How to Become a Likable Person

by Michael Corthell

''I've trained myself to illuminate the things in my personality that are likable 
and to hide and protect the things that are less likable.''
—Will Smith, American actor

Many people believe that being likable and therefore popular comes from natural ability only—unteachable traits that belong only to the fortunate—the beautiful people, the outgoing social type, and those that are highly talented.

Not true at all. It helps to have great natural social skills and unique well honed talents, but in reality, being likable is mostly under your control, and it's about having a positive mindset.

Below are some of the key behaviors that positive thinkers practice that make them likable and popular with their peers and others:

Likable People Ask Questions. When you are in a conversation with someone, ask question and then truly LISTEN. Don't think about what to say next. It is a common mistake. Just slow down and LISTEN.

Likable People Put Away Their Phones. Don't answer the phone or even take a quick glance at it. When you start a conversation, focus all of your energy on that conversation. It will be more enjoyable and effective when you are immersed in your conversation.

Likable People Are Genuine. Being genuine and honest is makes you automatically likeble. No one likes a counterfeit. It is a matter of trust. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know what they are about and how they really feel.

Likable People Don't Judge Others. If you want to be likable you have to be open-minded. Being open-minded makes you more approachable and interesting to others. Few people want to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.

Likable People Aren't Attention Seekers. People shy away from those who grovel for attention. You don’t need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be likable. Simply being friendly, confident and considerate is all you need to win friends and influence people.

Likable People Are Consistent and Reliable. This trait instills confidence and trust in you by the people you interact with. Your behavior must assure people that even when your mood goes up and down it doesn't affect how you treat other people.

Likable People Use Positive Body Language. Become aware of your mannerisms, expressions, and tone of voice, making certain they're positive, will attract people to you. Using enthusiasm, and uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who's speaking are all forms of positive body language.

Likable People Leave a Strong First Impression. Most people decide whether they like you or not within the first few seconds of meeting you. It's true. Make those seconds count. Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will do the trick.

Likable People Greet People by Name. Research shows that people feel validated and therefor special when the person they're speaking with refers to them by name during a conversation. If you're great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it and make remembering people’s names a brain exercise. For instance, relate their name to a feature of their face or other part of their body or the way they talk. And don't be afraid to ask the person their name a second time. People like that.

Likable People Smile...a Lot. People naturally (and subconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. Smile and the whole world smiles with you.

Likable People Know Who To Touch and Touch Them. Appropriate light touching reinforces human connections. It releases 'good feeling' neuro-transmitters into our brain. Relationships are formed not only from words, but also from feelings as well. Touching someone appropriately is a another good way to show someone you care.

Likable People Balance Passion and Fun. People are attracted to those who are passionate. But it's easy for passionate people to come across as too serious and appear uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work. All existence is balance. Likable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun.

Likable and popular people are invaluable to society. Society values them because they drive change and positive progress. They network easily, foster harmony at work, and bring out the best in everyone around them. They are the ones who have the most fun and they get the most out of life. Why not be a positive person and be likable?

''Likeonomics'': The likability gap: Rohit Bhargava

For years we have put belief at the top of the pyramid when it comes to changing minds and attitudes. If we could just get someone to BELIEVE differently, we say, then we might be able to change how they behave. Yet recent science shows us that over and over again people make decisions based on their emotions and not logic. They blindly follow their habits and when asked to describe their actions or behaviors, they consistently fail. What if belief wasn't everything? What if there was something else guiding our decisions ... something more basic? In this talk, award winning marketer and author Rohit Bhargava will share fascinating new science combined with remarkable stories from around the world that prove when it comes to what makes us ultimately decide to act (or not) - personal relationships and the simple metric of likability trumps everything else.