How to Be More Likable

How to Be More Likable
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Bill Lindsey
We all know someone who can arrive at a party or meeting full of strangers and leave a few hours later having made several new friends. Here’s how they do it.

Smile and Nod

A genuine smile is a very effective nonverbal signal that lets people know you are enjoying being in their presence. Charismatic people radiate a positive attitude by nodding as the other person speaks, smiling when the other person smiles, and mirroring the other person’s body language. They also know to avoid frowning, smirking, or making other negative facial expressions.

Pay Attention

People like others who listen to their stories and make and maintain eye contact. It’s rude and disconcerting to be looking everywhere except at the person who’s talking or is part of the conversation. Ask appropriate questions to learn more about them such as “How do you know the host?” or “Did you grow up here?” Listen more than you talk; don’t interrupt them or talk over them; be patient and truly listen to what they’re saying—you may learn something valuable. Remember their name and use it in conversation, as this is respectful and conveys a level of comfort that’s endearing.

Be Honest

Even when talking to people you may never see again, stretching the truth can come back to haunt you sooner or later, so be upfront and honest, just as you want others to be. Genuinely positive reactions are another way to connect; if they describe how they climbed a local mountain or spearheaded fundraising for a local pet rescue charity, let them know you think it was a great accomplishment. Don’t be that person who hears such things and immediately tries to top them.

Be Open-Minded

As you chat with new friends or those you’ve known for years, find things in common to discuss such as having dogs, wearing the same brand of watch, or a mutual love of sports or music. As you listen, be open-minded; not everyone will share your point of view, but like you, they’re entitled to their opinion. Rather than making it clear that you disagree, change the topic. It’s usually best to avoid politics and other sensitive topics.

Be There

Being reliable is a quality highly valued in friends. From a 2 a.m. call for help changing a flat tire, to arriving to dinner on time, knowing that you can be counted on to show up with a smile earns a lot of likability points. Being there means not making the conversation all about you; no one likes a know-it-all narcissist. If you’re pressed for time but they want to talk, be upfront about your schedule and make plans to get together at a more convenient time.
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.
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