Five Tips to Increase Your Likeability

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Being likeable isn’t required in order to achieve the position or job of your dreams, but it helps. When other people are on your side providing you with encouragement, helpful tips, and even free resources, it can greatly increase the chances of success in your chosen field and in life. Many times, it is not what you know but who you know.

While the listing below may seem to be cursory and easy to implement, they are not. It is difficult to make real and permanent changes in your personality. The process of becoming an exceptionally likeable individual takes years. Do not let that intimidate you, however. Remember: the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Likeability, like drawing, writing or golf, is something which must be practiced.

1. Be positive.

The single most common problem facing individuals who want to become more popular/successful/likeable is their own attitude. Attitude is everything. Attitude is the reason why you aren’t as popular now as you want to be. More specifically, it is a negative attitude which can poison your relationships with your coworkers, and indeed the world. Developing a more positive attitude does not mean ignoring hardships or failures. It is simply reframing those difficulties and negative emotions to healthier positive ones. The old cliche, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," has been around for a while because it is exactly the winning attitude which people are attracted to, and it is exactly the attitude which brings rewards.

Why do you complain? Why do you have pet-peeves? What is the point of harboring all of these negative emotions? Be big enough to let them go. Use your rational mind and refuse to be overcome by these negative emotions. My pet peeve used to be people who had poor pronunciation. Like 'nuclular' instead of 'nuclear' or 'basttitized' instead of 'bastardized'. However, I realized that it really didn't matter how the person pronounces the word as long as I can understand the point they are making. I can fix their errors mentally. I know now that even I, yes even the great I, is prone to mispronounce a word once in a while as well. Instead of highlighting failures and differences try to build commonalities and connect with your peers.

"Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid." - John Keats

 

2. Control your insecurities.

Insecurities oftentimes come leaping out of a person's brain and mouth so quickly that the speaker has no idea what words he just blurted out. People that always have to be correct are insecure. People that constantly saying "just kidding!" after every single joke are insecure. People that respond to a joke at their expense with anger or insult are insecure. Insecurity beguiles confidence and weakens your Self. Becoming a better individual means accepting your Self, and not hiding it under the veil of insults, "just kiddings", or factoids.

Either you accept mediocrity about your personality completely and without shame, or you change it. Period. If you're fat, either go on a strict diet and exercise regime or accept it and even be willing to poke fun at yourself. If you have a high voice, buy some tapes to help you improve your tone or be willing to not only accept but love your squeaky vocals. Display your faults for all the world to see - mistakes are unifying characteristics which all humans can empathize with. Not only is perfection limiting, it's boring as well. The mark of a mistake-free life is one which has not been fulfilled.

"The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything." - Theodore Roosevelt

 

3. Provide value.

The only thing worse than an insecure person is one who is so completely and utterly shutdown from the world that they refuse to display any personality at all. If you work in an IT company like I do, you know exactly what I mean. There are developers there who display exceptional intellect and foresight on their projects but when it comes to simple human interaction they lack the social graces (or *gasp*, bravery) to wish you a good morning. In order to be around people with value you must be able to convey value. There is no alternative. If you are humorless, read books on comedy writing; if you are boring, go out and do something adventurous. Experience life and share your findings with your coworkers.

Have you ever noticed that successful people often flock together? I have heard countless stories of brilliant scientists or businessmen who were close friends with other successful individuals before they gained their notoriety. In parallel, have you noticed that drug addicts and criminals often associate with each other? This isn't coincidence. You are the sum of all of your friends and close associates. Choose your friends with care, just because you grew up with someone does not mean you are forced to be their friend for the rest of your life. Start surrounding yourself with people of value and it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

"The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the person you want to be... Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others." - Wilfred Peterson

 

4. Eliminate all judgments.

Judgmental people are usually easy to spot because they are the ones eating alone in the lunch room. They think of themselves as 'too [flattering adjective]' to have lunch with those guys in shipping and 'too [unflattering adjective]' to eat with the guys in IT. No one is above you and no one is below you. We are all mammals - humans, more distinctly - just trying to get by the best way we know how. Do not believe for a second that there are unwritten 'leagues' or 'classes' which people must adhere to. All of these boundaries are artificial, put in place by people who are in desperate need for justifications of their own failures. No judgments means treating everyone with the respect you would give to a 120-year-old man and the understanding you would give toward your seven-year-old cousin.

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again." - Og Mandino

 

5. Become a person of conviction.

In order to gain respect you must start respecting yourself first. You must set boundaries on behavior and let people know that you are not a pushover. Make no mistake, people will test you in order to find out exactly where your boundaries are. This means saying 'no' to disrespect and letting the offending party know that he or she crossed the line with their comment and you did not appreciate it. People will respect you more when they realize that you are not someone who is malleable or valueless.

