Learning how to be likable — whether it’s to one specific person or to as many people as possible — isn’t something that you’re always born with.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not something you can train.
Getting someone to like you is as much a skill as it is a talent, and anyone can learn how to increase their likability.
Learn how to make the person you like you back, or make everyone around you generally think of you as a good and fun person to be with.
In this article, I will discuss the science and art behind likability, and what you can do to maximize your personal likability factor.
What People Look For In People They Like
You can’t get everyone to like you, that’s a simple truth.
We all have our own preferences — in personality, in friendship, in attraction — and you aren’t going to fit everyone’s preferences, even if you’re the most likable, the kindest, and most attractive person in the world.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to give yourself the greatest chances possible.
No matter what kind of person you may be, there are always certain qualities and character traits that you just can’t resist, making you like (and even “like like”) a person just because of their default characteristics.
Getting someone to like you doesn’t always have to feel like mission impossible.
Sure, we’re all different, with our own unique likes and dislikes in other people, but if you can start practicing certain behaviors and start adopting certain traits, you can get anyone to like you in some way.
Here are some major characteristics that can make anyone like you:
1. You Need to See Them For Them to Like You
Proximity refers to how close someone is to you, quite literally. How often can you spend time together in one room?
This element suggests that people who tend to see each other frequently are likely to develop feelings for each other.
The more they see you, the easier it is for them to like you back — it’s that simple.
What you can do:
- Figure out what they like and invite them to activities/events related to their interests
- Find something that physically brings you together, like joining a class they’re in or visiting the coffee shop they frequent
- Place yourself close to where they are so they can always see you
- Schedule regular meetings. If you work together, you can invite them on brainstorming sessions. If you have the same class, you could ask them to be your partner and do school projects together
2. Find Common Interests
Similarity is pretty self-explanatory: are you more or less the same person?
People who share the same interests, hobbies, and personalities are proven to click faster and develop a deeper connection.
If you want to get someone to like you fast, find mutual interests and fixate on those.
What you can do:
- Find common interests and find opportunities to discuss and talk about them
- Learn new skills that both of you can explore. The new skill/hobby serves as a neutral ground that both of you could eventually get into
- Hang out with their friends more often
3. Look The Best You Can
We all have things we prefer to see in people, sure, but there are also general physical attributes we can’t help but feel attracted to.
For instance, people with symmetrical features just register as more attractive, regardless of how they look.
Luckily, you don’t have to rely on symmetry to stand out from the rest. Basic grooming and dressing up according to your body type can go a long way.
What you can do:
- Adopt an active lifestyle and a healthy diet to improve your body composition
- Explore different clothing styles to see which clothes frame your body best
- Get a haircut that frames your face and accentuates your features. Consider using accessories like eyeglasses or wearing makeup if you’re a girl
4. If You Like Them, They’ll Like You
The element of reciprocation suggests that people are attracted to people who feel the same way as them.
Have you ever been in a situation where you ended up liking someone simply because they like you?
Being admired is very flattering, and might just be the spark you need to get the flame going.
What you can do:
- Tell your crush what you feel so they understand where you stand
- Consider becoming more physically intimate with them to bring your relationship closer to the next level
- Make sure they realize you’re particularly sweet and affectionate to them and no one else
It’s no secret that we all love a good smile, and this might be the most repeated and basic tip of them all, but that’s because it works.
Smiling is the best way to make an instant connection with just about anyone. You can’t go wrong with a smile, because what’s the worst that could happen?
With a single smile, you can elicit a response from a total stranger, or show a friend or someone you like that you’re physically and emotionally open to them.
It gives them the confidence to approach you and talk to you, and anything can happen from there.
6. Copy What They Do
Also known as mirroring, copying the gestures and physical behaviors of those you are talking with is a great way to subconsciously trick them into liking you.
The basic premise behind it is that we tend to automatically copy the movements of gestures of someone we like, and by forcing it, we can improve the way people feel about us.
Mirroring is a long-time proven method of gaining other people’s trust as well as connecting with them. With effective mirroring, you give yourself a leg-up on the competition.
7. Maintain Eye Contact (But Not Too Much)
As the old saying goes, the eyes are the windows to the soul.
While we might not be exactly looking into someone’s soul by looking into their eyes, we do gain their trust and confidence by maintaining eye contact throughout a conversation.
