October 26, 2011
Throughout the history of our race, mankind has had a desire to be liked. While being likeable comes naturally to some, there are others who need a little work. If you would like to be someone people love to see walk into a room, try some of these tips:
Smiling immediately gives those around you a warm and happy feeling. Think of how great it feels when a baby smiles at you. Try smiling at people as you make eye contact and pass them on the street, down the halls or while eating in a restaurant. Although you may never see these people again, it gives you a great opportunity to practice your most important likeability skill and it just makes people happy.
Make eye contact
Making eye contact lets people know you are really interested in them. Looking at them while they talk, rather than at your watch or out the window, sends the message that what they have to say is interesting. Make eye contact when you speak as well, as this sends a message of confidence, another trait that makes people likeable.
People LOVE to talk about themselves. Asking leading questions makes those with whom you are conversing feel liked and interesting. Avoid responding to their comments by immediately talking about a similar situation in your life. If you do this, they will think that you didn’t really care what they just said, but that you were simply trying to fill a silence gap. If you make a 60:40 rule in favor of your companion talking and you listening, you will be rewarded with more likeability.
Use appropriate body language
Learn to use effective and appropriate body language. Leaning towards and facing a person with whom you are in conversation is yet another way to let them know you are interested in them. Leaning back could put on an air of boredom and folding your arms can lead people to think you are closed off. On the other hand, standing comfortably with your hands at your sides, palms slightly turned towards the other person, can give a vulnerable, welcoming and confident feel and make you seem more likeable.
Share your vulnerable side
Sharing personal or vulnerable information with others makes them feel you trust them. They, in turn, will mostly likely share vulnerable feelings or experiences with you, which will lead to a stronger bond in the relationship.
Almost everyone, even if they don’t act like it, loves to be complimented. Some types of complimenting, such as on physical appearance between married members of the opposite sex or to members of the opposite sex in the work place, should be avoided, but complimenting on character, performance and ability are appropriate. Don’t go overboard though. When people think you are being insincere or simply “kissing up”, they will lose trust in you.
Use creativity when correcting others
When you are in a leadership role, such as a parent, teacher or employer, it is important to learn to correct carefully. Before constructively criticizing, make sure you have offered at least a 5:1 ratio of compliments on appearance, character or accomplishment. Putting your arm around someone you are correcting is helpful, or with kids, you could even consider growling like a bear while talking, in order to make them laugh. They will get the point, but there will be no hard feelings.
When appropriate, touching someone on the elbow or the upper back conveys a friendly and loving feeling. Again, this approach should be used with caution with members of the opposite sex.
Serving others automatically increases your love for them. Not only will they sense this increase, their love for you will develop knowing that someone cares enough to make a sacrifice of time for them. Holding a door open, offering to carry something for an aged person or visiting someone whom you know is down are all wonderful ways to serve. Even remembering little things about a person, such as the fact that they collect Russian nesting dolls, and picking up a set for them during your vacation, can endear yourself to those around you.
Pray and meditate for and about those around you
When you spend energy and time thinking about people in your life through prayer and meditation, you are forgetting about your own problems and immersing yourself into the service and care of your fellow man. Doing this morning and night will increase your charity, compassion and love for acquaintances, friends, neighbors and loved ones. You will seek to smile, help, serve, talk with and lift up those around you, thus being a light whenever you enter a room.
Being likeable has so many benefits not only in family life, work-place relations, and community and religious service, it can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. As those who know you come to like you more, they will begin to respect and even honor you, and you will have the opportunity to become an influence for good in their lives. We’re all here together on this round rock we call Earth, so let’s make it a happy place by having the friendliest possible relations with those around us.