11 hacks that make you more personable and likeable (even as an introvert)

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When you meet someone personable, it always seems like they’re surrounded by good friends or presented with fun invitations and good opportunities.

They effortlessly get noticed – even if they’re not necessarily funny, successful, or good-looking.

They simply have that certain spark and charisma that makes them extremely likable.

Being personable can help your career and social life. While some people are natural social butterflies, some social skills can be practiced and learned especially if you’re willing and dedicated to putting yourself out there.

If you’re one of those who want to improve their social skills and become more personable, try doing these actions little by little:

1) Know When to Control or Express Your Emotions

Showing true emotions makes people self-conscious at first, but it’s actually an important part of creating authentic connections with others.

If you feel happy, excited, angry, or lonely, try conveying those emotions in a natural way that feels genuine to you.

If you’re stiff around others, think about how you typically express yourself when no one’s around – it’s a trick and small step that helps you behave better in front of someone.

But when you know your emotions and thoughts might start a fight or disagreement, then you should also learn to regulate and control them, especially in social settings.

Sometimes, we need to get along with people by curbing our emotions and appearing calm and collected, or better yet, expressing our thoughts in a way that won’t throw other people off.

Action Points:

  • Practice expressing your emotions in a sincere, natural way, perhaps in front of a mirror or with close friends or family.
  • Reflect on your emotional expressions when alone, and attempt to bring this level of comfort and authenticity into your social interactions.

2) Share Something About Yourself

Delving into the finer details of our lives can often leave us feeling exposed. Yet, it’s this very vulnerability that can enhance our appeal to others.

By sharing aspects of our lives, we send a clear message – we trust them enough to let them in.

Sharing also encourages them to share something personal about them, which deepens our relationship with them.

But always be careful when sharing personal details with a person you haven’t known for very long.

It’s completely fine to share stories about your family, work, or hobbies. These offer insight into your life without crossing into overly sensitive territory.

Steer clear of heavy topics like romantic relationships, health issues, or polarizing views on politics or religion. These can often prove too intense for initial interactions.

Action Points:

  • Practice selective self-disclosure: share aspects of your life that are interesting and relatable, without oversharing or veering into overly sensitive topics.
  • Initiate conversations by asking about others’ interests, hobbies or experiences, creating an open dialogue and inviting reciprocity.
  • Look for common ground through shared hobbies or interests – it’s an excellent way to connect with others while maintaining appropriate boundaries.

3) Pay Attention to People’s Body Language

While words carry weight, it’s often our bodies that do the talking.

Subtle signals – a certain stance, the level of eye contact, hand movements during conversation – these are all telling cues that people exhibit when they can’t articulate their thoughts verbally.

Over time, you’ll find yourself becoming more adept at deciphering these non-verbal hints. 

But observation shouldn’t stop at others. Reflect on your own body language, ensuring your actions align with your words.

This conscious approach helps avoid misinterpretation and enhances your interpersonal communication.

Conveying a relaxed demeanor through thoughtful body language can make you more approachable.

Something as simple as maintaining eye contact and showing active engagement when someone speaks can enhance your likeability

Action Points:

  • Make a conscious effort to observe and interpret the body language of others, recognizing that this form of communication can often convey deeper meaning.
  • Reflect on your own body language to ensure it aligns with your verbal communication, reducing potential misunderstandings.
  • Aim to project a relaxed, open demeanor through maintaining eye contact and showing active engagement during conversations, enhancing your personability.

4) Follow Social Norms and Start Small Talks

Social norms are the unwritten rules that people follow when they socialize.

If you’re uncertain about what’s generally acceptable, a good starting point is to observe others in various social settings.

Quietly take note of their actions, their conversational style, and their responses to different situations.

One particular social norm that personable individuals tend to adhere to is initiating small talk.

You might find yourself next to a stranger at an event, perhaps equally apprehensive.

A simple way to break the ice could be to chat about the occasion itself – how they are connected to the hosts, or even their journey to the event.

For many, especially introverts, striking up conversations can feel intimidating.

However, remember that personal growth often begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

Taking small steps towards initiating dialogue may seem awkward initially, but with time, you’ll find yourself becoming more comfortable and adept at engaging with others.

Action Points:

  • Observe social norms in various settings to gain a better understanding of accepted behaviors and conversational styles.
  • Make an effort to initiate small talk in social situations, using light and relevant topics to break the ice.
  • Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, taking incremental steps towards engaging in conversation with strangers, enhancing your confidence and interpersonal skills over time.

5) Listen Closely and Remember What People Tell You

People often find themselves drawn to those who genuinely listen.

Beyond just waiting for your turn to speak, active listening entails immersing yourself fully in the other person’s narrative, grasping their thoughts and feelings with empathy.

If you notice your mind wandering or crafting a response, gently redirect your focus back to the speaker.

This practice not only ensures better understanding but also aids in retaining information shared with you.

Remembering details from past conversations and bringing them up in subsequent interactions is a testament to your attentiveness.

It’s always pleasing when someone recalls what we’ve previously shared – it validates our feelings, making us believe that we were truly heard and that our words mattered.

Action Points:

  • Embrace active listening: focus intently on the speaker, their words, and their underlying feelings, rather than preparing your response.
  • If you find your attention drifting, consciously bring your focus back to the person and their message, deepening your understanding and empathy.
  • Make a mental note of important details shared in conversations, and bring these up in future interactions, showcasing your attentiveness and concern for the other person’s experiences.

6) Practice Acceptance

Everyone has the right to be themselves, even in social settings.

When you learn to accept this fact, you might find it easier to be personable and friendly to different kinds of people.

Even if you disagree with their views, it’s important to let people speak their minds.

