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Have you ever had a friend or family member who everyone loves right after meeting them? You know who I’m talking about, the ones that win over friends immediately and make everyone feel like they’ve known the forever. For the rest of us, we assume that these people have a certain je ne sais quoi that we will just never have.
While part of this likeable aura is simply personality, much of it is comprised of things that you can control. You might actually be doing things in your everyday life and when you meet new people, without even realizing it, that are making others dislike you. Rather than assuming things just are the way they are, take a good look at yourself and how you come across to others and see what you can do to change the impression you make on people around you.
Why is this important? Because likeable people are often more successful. People want to help those who are likeable, do business with them, be friends with them and are more likely to trust them. To get you started on this self-reflection, here are eight things you may be doing that you don’t realize are making you unlikeable:
Not asking questions. Many people struggle to even remember someone else’s name because they’re so focused on what they plan to say or how they’re coming across. If you want to make other people feel seen and heard, focus on them rather than yourself. Ask them questions and then ask more based on what they tell you.
Being too serious. Yes, it’s important to have passions and take causes seriously but, on the same note, people are drawn to those who have passions but who are fun about what they do and have a good time as well. Balance is the key in your own life because that’s what other people are looking for too.
Emotional explosions. If you’re the type that tries to keep it all together and then explodes when under a lot of stress, whether that’s with anger or tears, you’re too volatile for people to want to be around. People like to know what to expect from you and know they can depend on you.
Humble-bragging. Humble-bragging is essentially when someone makes fun of themselves for something or tries to make light of their hard work, but really they’re trying to draw attention to themselves in a positive light. For example, saying you’re such a nerd by studying on a Friday night to show off that you’re top of the class or that you’re such a health nut to draw attention to the fact that you’re really fit.
Name dropping. Name dropping is similar to humble-bragging: people can see right through it. If you want to impress people, do so by focusing on making them feel good and actually being humble in the first place. Let people like you for you, not who you know.
Gossiping. Again, gossiping is a way to make yourself feel better and look better by making other people’s lives seem like a mess in comparison. Gossiping not only makes you look petty, but it will make the person you’re talking to afraid that you’re going to gossip about them the next chance you get.
Sharing too much. Of course connecting with people requires sharing things about yourself, but make sure you don’t go overboard right off the bat. Over-sharing can create an unbalanced conversation and overwhelm the person you’ve just met. To be more likeable, share little bits and then open up more when you get to know someone. It will show them that they’ve earned your trust.
Staring at your phone. One of the biggest social faux pas of our time is the use of cell phones. We’ve gotten so attached to our phones that we either pull them out due to habit, or because we don’t know what else to do with ourselves but looking at your phone makes the other person feel like they aren’t interesting enough to keep your attention. If you’re with other people, put your phone away. Unless there’s an actual emergency, there’s no reason to be looking at your phone - other people can wait.
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