What can you do to make you more likeable? How can your mere presence draw people’s smiles and warm greetings? Being likeable is not all that hard. You don’t have to be a celebrity, rock star, or billionaire philanthropist to get people to like you and enjoy your presence. Social skills can easily be learned, and can always be improved, simply through practice. Here are a few awesome social skills that you can proactive at parties, networking events, or even just get-togethers with friends.
1. Be a positive person. Nobody like a Debbie Downer or a Negative Nancy. have a positive attitude will naturally attract people toward you and let them enjoy your presence. Positivity is infectious and can spread easily from person to person. Everyone is drawn toward someone with a great smile and a friendly attitude, so why not give it a try.
2. Understand nonverbal communications. Oftentimes, what someone is not saying is more important as to what they saying. Nonverbal communication plays a big role in how people interact with one another, and being able to correctly read and identify certain behaviors will help you a lot in understanding other people. For example, someone who doesn’t make eye contact might be nervous or someone who crosses their arms a lot might be upset or aggravated. Knowing how to correctly interpret someone’s body language makes it much easier to communicate with them effectively.
3. Mirror another person’s movements. Speaking of body language, one scientifically proven strategy that people can use is called mirroring. This means that slightly imitate the body motions, tone, facial expressions, and gestures of a person you are talking to. For example, if they are smiling, you should smile back. If they sit down, take a seat with them. Just make sure you don’t over do it because it might come across as mocking or a bit unusual.
4. Give compliments. This might seem obvious, but it’s true: little compliments go a long way. People do like feeling appreciated, and giving them compliments is a great way to make them feel better about themselves. Gretchen Rublin, author of The Happiness Project, says that people will often describe you with the same words you to describe others. If you tell others that they are funny and kind, then others will also think that you are funny and kind. Similarly, if you tell others that they are boring and obnoxious, people will more than likely think the same of you. Just make sure not to overdo it and keep the compliments authentic and few or people will start to think to only reason you are giving compliments is because you want a favor or something in return.
5. Assume the best in others. Give others benefit of the doubt and assume goodwill in them. For example, if you need someone to help you in a vast amount of data, don’t discount someone just because they do not have a lot of experience. If you can properly coach them, then you can give them the opportunity to accomplish great things. If you believe in someone else’s ability to accomplish something, they will feed of that positive encouragement and try to do their best to do what needs to be done.
6. Be humble. Nobody likes an arrogant person who does nothing but boast about much better they are than everyone else. It’s OK to be proud of your accomplishments, but don’t be cocky about it and try and rub it in everyone else’s face. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be completely negative about yourself either. There is a happy medium where you can be proud enough to talk about your achievements but humble enough not to comes across as a pompous jerk. It is all about have a little bit of balance between the two.
7. Admit your flaws. Nobody’s perfect, so there is no point in that pretending that you are. Everyone makes mistakes; it is just an inevitable part of being human. Besides, people like it when others admit their flaws. It shows humility and that you are not afraid to say that you have opportunities for improvement. As a result others will have an easier time to you and confiding in you because they know that you are open about your mistakes and flaws. A study from the University of Minnesota shows this to be true. Researcher Elliot Aronson had male students list to tape recordings of various people and rate how likeable those people were. The students rated the people who accidentally spilled coffee on themselves the most likeable.
8. Be open minded. People love sharing their interests and hobbies with others. Be open to trying new things even if you think you would not like them at first. Go out with your friends to a kind of restaurant you would not normally eat at. Try playing at board game that you have never heard of. Watch your friend’s favorite movie, even if it is not the kind you would normally watch. It is exciting when you can be truly open minded and share experiences with others.
9. Let others talk. It feels great to go on and on about your yourself, the things you like, and what you have done in your life. So why not give other people that opportunity as well? People love talking about themselves, and they will love you for listening to them. Allow others to open up and indulge themselves by letting them talk about the things they are passionate about.
10. Ask questions. When others are talking, be engaged with them. Instead of just saying “uh-huh,” “cool” or “that’s great” try showing some curiosity and get them to elaborate on their experiences. For example, if they say they are a UX designer, ask them what the job is like, where they want to work, and what have they worked on. This shows that you are interested in hearing them out, rather than just letting them speak.
11. Find a common interest. Nothing connects two people more than having something in common. It just might be that both of you idolize Elon Musk or enjoy watching The Flash on Tuesday nights. Either way, that is an excellent talking point that will to connect with each other.
12. Casually touch someone, Slightly patting someone on the back, or even brushing their arm or shoulder, can have a dramatic effect on how people like you. Several studies have proven the effectiveness of slight, nonsexual touching. In one study from the University of Southern Brittany, researchers asked strangers to help them pick up a dropped item. Slightly touching a stranger on the arm made 27 percent more likely to help. Another study from the University of Mississippi and Rhodes college discovered that waitresses who slightly touched the shoulder of customers receivced significantly higher tips. In a third study, researchers at the University of Missouri asked strangers to sign a petition or fill out a questionnaire. Participants who were slightly touched on the arm were 26 percent more likely to sign the petition and 30 percent more likely to fill out the questionnaire. Of course, don’t be to obvious when doing this. Touching in considered a faux pas in some Western cultures, when compared to places like France. Not to mention over touching may be considered a form of harassment.
There are just a few like hacks that can genuinely make more likeable among other people. Feel free to experiment with any of these items and see who they work for you. Social skills, like anything else, require plenty of practice and dedication before they can begin to work well. Try some of these on your friends first, before going our to parties and networking event. You will be surprised at what sort of amazing results you get and like anything else they should be applied in moderation.