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How to Develop Likability: 5 Habits of People Everyone Likes

Wondering how to develop likability? Then this article is for you.

Some people seem to be effortlessly likable.

As a consequence, many of us often wonder if they were just born like that or if they learned the behaviors that, over time, helped them become so charming and well-liked.

The answer is maybe some people were born like that, while some weren’t; however, that’s not what truly matters.

What you should focus on is the idea that, as Brianna Wiest mentioned in Forbes, likability is a skill you can develop over time.

And you can do it by simply observing truly likable people and learning from them.

What follows are a few habits these people usually have in common.

1. Spread Positive Vibes

Think about a few likable people you know.

Imagine them entering a room full of people. How do they look? What do they do? How do they behave?

Let me guess. While not all of them are necessarily the most talkative and extroverted people in the room, what they probably all have in common is they seem relaxed, at ease, and have a positive body language.

They may smile, or even laugh, but without overdoing it. Did I guess?

See, likable people usually have in common this: a positive attitude — especially when around others — which is contagious. In other words, they spread positive vibes.

2. Be Authentic

These people are usually well-liked because they’re real.

They don’t try to be like someone they’re not because they’re comfortable in their own skin. They don’t use a fake tone of voice, and their laughter is never forced.

And, as Jeff Haden mentioned in Inc., they’re not afraid to share their screwups and admit their mistakes.

They are positive, but they’re not fake. So they will always tell you what you need to hear, even if it’s not necessarily what you want to hear.

They are not afraid of being who they truly are. And most importantly, they are kind with others even when they don’t need anything in return.

Recommended read: Authentic People: 7 Core Traits They Have in Common

3. Listen, More Than You Talk

What’s worse than a mosquito waking you up at 4 am? Easy. Someone who doesn’t listen to what you have to say and talks over you without letting you finish your sentence.

Likable people, instead, are usually great listeners. And this is why they’re usually well-liked, because we all like to be listened to — and because good listeners are rare.

These people don’t just let you talk, they make you feel they are actually listening to every single word you are saying, and ask smart follow-up questions to keep the conversation flowing.

Talking with them is simply pleasant.

Recommended read: Good Listeners: 7 Things They Do Differently

4. Make People Feel Understood

People who make you feel listened to are amazing. And I guess we all agree on that. Now the question is, “Is there anything better than feeling listened to?”

And the answer is simple. Of course there is something even better than that: feeling understood.

Think about it for a moment. When we feel understood, we feel at peace, we feel good, and we feel emotionally secure.

And that feeling goes well beyond simply feeling listened to. Usually it’s something you feel when you have a strong connection with someone.

Truly likable people are normally empathetic, they have this ability to put themselves in your shoes, and to make you feel understood.

This is why they tend to connect with people on a deep level. And this is why we find them so likable.

Now you may ask, “How can I actually make someone feel understood?”

There’s not an easy answer to this question, because we’re talking about the emotions of someone else, and, obviously, we don’t have direct control on how others feel. However, here are a few things that may help you make someone feel understood:

  • Always listen without judging,
  • Try to think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes,
  • Tell them it’s understandable they feel they way they feel, help them accept their emotions and validate their feelings.

5. Make Others Feel Good About Themselves

Another point worth mentioning is this:

We feel our best around those who make us feel not just listened to or understood, but who also make us feel good about ourselves, who encourage us to be the most authentic version of ourselves.

Truly likable people have the habit of seeing the good in others. And something you can learn from them is the habit of genuinely complimenting people.

If you appreciate something a friend or a colleague usually does, tell them. If you admire how hard-working your sister is, tell her. There’s no easier way to make someone feel good about themselves.

Recommended read: How to Be More Likable: 5 Powerful Habits to Charm Anyone

What Likable People Usually Have in Common, in A Nutshell

These are the habits you can learn from truly likable people:

  • The spread positive vibes,
  • They’re authentic,
  • They make you feel listened to,
  • They make you feel understood,
  • They make you feel good about yourself.

Photo by Daniel Xavier from Pexels


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