Has it ever happened to you that when you meet someone, you are convinced that they don’t like you even when in reality you haven’t even uttered a single word? Or have you envied that friend of yours who can simply make friends in a fraction of second? Or have you always felt like being someone, who can blend in a group so easily that it gives them the feeling that you’ve known each other for years? If any of that sounds like you, then don’t worry much, you are sailing in the same boat as the rest of us.
We all want to be liked. Whether it is our friends, office colleagues, or a new group of people whom we are meeting, we always care about what they will think of us. It is not uncommon to be in a place where you are not liked by all, especially when it can be very awkward to meet new people. It’s a fact that if you want to be heard, then it is vital for people to like you. Building a bond with your team, your manager, customers and everyone else can be a great start to developing the “likeability factor”.
Research has shown that relationships are imperative to happiness and networking is how you can build your successful career. Although there are different personalities that attract followers, there are certain traits that seem to charm people. So let’s take a look at these characteristics which can help you make a difference in your likeability quotient.
Something that we all have known but rarely practice is smiling. It is the simplest way in which you can get people to like you. Again, you need to make sure you have a genuine smile on your face, because unless you are great at acting, a pretentious smile will do no good. People like to be around those who are happy and fun because happiness rubs off on its receivers, and who doesn’t like to be happy. Also, if you smile and act like you are happy, you’ll probably be happier.
Listen with your Eyes and Ears
It is not rocket science to understand that people like you more if you listen to them. And like it says not just with your ears but eyes as well. This means you need to start keeping your cell phone aside when you are out with people, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Respond and communicate back when people talk to you. Don’t interrupt hastily or evaluate before they are done talking. Rather than thinking what you’re going to say next, listen and understand what the other person is saying. Nod your head and acknowledge from time to time with a yes or sounds like “uh- huh”. Make use of verbal confirmation where you repeat the key points from the conversation that assures that you were paying attention. When you listen, you not only understand the person better, but they appreciate your gesture as well. Research has it that just by asking people to tell you more or what they feel makes you more likeable.
Be Good with Non-Verbal Communication
While you might be speaking the right words, it is important that your non-verbal or better known as your body language matches with it. Most of the communication that happens is usually through our bodies, tone, and how fast we speak. When your words and your body language are not in congruence, then it can make people uncomfortable, and they might try to get away from you. Make sure that you don’t invade their personal space, and keep sufficient distance when you speak. Use a comfortable level of eye contact just like you watch your TV. Maintain a balance between too little eye contact and too much eye contact because you don’t want them to think you are not interested nor that you are staring at them, thus making them uncomfortable. Tilt your head toward the other person. Use your eyebrows to give a quick flash where you move them up and down quickly. Combine this with a smile and you are good to go as a likeable person.
Compliments and Praise
All humans love compliments when they are sincere. Why would anyone not like to be told if they did a great job? It may seem awkward to do but is not that big a task. Just pick something you can appreciate about the person you are talking to and let them know. Do they have pretty eyes, good clothes or a nice car? Or an activity that they performed which is worth the mention? Make it a point to tell them. While you praise someone, it is also essential to be genuine as well as generous because empty flattering can be detected and is an absolute turn off. A sincere appreciation will get you recognised and will help you get people to like you more often. Also small things like saying Thank You matters a lot because that makes you more approachable.
Handle Criticism Graciously
On the same note, as you are being generous with the compliments, be stingy with your criticism. Most of us are just waiting to show it to people that they are wrong. Even the comments section on the internet is overflowing with ghastly criticism. No matter how delightful it may be for you to correct someone, don’t do it. Let your ego take a back seat for some time as it will help you build a good rapport. However, this does not mean that you never correct people because that is necessary. But correct them in a discrete and delicate way where you handle the criticism with care. One of the best tactics is to agree and then disagree or better known as the compliment sandwich where you wrap your criticism between compliments such as you compliment them for their work and then highlight their mistakes and then ending the conversation on a positive note. Also, when you are on the receiving end of the criticism, take it constructively. Don’t indulge in personal attacks and be more receptive which will not only make you a likeable but will also make you a better person.
Make these characteristics a part of your life, because you are going to meet new people every now and then, whether it is your personal or professional life. These simple traits will not only make you a likeable person but will help you build relationships that are pleasurable.
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