I’d say it’s safe to say most of us like being liked.
And there are times when maybe we’re not so sure how liked we are and would perhaps like to be a little more liked. I mean really, who doesn’t want to be on the top of the invited-out-for-lunch group at the office? Or the person getting ample calls, texts and emails with requests for weekend plans?
Of course, some people are just more likeable by nature – usually those who have a more easygoing or optimistic personality.
That said here are some pretty straightforward things any of us (Type A’s and pessimists included) can do to make ourselves more likeable without having to morph ourselves in to some kind of Polly Anna.
1. If You Think Something Nice About Someone, Say It!
My goodness, why wouldn’t you? I know we all think positive, encouraging, flattering, complimentary things about others at least sometimes, so if you think it, share it! (and I know a lot of people don’t because I am one who does, and often when I do people say: “It’s really nice of you to say that. I think things like that too about others but often don’t say it to them.”) I don’t really get that.
Just the other day I was walking down the street and a total stranger said to me in passing “I like your scarf!” It was something so little, but that small kindness from a stranger really warmed my heart and put a smile on my face.
If you can say something that will make someone feel good, why wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity?
Because when you make someone else feel good, you’ll notice yourself feeling good too. How does that nursery school song go again? “Love is nothing unless you give it away, give it away, give it away… you end up having more!”
2. Don’t Put Yourself Down. Ever.
No one really likes being around someone who bad mouths and criticizes people, and people also includes you!
It might not seem like a big deal if you casually refer to yourself as an idiot, or crazy, or stupid, or boring, or whatever, but when you call yourself down in front of others it will either lead them to think you actually might be those things, or they will feel offended that you would talk about their friend (which is you) like that.
Even if you don’t actually think of yourself as any of these things, say it enough times and I guarantee you will.
3. Just Say Sorry:
Well, not just say sorry, but if someone tells you about something you’ve done to hurt or upset them, before you start to tell them why you did what you did, acknowledge them.
Tell them that you can understand why they’re feeling the way they are and then apologize and mean it! Once the person feels like their complaint has been genuinely heard they are likely to be much more willing to hear your reasons for why you may have done what you did.
4. Say YES Every Once and Awhile, Even if You Feel Like Saying No:
Having boundaries and allowing yourself to say No is great! But sometimes it’s also good to do something even if it doesn’t totally work for you or isn’t all that convenient.
People tend to like others who are willing to go out of their way for them without making it in to a big deal, and it will also make you feel good to do something nice for someone even though it may not have been all that convenient for you.
5. If You’re Having a Bad Day, Think About How You Can Make Someone Else’s Day Better:
A client once told me on days when nothing seems to be going right and she can’t seem to shake off a crummy mood, when she goes on her Starbucks run she makes it a rule to buy the coffee for the person behind her in line.
Without fail, it automatically makes both their days.
It doesn’t have to be a stranger though. When all you can think about is how lousy you feel or how hard your life seems in the moment, instead of getting stuck thinking about how you want someone to come and do something to make you feel better (which you don’t always have much control over) step outside of yourself and think about something kind or thoughtful you can do for someone else (which you do have total control over).
This will make the other person feel loved and valued which will make them appreciate you for your thoughtfulness and kindness.
Now what do YOU think? What have you found makes you like certain people more?