You’ve had the world’s longest work week. You’re logging off and shutting down your Mac. How is it 6:30 pm. on Friday?!? You start thinking about your evening plans for the first time all week. The problem is: you don’t have any plans! The Ghostbuster’s theme song pops into your head, “who ya’ gonna call?” .
There are plenty of people that you’d like to call, but you wouldn’t dare run the risk of being turned down. Like many Fridays before, you end up grabbing Qudoba and head home to binge watch 24. After all, Jack Bauer will keep you company.
Sitting on your couch… alone… again… the “poor me’s” take over and you wonder, why is this always the case? Don’t I have any friends? You ask yourself, is it possible to make myself become more likable? The answer is… YES!
Here are 10 suggestions to become more likable – and maybe even enlarge your circle of friends and connections.
1. Own Your Strengths
Knowing what you bring into a friendship starts you out on the right foot and reminds you that you’re an asset to a friendship. You bring something very special to the table. But, you can’t offer what you don’t first possess.
For example: if one of your strengths is listening, use this strength to show others that you’re interested in their lives. If you enjoy encouraging those around you, use this talent to build others up. If you like to lead groups, embrace this skill and spearhead social outings with different groups of people.
In no time, you’ll definitely become more likable!
2. Get in the Game
Stop observing and start engaging. This can be challenging when you feel insecure or fear being rejected. But you never know until you try!
The next time you’re at work observing your co-workers chatting about their fun Sunday brunch, try making an exerted effort to engage. With genuine interest, ask open-ended questions. What did they like best on the menu? Would they recommend it for dinner as well? Was it a cool crowd at brunch? Are they going back next Sunday? This spurs on the conversation and lets them know that you’re interested in what they’re doing.
3. Be Curious
People love to share bits about their interests, passions, and lives. Practice becoming curious. You become more likable whenever you show interest in learning about the different ways people live their lives.
You’ll also want to learn about different types of people. You’ll find yourself asking more and more questions while engaging in conversations with others. These conversations build connections and bond us in new ways.
4. Contribute to Society
People like to be around those who contribute to society. You’ve been around toxic, negative people that drain the life out of you. These people aren’t contributing – they’re taking.
As a contributor, you’re making an exerted effort to be fully present. You reciprocate conversation. You share and then you let the other person take his turn. You look for ways to help, assist, and create things. You leave the situation even better than when you arrived. You’re mindful of what you can offer to the situation or conversation.
By contributing to society, you become more likable.
5. Do Things Out of Prompting, Not Obligation
When you listen and respond to your promptings, you’re responding from your heart. It’s authentic. You give without strings attached or expectation. This promotes genuine exchanges in your life. You’re also able to put up healthy boundaries because you’re not out to please people.
6. Understand It’s Not All About You
Be mindful of how those around you give and receive love. Instead of thinking about having YOUR needs met, think of ways to meet the needs of OTHERS.
Take time out of your day to send a nice card, write a sweet text, help out a neighbor. Call and check in with an old friend that you’ve lost touch with over the years. Ask about the lives of others before you start talking about your own. People are drawn to those that aren’t self-absorbed and self-centered. People love givers.
7. Find the Strengths, Interests, and Treasures in Others
Notice the small nuances, gestures, and comments of others around you. Use these “keys” to reveal to you what they care about. Pay attention to their strengths. Encourage and help others utilize their gifts.
Make an effort to get to know what’s in their hearts. Finding what’s good helps to make you become more likable in the eyes of others.
8. Listen and Stop Complaining
Truly listen without thinking about the errand you need to run or what you’re going to say next. Paraphrase and repeat back what you’ve just heard them say (method known as mirroring). Continue to listen and learn. Limit the grumbling and complaining because it’s a hamper to everyone’s moods.
9. Find Common Ground During Conversations
Each of us can find common ground if we keep an open mind. Look for topics of discussion that are of common interest or style: children, pets, athletics, nutrition, career, hobbies, etc.. Talk and connect on these topics.
Respect one another in the areas that you disagree. If both of you like dogs, offer to meet at a dog park on Saturday. If you both have toddlers, plan a playdate.
10. Smile When Greeting and Leaving
Enter and leave with a smile. When you say hello to someone with a smile, you’re immediately welcoming the other into engaging with you. Be the person that enters the room ready to give yourself. Start with a heart that desires to make others feel welcomed. Instead of entering with the mindset of taking, focus on what you can give.
These gestures may seem simple, but when done right and with a kind heart, people will slowly take notice of you. You will become more likable because you’re kind, genuine, and a good friend.