There’s nothing more shifty and shady than someone who can’t keep their eyes on you while you’re talking with them, and you don’t want to be the kind of person who looks suspicious rather than trustworthy.
Eyes project confidence, interest, and openness, which all contribute to your likability.
8. Open Posture
When talking to another person, think of how you look in terms of posture. Do you look open and welcoming, or do you look closed and standoffish?
This is something you can practice in front of the mirror; pretend you’re talking to someone, and think about how you come off.
Are you loose or firm? Are you casual or tight? Are your arms at your side, or do you play with your hands awkwardly? Do you stand up straight with your neck properly exposed? Try not to cross your arms or fold your legs, and always avoid hunching your shoulders.
9. Use Your Voice
Being likable doesn’t just mean not being unlikable. It also means being memorable and not forgettable.
You need to learn how to be someone who really stands out in a room, with a presence that people can’t miss. And part of that means learning how to properly use your voice.
Don’t talk too quietly, and enunciate your words. Eating your words and mumbling under your breath is an easy way to project little to no confidence, inspiring no one around you.
The tone and speed of your voice are also important; try to talk slower than the person speaking with you, and always maintain a kind and pleasant tone.
10. Think of the Person You Like, and Be Like Them
The great thing about being likable is that there’s no secret to it: we all know someone we like, and all we have to do is emulate them.
So try to bring to mind the people you’ve found most likable, and what about them made them so likable to you.
Was it the way they talked? The things they talked about? How they looked you in the eye while you were talking with them?
Always keep those characteristics you liked in mind and do your best to emulate them.
11. Ask Questions: Assume That Everyone Is Interesting
We’re all guilty of it: we sometimes see other people as just props in the background of our lives, even when we’re in a conversation with them.
That doesn’t necessarily make us bad people; it just means we have a bad habit that needs to be fixed.
A great way to fix this is by assuming that everyone you meet has an interesting story to tell, with their own unique interests and hobbies.
This puts you at an advantage over other people, because it gives you a reason to care and listen at the level that will make people like you.
You also end up encouraging people to talk more about themselves, asking them questions to keep opening up, which naturally makes them appreciate you more.
12. Lighten Up, Go For the Laugh
There’s a time to be serious, and there’s a time to lighten up. Knowing the difference between these two times is important in getting people to like you, because it shows that you have social nous and tact.
Having the judgment to know when you should act virtuously or just go with the flow shows that you are a person that people can communicate and work with.
And secondly, an easy way to lighten the mood? Go for the laugh. You don’t have to be a comedian to know how to make a joke.
The best jokes are those that come at no one’s expense; or if they do, don’t take the cheap hits.
13. Don’t Be Pushy
Remember: you can’t make anyone do or feel anything they don’t want to do or feel, so don’t force it. If a conversation feels like it’s dying or going off track, don’t push too hard to steer it in your preferred direction.
Be flexible; let others take the conversation where they want to take it, and learn how to adapt in topics and environments that you might not be familiar with.
14. Don’t Be Afraid To Look Weak
Finally, as we said earlier, it’s important to be humble. Don’t be afraid to show that you don’t know everything.
We all have limitations in what we know and what we can talk about; that doesn’t take away anything from who we are.
But for some reason a lot of us are afraid to show others that we might be weak or ignorant in certain areas.
Don’t be that person. Be the person who is more than open about what they know and what they don’t know, and let others teach you when they have the chance.
People love people who aren’t bogged down with insecurities and drawbacks. Love yourself for who you are, and those around you will follow suit.
Sincerity is hard to come by in this day and age, where everyone tries to be someone else and few people want to be honest in fear of any repercussions or fallout.
Sincerely and simply being real with people is a great way to show someone that you’re a true individual, someone who respects their own integrity by respecting the integrity of others.
Learn how to be present, and keep your attention on people when they are around you. Put down the phone and be in the moment; listen and speak with every part of you, not just a fraction of your mind.
When speaking to other people, use their name to show that you’re really there; when listening, respond and act appropriately.
We all deserve criticism from time to time, and knowing how to respectfully handle it with tact is important in making people like you for who you are.
Don’t be someone with a fragile, delicate ego; absorb criticism when necessary, but also know when to protect and defend yourself. It’s a tight balance, but once achieved, it can drastically improve your image.
18. Confident Humility
Some people may say “confident humility” is a paradox, but there’s a time to be confident and a time to be humble, and balancing those two will give you the most likable personality possible.
