simply appreciate and like you for who you are.
Now that you know exactly what makes some people so likeable, you can work on your own personality. Just remember, life isn’t a personality contest and you shouldn’t try to change who you are or your behavior solely to please others and to be liked more. Try and make these changes instead to be a better person and to be happier with yourself – you’ll find that more importantly than other people liking you, you will like yourself a lot more!