do you want to be more likeable?

Being liked doesn’t always come naturally. A lot of us feel less liked than we would like (heh) and fortunately, it’s a skill that can be developed. Here are three ways for you to become more likeable:

 

1. LISTEN

One of our deepest desires is a meaningful connection with others. This isn’t only pleasurable, it’s also vital to our wellbeing. Research by Steve Cole linked the experience of strong social bonds to stronger immune function and even increased lifespan.

Developing these types of beneficial bonds requires full engagement with others. This means listening and understanding actively. Practically, this involves paraphrasing, asking questions and giving relevant feedback. This level of engagement and presence gives the people in our lives the chance to share their experience completely with us, and as Pasternak wrote in Dr. Zhivago, “…an unshared happiness is not happiness”.

 

2. HELP OTHERS TO FEEL IMPORTANT

It’s scary to think that we might not mean anything to others, that we’re not important. This is a result of questioning our impact in the world. Have you felt this recently? Perhaps you didn’t get the recognition you expected at work, or perhaps a friend or your partner did not respond well to your best efforts.

We like people who authentically validate our impact in their lives, and in the lives of others. Try verbalising what you appreciate or admire about a friend or colleague. You might look out for traits like their initiative, honesty, kindness or maturity to name just a few. By doing this, we remind them of their significance, and they will probably like us more as a result!

 

3. BE POSITIVE

A happier life is one with more positive experiences. Even a luxurious, fun and exciting day can become negative if we don’t practice positivity.

Behaviours like criticism and complaining are sure to make an experience negative. Negativity is draining. it makes us feel limited, frustrated and slew of other unpleasant emotions.

Deciding instead to bring attention to the positives invites others to experience the best of what is available. This leads to far more pleasant feelings of hope, excitement and creativity. Giving others this experience makes us inspiring and uplifting to be around, both very likeable qualities! In fact, Barbara Fredrickson (2008) published a study linking positive focus to a more open mind, and a greater sense of possibility.

 

SUMMARY

Being likeable is a skill that involves discipline. You’ll need to avoid the temptation of negativity. Also, put your phone away and listening fully. Not only will this help you become more likeable, it will also force you to become more self-aware, improving you and your relationships!

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