How to Be More Likable

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If you’re shy, socially awkward, or tend to struggle with social interactions, you may wish to be more likable. Likability can be defined as having a nice, pleasant, and agreeable personality. It is associated with being cooperative, friendly, and socially accepted by others.

Likable people tend to endear themselves to others and make friends easily. While this trait comes naturally to some people, there are steps you can take to improve your social skills and be more likable.

This article explores some of the characteristics of likable people, the benefits of this trait, and some steps you can take to be more likable.

How to Be More Likable

Listed below are some ways to be more likable, according to Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and creator of ‘Your Happiness Hypothesis Method.’

Show People That You Like Them

Being affectionate with people and showing them that you like them is one of the best ways to get them to like you.

Clarissa Silva

If you want to be more likable, enter every conversation with the goal of making the other person feel liked and respected.

— Clarissa Silva

You can do this by paying attention to what they’re saying, asking follow-up questions, or offering them a thoughtful compliment, for example.

However, this is not meant to be done in a manipulative way. If you genuinely like someone, make the effort to let them know that. But if you don't like someone for whatever reason, you don't need to pretend to do so.

Look for Common Ground

It can be helpful to look for shared interests as an opportunity to relate to people and bond with them. You can find common ground with them in various areas, including hobbies, books, movies, music, sports, or travel.

Be a Good Listener

We often tend to be self-involved, to the extent that we may not notice others’ concerns and preferences. In conversation, rather than cutting off the person you are talking to or rushing to add your point of view to the conversation, focus on what they’re sharing and use it as an opportunity to connect with them. 

Clarissa Silva

You will find that you can develop deeper relationships if you just take a moment to take notice and actively listen to people’s problems.

— Clarissa Silva

Keep an Open Mind

Be open to exploring where a person is coming from and strive to see their point of view. Keeping an open mind and making an effort to understand others’ backgrounds and motivations can help you understand humanity better and grow as a person.

Avoid Passing Judgment

Starting from a positive and nonjudgmental space helps garner safety and likability among others. When you are judgmental, people hide their true selves around you because they feel they cannot confide in you. 

Clarissa Silva

Remember that everyone is entitled to their own choices, opinions, and mistakes.

— Clarissa Silva

Make this your philosophy and as long as no one is getting hurt, try not to pass judgment on the values or actions of another person.

Be Genuine

Don’t try to be something you’re not. If you don’t know something, ask about it or admit that you don’t know it. 

Likable people don’t come from a place of insecurity. They are secure in who they are and what they offer. They are not ashamed to ask for help if they need it.

Focus on Adding Value

Look to enrich conversations and people. Introspect on your strengths and abilities, and think about how you can use them to add value to your family, friends, work, and community.

Don’t Be Competitive

If someone tells a story of their vacation, don’t try to top it with a story from your holiday. Celebrate their successes and commiserate with their sorrows rather than trying to compete with them.

Clarissa Silva

Avoid competing with others or trying to one-up them in a conversation. Instead, view conversations as an opportunity to be more empathetic.

— Clarissa Silva

Stay True to Yourself

Likability doesn’t have to mean compromising your core beliefs and values for the sake of pleasing others. On the contrary, likability involves staying true to yourself during a conflict and honestly admitting that you disagree with the other person. However, it’s important to do so respectfully, without belittling, gaslighting, trolling, or demeaning anyone.

Characteristics of Likable People

This is how likable people compare to people who are unpleasant and not well-liked.

Likable People
  • Open-minded

  • Friendly 

  • Warm 

  • Honest

  • Genuine 

  • Respectful

  • Kind

  • Empathetic

Unpleasant People
  • Judgmental

  • Standoffish

  • Rude

  • Arrogant

  • Competitive

  • Aggressive

  • Inconsiderate 

  • Self-involved 

Benefits of Being Likable

These are some of the benefits of being likable.

Better Relationships and Social Support 

The primary benefit of likability is that it can help you build strong relationships, which in turn can help you create a social support network, says Silva. 

Research shows that social connectedness can boost your mental and physical health in many ways, including:

  • Improved mood and mental state
  • Reduced risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions
  • Increased resilience and greater ability to cope with stressful events
  • Stronger immunity and improved heart health
  • Lower risk of diseases and longer lifespan
  • Greater well-being and better quality of life

Increased Chances of Success 

In addition to helping build supportive relationships, likability can also increase your chances of success. According to Harvard Business Review, employees tend to rate more likable managers as more effective and successful.

A Word From Verywell

All of us wish to be more likable. Luckily, there are steps you can take to foster this trait. Try to be more intentional and mindful in your interactions with people. Being considerate and open-minded toward others often goes a long way.

Likability can help you make more friends, build a support system, and perhaps be more successful even.

8 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Sanjana Gupta
Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.