Set your own personal unbreakable code of ethics. Make it as rigid as your morals will allow. When you are faced with an ethical dilemma, reference this code. If no precedent exists, create one. Let it be your ever-expanded guide which will provide you stability in an otherwise chaotic world. If your boss requests you to do something that is in incongruence with your core values, simply refuse and explain your reasoning. You may be surprised how understanding they might be.

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." - Mahatma Gandhi

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lee. said:

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This is a good summary of important things we as social beings need to be conscious of. This is, of course, for the person who is willing to making those personal changes in attitude and personality. Likability is very important and i do not want to minimize the importance of this; after all, it could get you your dream job even if you may look a bit unqualified on the formal papers. However, I think the emphasis should not be likability for the sake of personal successful gain. Instead, it should be on personal happiness and fulfillment. Humans have a fundamental characteristic of being social. That means good communication skills is essential for our capacities for communication and relationship building in friendships and the work place. It is apparent that something (i'll call it technological advancement, and capitalistic individualisms, but you are free to call it whatever you like), have hindered our capacities in communication. But luckily, being the conscious thinkers that we are, we can confront and transform this.

Also, the last part on "be a person of conviction"
I just want to emphasize this. Too often people are passive. Perhaps it is because they have no developed an interest in getting to know certain issues and are not motivated to take a stance. But everyone has something they find valuable and everyone should be ready to justify it in the face of challenge. In fact, i encourage us all to challenge the views of our peers more often: it should lead to engaging conversation. If the challenged person takes a passive approach, then they shouldn't be in any position to claim the value of their stance.

in the end, i'd say, talk to more strangers and dont be afraid to ask engaging questions. you may make a friend on the subway or the grocery store line :)
 
March 16, 2008 | url
Votes: +3
..., Low-rated comment [Show]

kat said:

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not all people who sit alone think LESS of those around them. sometimes they are akward or just want time to think. so.. don't tell people to not be judgemental if that's excatly what you are being.
 
June 27, 2008
Votes: +5

Sagen said:

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I like the guide, and I'll definitely apply it, especially the idea of reading comedy writing books.
That might be something I'd enjoy.
I've noticed I do a lot of the things in this, so I'll look out for that in the future.

Thanks!
 
July 16, 2008
Votes: +3

Vicky said:

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wow. this is very logical. i think ive opened my eyes...
 
July 24, 2008
Votes: +4

Franco said:

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These are all good tips, but I think one of the ancients summed it up best: know thyself. The comment above says that "the emphasis should not be likability for the sake of personal successful gain. Instead, it should be on personal happiness and fulfillment", and I think he missed the point of this. What is the difference between 'personal successful gain' and 'personal happiness and fulfillment'? These are all tips that will help one accomplish whatever it is that makes him happy. Maybe for me I won't have happiness and fulfillment until I achieve success in my profession of choice. Perhaps you are able to find that happiness by just waking up every morning. Either way it comes down to ensuring that you are getting exactly what you want out of life. There are always times when a judgment is necessary or one should rid himself of the annoyances he finds in daily life; but it really is all just directed towards being the best person you can be, based on the standards by which you choose to live.
 
September 08, 2008
Votes: +3

Kunal said:

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hey could someone help me in implementing these tips ....cause its fine till i read...but when i go out...i make the same old mistakes...my problems are i keep judging people all the time...i try to be positive...but remain only for some time...i know what my mistakes are but dont know how do i correct them....Please help me out
 
September 20, 2008
Votes: +3

Arrie said:

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All this tips are phenomenally amazing if an individual are capable of implementing all this tips in their daily basis. But the bigger question is how to do it? I cant stop judging people, and lazy to greet others even if i greet they feel weird. Maybe im a loner or maybe im just dislike able. Life is sad...
 
September 27, 2008
Votes: +0

Jen said:

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I agree with a lot of your views, however not the one about eating lunch alone!, like a lot of workplaces there are a lot of cronies and jerks at my workplace 9thankfully I only work there part time!), I give people a fair chance, but I prefer to sit alone if I find I am working with a bunch of idiots...
 
October 11, 2008
Votes: +2

kierra smith said:

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well i like most of the viewers comments but you have to be honest in order for sumbody to like you i mean without trust they may not llike or trust you i mean they gotta be able to tell you they deepest decrets even if it hurts them thay have to ba able to be open with one another ya fel me?
 
October 17, 2008
Votes: +1

sailesh shrestha said:

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These r really very useful information for a person who wants to bring positive change in his life and I am among them. So I really appreciate this.
Thank you.
 
November 04, 2008
Votes: +0

AZMEX46 said:

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I LOVED this article!!! I mean Reeeelly!!! I understand some of the comments that pretty much state that all is fine and good but "how in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks can I implement all of this!!!" I have or have "had" quite a few friends in the past but have very successfully lost almost all but the most loyal to my opinionated and untrusting "self". I really am attempting to be a better person and not be so judgemental. This article has really struck a cord with me personally. Thank You!!!
 
November 19, 2008
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