Everyone wants to be liked, but even the most well-meaning people sometimes end up being rejected. If this happens to you, don’t take it personally. Instead, examine the list below to see if there are any changes you can make to ensure that others see the best side of you.
1) Use names often
People love to hear their own names. To many, it’s the best sound in the world. You can use this to your advantage. For example, try addressing the recipient by name when emailing (“Hi, Betty!” instead of “Hi!”) or just adding names into regular conversation (“Nice to see you, Mai!” instead of “Nice to see you!”).
2) Validate feelings
When people complain about a problem, they usually aren’t looking for a solution. Rather, they just want to feel heard and understood. So, even if you disagree with someone or think a complaint is silly, at least try to acknowledge the viewpoint of that person. For example, you might express that you are sorry to hear that they are feeling so angry. Alternatively, something generic like “Oh, wow! Tell me more.” nearly always works.
3) Take a neutral stance
If your goal is to make friends, it’s generally better to stay neutral when it comes to sensitive topics. Avoid subjects like politics and religion, and, if you find yourself caught in the middle of a heated debate, simply acknowledge that both parties seem to have quite passionate arguments, and then gracefully excuse yourself and find a more conflict-free setting.
4) Use positive and open body language
Well over half of interpersonal communication is done with subtle nonverbal cues. Little things like crossed arms and frowns send powerfully negative signals. Avoid those. Instead, aim for body language that says you are focused, interested, and open to hearing what the speaker is saying. Nodding, facing the speaker, and ignoring distractions are all good examples.
Even something as simple as a friendly smile as you walk past someone can go a long way. Smiling makes you seem approachable to others. It makes you appear kind, welcoming, and non-threatening, and others may be more likely to remember you.
6) Make eye contact
Eye contact is associated with honesty, openness, trust, and a good rapport. It can also show others that you are interested in them and listening respectfully. Eye contact is especially important in one-on-one conversations; however, you should also be careful not to overdo it, as too much eye contact can be interpreted as aggressive or seductive.
7) Offer your assistance
One surefire way to earn points with others is to offer to help with something. Providing assistance makes you a hero in the eyes of those you help, and they’re guaranteed to find you more likable. Just make sure to follow through on whatever you offer to do.
8) Give honest compliments
Other people want to be liked, too. In fact, knowing that you hold them in high regard can actually make a person like you more. In other words, they like that you like them. Therefore, whenever you have an opportunity to make a positive observation or give a heartfelt comment, don’t hesitate to take it.
9) Ask questions
People like to talk about themselves. You can use this to your advantage. Being a willing audience for someone else’s stories will make them love your company. Ask questions, encourage them to keep talking, and show a decent amount of interest and enthusiasm.
10) Adopt a positive attitude
Even if you don’t consider yourself a very optimistic person, adopting a positive attitude for the benefit of others can make you seem much more likable. Avoid complaining, laugh off difficulties, and try to behave in an easy, cheerful manner. If you do this, you may find that people flock to you because of the positive vibes you give off.
Nobody can instantly change their personality. However, as this list has demonstrated, there are a number of small behavioral tweaks that you can use to come off as more charming and likable. Keep these suggestions in mind, use them when opportunities arise, and watch your network of friends grow!
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