How Can You Be More Likable?

August 8, 2023
August 8, 2023 Terkel

How Can You Be More Likable?

To help you become more likable, we asked a dozen professionals, ranging from CEOs to Social Media Managers, for their best advice. From embracing authenticity to emanating positivity and optimism, here are the top twelve tips these experts shared.

  • Embrace Authenticity
  • Practice Active Listening
  • Let Go of Judgment
  • Listen and Smile More
  • Show Genuine Interest in Others
  • Create Stress-Free Interactions
  • Make Others Feel Important
  • Be Genuine
  • Cultivate Open-Mindedness
  • Value Empathy
  • Take Time to Understand
  • Emanate Positivity and Optimism

Embrace Authenticity

With a background in psychology and personal development, authenticity is key to becoming more likable. It’s about honoring values, speaking truth, and living in alignment with whom one truly is.

Rather than wearing a social mask, people are drawn to those who are transparent, genuine, and real. The more we present our authentic selves, the more others feel at ease doing the same. This creates a cycle of sincerity, developing trust and deeper connections. Embracing authenticity isn’t always an easy path—it takes courage.

Yet, it’s a continuous journey of self-discovery and growth that, in the long run, makes us more likable to those around us.

Bayu PrihanditoBayu Prihandito
Psychology Expert, Life Coach, Founder, Life Architekture

Practice Active Listening

Humans crave attention, some more than others, but it’s a universal human need. We hate being ignored by other people, especially when we are actively trying to engage with them, souring relationships and creating animosity.

Active listening involves proactively highlighting to interlocutors that you are, in fact, paying proper attention when they speak. This is a powerful tool for relationship building, as it reassures conversation partners that you take them seriously and are genuinely interested in what they have to say.

When you appear disinterested, ambivalent, or downright rude when people talk, it makes you seem significantly less likable, and people will quickly learn to stop engaging with you.

Instead, explore some active-listening techniques and see which ones feel the most natural to you. Then, the next time you speak with someone, employ those techniques and see how it transforms the dynamic of the conversation and the relationship as a whole.

Ben SchwenckeBen Schwencke
Business Psychologist, Test Partnership

Let Go of Judgment

A great way to become more likable is to learn to let go of the judgment of others. When we do this, we enter interactions with friends in a completely new way. One that is more vulnerable and accepting of others, increasing our overall likability as a result.

Azmaira  Maker, Ph.D.
Azmaira Maker, Ph.D., Founding Director, Aspiring Families

Listen and Smile More

One straightforward yet effective way to become more likable is by genuinely listening to others. When someone is speaking, I try my best to give them my full attention, responding with thoughtful comments or questions that show I’m truly engaged. This approach makes the other person feel valued and heard, which is a key factor in likability.

Another simple but impactful habit I practice is smiling more. A warm, sincere smile can immediately make you seem more approachable and friendly. It’s a universal sign of goodwill that helps to establish a positive connection.

Martin PotockiMartin Potocki
CEO, Jobera

Show Genuine Interest in Others

Be genuinely interested in the people you meet. Human nature makes each of us fairly self-centered and self-focused. Most people go through their entire lives wanting and needing others to see things from their point of view. So, when you do this, you are giving the people in your life what they really want and need.

For instance, instead of just asking questions like “What do you do?” get the other person talking. Ask additional clarifying questions: “That sounds fun. How did you get into that industry?” “What do you enjoy most about what you do?”

Then, when the person responds, genuinely listen to the answers. Make it a game. See how long you can keep the person talking before you disclose things about yourself. Interestingly, the person will think of you as a great “conversationalist,” even though he or she did most of the talking.

Doug StaneartDoug Staneart
CEO, The Leaders Institute

Create Stress-Free Interactions

Some of the most likable people in my life create almost no stress when we’re together. They’re easy-going, they respond to setbacks well, and they don’t let their expectations get away from being in the moment. After spending time with someone like this, I naturally aspire to be more like them. It’s the kind of person I can’t wait to see and be with again, and I imagine I am not the only one who thinks that.

Trevor EwenTrevor Ewen
COO, QBench

Make Others Feel Important

One time-tested way to become more likable is to make the other person feel important. As the host of the podcast “A Better Way to Say,” I teach listeners how to become more magnetic communicators. In the episode “5 Habits of Attractive Conversationalists,” I covered multiple ways to be more likable, and this particular practice stood out.

There is a quote by William James in How to Win Friends and Influence People that reads, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

People want to feel important; they want to feel recognized. By expressing gratitude and acknowledging someone’s presence, you immediately create a positive impression. So, take a moment to thank someone sincerely, to ask for their input, or to highlight their accomplishments.

By making people feel important, you create an atmosphere of warmth, respect, and likability.

Celeste RouthCeleste Routh
SEO Strategist, The Elegance Edit

Be Genuine

Trying to be likable at all costs can turn out to be greatly counterproductive. Be genuine and authentic. Sure, not everyone will like you, but it’s way better to be appreciated for who you are by fewer people than to attract crowds by faking. Quality wins over quantity here.

Be yourself. Yes, it is a cliché, but—at the same time—it’s the only way to let relationships develop naturally. In the long run, attempts to be someone you’re not to please others lead to no meaningful connections. Is that what you really want? I doubt it. Let your authenticity and honesty be reasons good enough to like you. Reflect on yourself, celebrate your strengths, and accept your weaknesses. You’re enough.

Agata SzczepanekAgata Szczepanek
Community Manager, MyPerfectResume

Cultivate Open-Mindedness

Being open-minded towards others can make you more likable. Recognizing that everyone has their own unique life experiences allows you to be more accepting of others and helps you establish better connections with people. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to engage in meaningful conversations.

Jamie NelsonJamie Nelson
Social Media Manager, Argon  Agency

Value Empathy

One way to become more likable is by actively listening to others. Show genuine interest in their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and validate their emotions. Avoid interrupting and practice empathy to understand their perspective. Engaging in meaningful conversations and making others feel heard and valued fosters positive connections and enhances likability.

Aviad FaruzAviad Faruz
CEO, Know Mastery

Take Time to Understand

One surefire way to become more likable is to practice empathy and learn more about others’ backgrounds to create a more welcoming environment. When we take the time to understand and appreciate different perspectives, we create a welcoming environment that fosters positive connections.

Loren HowardLoren Howard
Founder, Prime Plus Mortgages

Emanate Positivity and Optimism

I’ve learned that individuals are naturally attracted to those who emanate positivity and optimism. Develop a positive attitude by focusing on the positive aspects of situations and people, rather than the negative.

Compliment others genuinely and celebrate their accomplishments to create a supportive and inspiring environment. Maintain your composure and refrain from excessively expressing your anger in trying circumstances. Try to discover constructive solutions instead, and urge others to do the same. You motivate others to confront obstacles with a can-do attitude by being cheerful and hopeful.

Gerrid SmithGerrid Smith
Communications Manager, Texas Property Tax Loan Pros

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