There are two types of people: those who are naturally liked by everyone and those who have to work at being likable.
A lot of us fit into the second group. But we’re the lucky ones because we never take anything for granted.
Especially in relationships…
Those of us who are not natural-born charmers understand the need to cultivate, charm, and consort. In short, we understand the rules of courtship. And what is courtship, exactly?
It’s focusing the attention away from us and onto another. We want to impress new clients and show them that we’re likable
It’s important to come across as likable to people when you first meet them. We can miss out on great opportunities to make new friends and develop new relationships if we’re not able to establish a connection with them.
The more likable we are, the better our chances of being successful.
Even born charmers need to keep in mind these 7 ways to become more likable:
This is the best way to get people to like you instantly—and it doesn’t cost a thing. If you don’t believe me, just smile when you’re in a crowd of strangers and see what reaction you get.
I’m not a toothy person so I smile a lot with my mouth closed. The interesting thing is that a smile on my face changes the attitude in my heart, too.
2. Pay Compliments
Compliments are almost magical in the way they create a positive environment. They are a powerful and fundamental social skill. No expertise is needed—but you must be genuine. It also helps if the compliment is specific to the person to whom you are talking.
3. Remember their Name
This is a hard one for me. It helps to ask people to spell it, and if their name is unusual, to ask where it’s from. By repeating their name in conversation, it will help you to remember it as well. And of course, get their business card!
4. Make Eye Contact
Look people in the eye. It will help keep you focused on their conversation and show them that you’re interested in hearing what they have to say. If their eye starts to wander, it’s a clue that they may be losing their interest in you.
This is a difficult task for most people. When we’re listening to someone else talk, our mind is frequently 1) busy forming a question to ask, 2) trying to process the information that’s being spoken, or 3) splitting attention between the speaker and something else that’s going on.
Give the other person your 100% attention. It will make them feel important and your undivided attention tells them that you genuinely value them.
6. Show Politeness
Make it a habit to be polite to everyone. Start with shop clerks and work your way up to the airline ticket agents. Once there, you can take on state government employees . . . the point is this: show appreciation and gratitude whenever and wherever you can. It’s a habit that can be learned. People really do pay attention to how well you treat strangers, so make it habit to treat everyone well.
7. Be Authentic
As an FBI undercover agent, I assumed the identity of a fictitious person. One of the first things I learned was that to be a successful undercover agent, it took more than a fake name. The thing that was impossible was trying to be a fake person. No amount of good acting or creative story telling was enough to get me next to the target of my investigation.
I came across like an empty person and that held no interest for anyone.
People cannot genuinely like you unless they know who you are. Give up trying to impress new people you meet. Instead, share with them who you are—really, and not whom you think they want to meet.
Try this exercise sometime this week:
- Notice how much time you spend just listening when you’re in a conversation with someone.
- Notice how often your mind races ahead to a question you want to ask them.
- Notice how often the next task of the day pops into your mind as you listen.
- Notice how often you get lost in your own thoughts.
Now, do this:
- Slow down your mind and focus on what the other person is saying.
- Pay attention to their facial features as they speak.
- Pay attention to what animates them when they speak.
- Pay attention to how their voice changes when they speak about a specific topic.
- Pay attention to how their words and body language change.
Now do this:
- Share with them what you noticed.
How have you become more likable to people? What is your favorite way of focusing on others? What tips can you offer to help other be better listeners?
LaRae Quy is former FBI Agent and Founder at Your Best Adventure
She helps clients explore the unknown and discover the hidden truth in self & others
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