Always respect their decisions when it comes to the way they dress, talk, and spend their time.

After all, you can always agree to disagree – being firm with your own set of values and morals while letting others live the way they want.

If you’re really steadfast with your beliefs, you can engage in a healthy discussion with those who think differently from you while still treating them with kindness and respect.

Tolerance, agreeableness, and empathy all go hand in hand – being more tolerant and empathetic allows you to become more accepting of other people.

Instead of forming an opinion of them right away, consider the different circumstances they’re in first.

Let yourself be curious and try to understand instead of letting judgment and prejudice get in the way.

Action Points:

  • Cultivate a mindset of acceptance, acknowledging the diversity of human experiences and choices.
  • Uphold respect for the right of others to voice their opinions and live their lives according to their choices, even in the face of disagreement.
  • Foster tolerance, agreeableness, and empathy, maintaining an open, curious mindset that prioritizes understanding over judgment.

7) Use Humor When It’s Appropriate

When we make someone laugh with our jokes or comments, there’s a good chance they’ll like us and our personalities.

Laughter makes our brain release endorphins, which can establish a bond between people.

As long as the jokes aren’t tasteless or disrespectful, it’s also good to laugh at something someone else says because it makes you appear friendlier.

But it’s crucial to read the room, know when to make jokes, and identify what jokes are appropriate.

Just to stay safe, avoid poking fun at someone’s appearance or laughing at serious topics like religion, medical conditions, or politics.

Some people are quick to make “funny” remarks but completely disregard the repercussions of not filtering what they say.

Remember that using humor when it’s appropriate is an entirely different skill from being quick-witted when it comes to cracking jokes.

Action Points:

  • Utilize humor to create a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere, keeping in mind the context and timing.
  • Be open and responsive to others’ humor, demonstrating your friendliness and approachability.
  • Maintain a respectful approach to humor, avoiding potentially offensive or sensitive topics. Always consider the potential impact of your words before making a “funny” remark.

8) Compliment People More Freely

Personable people are likable because they always find something positive about the person they talk to.

When people compliment another person, they also attribute the same quality to them.

If you compliment someone about their easygoing and friendly nature, they also tend to think of you in the same way – this behavior known as “trait transference” is shown in different scientific studies.

But be careful when giving out compliments because some people overdo it.

When you give out too many compliments, the other person might find it insincere and think you have an ulterior motive.

Whenever I compliment someone, I always think of something I genuinely like about them so that it’s true and sincere.

I don’t use the same compliments to others because not everyone has the same qualities or personality quirks.

Action Points:

  • Practice the art of giving genuine compliments, focusing on the unique qualities or traits you admire in others.
  • Be mindful of the frequency of your compliments to maintain sincerity and avoid giving the impression of having ulterior motives.
  • Understand and harness the power of “trait transference”, recognizing that the qualities you highlight in others can often be associated with you.

9) Always Show Empathy to Others

Lots of people often get empathy and sympathy confused with each other, but they’re actually different things.

Sympathy is about showing concern to a person when something bad happens to them while empathy is putting yourself in their shoes and identifying with their experiences.

For example, sympathy is saying sorry about the news to someone when their pet dies – it’s an acceptable response, but it’s a bit cold.

But when you empathize with them, you listen well, understand their situation, and relate emotionally.

If you can’t identify with their situation, it still helps to ask questions that demonstrate empathy – doing this shows them that you’re willing to understand their feelings better.

Action Points:

  • Differentiate between sympathy and empathy, recognizing the importance of understanding and relating to others’ experiences.
  • Practice active listening and strive to comprehend the emotions and perspectives of those you interact with.
  • Ask thoughtful questions to demonstrate empathy, even when you cannot completely identify with their situation, fostering a deeper understanding and connection.

10) Be Consistent in Your Efforts

Personable people are likable because others can rely on them consistently.

When they see the same person in a different setting, they still attempt to make conversation and pick up where they left off last time.

They remember the things they talked about before and ask the other person how they’ve been since then.

Their interactions also aren’t limited to in-person activities – they keep in contact with others online through email or chat.

Regardless of the communication medium, it’s crucial to be consistent in presenting a personable attitude to the people you talk to.

Just remember to be careful when talking online since it’s difficult to show tone and empathy in text format.

Action Points:

  • Foster consistency in your interactions by maintaining a genuine effort to connect with others, regardless of the setting or medium.
  • Remember previous conversations and demonstrate interest by asking about the other person’s well-being since your last encounter.
  • Exercise caution when communicating online, taking extra care to express tone and empathy in your messages, as text can sometimes be misinterpreted.

11) Help Other People and Learn to Ask For Help

Building self-confidence is important, but it’s also crucial to empower others and make them feel confident about themselves.

Some of the best ways to socialize is by complimenting someone and telling them they did a job well done.

If you must critique someone, do it kindly and constructively so they can do a better job next time. You can also offer help if they seem to need it.

Personable people lift others up because doing so also allows them to lift themselves up as well.

They always offer to assist others in the best way they can, but they also know when to ask for a favor when they need it.

It’s not easy to ask others for help, but some things lead to better results when more people are working on it.

We don’t always know what we’re doing, so don’t hesitate to ask another person for help if you need it – doing this makes them feel important, which makes them feel compelled to bond with us.

Action Points:

  • Offer genuine compliments and acknowledge others’ achievements, boosting their confidence and fostering connection.
  • Provide constructive feedback kindly and helpfully, supporting others’ growth and improvement.
  • Embrace the power of asking for help when needed, recognizing that collaboration leads to better results and strengthens connections. Inviting others to contribute cultivates a sense of importance and bonding.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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