Have you ever met somebody who just naturally exuded so much light, positive energy and confidence that it made you want to be around them all the time? Maybe you can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that makes this person so much more sparkly than everyone else, but certain things stand out. With this person, the conversations are always worth having; the stories are always enjoyable to listen to; and their overall presence makes you want to be just as likable. This can be especially important at work, where likability means everything.
It’s not like there’s a magical formula for making everyone like you, but there are definite do’s and don’ts to being a truly likable person. Here are 10 things extraordinarily likable people do differently than the rest:
- They Don’t Put Others Down. This doesn’t just include the people they’re currently with at any given moment; they don’t fuss over the way another co-worker did her job, and they don’t make subtle digs at others in order to feel better about themselves. You know the old backhanded compliment, where you can’t tell if what you just heard about your haircut was nice or actually the meanest thing a person could ever say? Well, something like that would never come out of a radiantly likable person’s mouth, because those digs usually hint at hidden insecurities.
- They Don’t Dwell on the Negatives. A likable person doesn’t waste time complaining. Often, they’re the one person actually trying to make the best of any situation. If there’s an issue at work, they’ll have a great suggestion to fix it, and they’re the last one sitting around complaining about being bored.
- They’re Individuals. They don’t really care if what they’re doing is cool or if anyone else has done it before. Normally, likable people aren’t following trends; they’re busy creating them. What they’re doing is different, and that makes them a thousand times more likable. They’re hard to duplicate. This alone will grab your boss’s attention.
- They Listen. It’s easy to walk into a room and think you’re the best simply because you’re the loudest and there’s never a dull moment when you’re around, but people aren’t going to appreciate what you’re bringing to the table unless you appreciate them too. A genuinely likable person wants to hear from others and has a real vested interest in what they have to say. They’re not interrupting every other second to make it about themselves. When working with others, it’s important to acknowledge everyone’s perspective and what they have to offer.
- They Share Something Personal About Themselves. There’s no walls or hierarchy. They’re honest about who they are and what their life is like. Maybe they’ll tell you something personal about their sister or what happened to them yesterday on the way to work. Being open helps people feel like they know you better and builds a connection, and in turn it makes others want to be open with you.
- They Make Everyone Feel Comfortable. Likable people usually make the best hostesses because they don’t try to divide the party, and they never make anyone feel awkward. They go out of their way to create a warm environment for all guests. Even the most uncomfortable person will leave their presence feeling welcomed and totally at ease.
- They Smile. It really is that simple. Smiling has been proven to generate happiness, and we all want to be around happy people, right? The person grousing in the corner is never going to be likable, but the person who greets you with a smile every time they see you is worth embracing.
- They’re Attentive. No, not on their cellphone. There is nothing worse than being excited to spend time with someone who ends up spending the entire date on her phone, or meeting someone for the first time who is more interested in reading 47 tweets than engaging with those around them. This act alone could make anyone far from likable. Being engaged with a phone does not make someone look popular, but distracted. A likable person knows how to actually be present with others.
- They Don’t Gossip. Usually if you’re sitting with someone who wants to spend the entire day gossiping about others, it’s because they themselves don’t have much to bring to the table. Additionally, if they’re gossiping with you, you’ll probably begin to wonder if they’ll gossip about you. This will probably force you to lose trust. A likable person knows that there’s so much else to talk about aside from the perceived shortcoming of others. So stop gossiping!
- They Tell the Truth. No phoniness here. You trust in this person’s opinion because you know you can count on her to tell the truth. Even if you’re asking about which colored font to use on your proposal, you know you’ll get an honest and helpful response.
We all strive to be likable; at least we all should. Being likable will get you further in life than potentially any other quality or skill-set. So if you’re not feeling particularly likable these days, evaluate this list and see how you match up with it. If there’s an area you seem to be falling short in, make an effort to tone up that part of your life and see what a difference it makes.