Have confidence and faith in your own abilities, but also know when it’s time to listen and learn.
Last but not least, be you. Be an original. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, and don’t try to be someone else just to impress those around you.
Be the best version of yourself you can be, and inspire others to be themselves instead of being fake, too.
Want Someone to Like You? Four Commonly Asked Questions, Answered
Getting someone to like you isn’t a personal conundrum – it’s a universal experience millions of people experience around the world.
If this is your first time attempting to woo someone, or if you need a refresher on how dating works, these four common questions are a good place to start:
1) How long does it take for someone to “like” you?
Short answer: While an infatuation can be immediate, “liking” someone may take a bit longer. Anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months
Long answer: Getting someone to like you is a marathon not a sprint. If you want someone to like you back in hopes that you can have a relationship together, the best way to proceed is to build that solid foundation slowly.
Although there are tips and tricks out there that can help speed up this process, this ultimately depends on the person you’re pursuing.
Keep in mind that these psychological and physical tricks are ultimately designed to propel the relationship forward and improve the quality of your bond, and not necessarily fast track you to success.
Each person moves at a different pace. Some people might have no reservations going from platonic to flirty, while other people might take a while before they truly open up to you.
As long as you spend enough time together, you can usually see progress in a matter of a few weeks to a couple of months.
2) What are the common signs someone likes you?
Short answer: Physical indicators such as maintaining eye contact and physical touch
Long answer: Again, this varies from person to person. If the person you like is particularly introverted, they might not always be forward and vocal about their feelings.
Sometimes it takes a while before a person is comfortable enough to show you signs that they like you, and this could be due to many different reasons.
They could just be shy; they might even be unsure of how you feel.
One of the best ways to understand if someone does like you is to display these signs yourself. It’s not always easy telling the difference between flirty and friendly.
Making the advances yourself could communicate your intentions better, which in turn gives them a better idea of how to respond to you.
Here are the common things you should watch out for:
Maintain eye contact: Maintaining eye contact is an indication of interest. If you find yourself constantly locking eyes with the person you like, chances are they like you back.
Playful touching: A person who likes you will unconsciously try to touch you. When you pass each other, do you high five each other? Do they nudge you playfully or gently tap your shoulder? If you’re unsure if the touching is playful or just normal, see how they respond with others. Do they touch other people as much as they interact with you?
Remove physical barriers: Here’s something most people don’t even realize they do.
People engaged in something they’re interested in tend to remove physical barriers between them and that person.
If you’re talking and they put away their laptop, it could be a good sign they’re interested in you too.
3) How is attracting guys different from attracting girls?
Short answer: Women respond better to more obvious signs of attraction, whereas men prefer more subtle hints at attraction
Long answer: Men and women don’t think about love the same way, which stems primarily from how they process emotions.
Men tend to be less vocal about how they truly feel, especially when they’re starting to like or fall in love with someone.
On the other hand, women are more open to showing the other person how they truly feel, usually through verbal or physical cues.
Getting a girl or a guy to like you still depends on who they are as a person.
However, your general approach should match what men or women typically expect in a partner so you can see the best results.
Men tend to fall in love more slowly. They are usually hooked by a person’s physical attractiveness first, before falling deeper for their personality.
It may take some time for a guy to develop real feelings for you, especially if he has no experience with serious or committed relationships.
Women, on the other hand, can be attached to their partners more quickly. Women appreciate men who are passionate, funny, and attentive.
They typically don’t get hung up over physical appearances and instead focus on things like humor and charisma. Having a winning personality is one of the best ways to get a girl to like you.
4) What’s the best way to get a friend to like you romantically?
Short answer: Communication, initial attraction, mutual interests
Long answer: Realizing that you want to be more than just friends with your buddy can be scary. But the good news is that your friendship has already given you an advantage.
For starters, you already have a foundational relationship so establishing a bond wouldn’t be a problem.
In situations where you’re trying to get your friend to like you, transitioning into something more romantic becomes tricky when there is no physical chemistry present.
Physical attraction and chemistry are crucial components of romantic relationships.
Even if you have the same interests, crossing the barrier between friends and lovers would prove difficult if he or she is not attracted to you.
Help your friend see you in a different light by putting on a new set of clothes or engaging them in more intimate activity.
If there’s no spark between the two of you, it might just be because they’ve never had to look at you in that way.
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