6 quirky habits that make you instantly likeable

Let’s face it — we all want to be liked.

And if we’re being honest about it, most of us don’t like boring, robotic people.

Have you ever wondered: how can this person do these random, even silly things that other people find so endearing?

In this article, we’ll talk about the unusual, sometimes even bizarre habits that can make you instantly likeable.

Give them a try and who knows — you might find yourself becoming even more irresistible.

Let’s dive in!

1. Copy the other person (in a subtle way)

Mimicking someone else’s actions is definitely strange.

Do you want to know why this habit — also known as mirroring — can draw others to you?

It’s because we like those who are like us.

Picture this: you’re in an intense conversation, and you become more aware of the other person’s non-verbal cues.

You pay close attention to their body language — how their eyes and hands move — and the tone, volume, and pitch of their voice.

You start to copy how they smile and make eye contact — especially when you want to clarify and empathize with what they’re saying.

Soon, the other person starts to feel better and more comfortable about themselves, and you engage them further in a meaningful dialogue.

Why does this work? Many studies have shown that imitation is not only the greatest form of flattery but it also fosters feelings of connectedness.

You see, mimicking other people’s behaviors naturally is one way to signal that you’re similar to them.

In other words, when you imitate other people’s movements, it makes you feel something similar to what they’re feeling.

So the next time you want to make others feel happier and more comfortable when they’re around you, try to adopt a similar gesture, speaking style, or posture.

It’s this interpersonal connection that can instantly make them like you more.

2. Use body language to your advantage

So, here’s the deal: how you say something can be more important than what you say.

And when you do it the right way, your expressions, tone of voice, and gestures can greatly increase your chances of making other people like you.

Do you want to know how it works?

Here are forms of positive body language — some basic, and some unusual — that you can use to boost your likeability.

1) Practice strong, consistent — but not creepy — eye contact

Maintaining eye contact is a basic act that often gets neglected. But according to research, the amount of eye contact you make is a crucial factor in how likeable you can be.

Look a person in the eyes steadily and warmly to communicate care and concern. This will not only make the conversation more pleasant, but it will also make you seem more approachable and friendly.

2) Nod your head from time to time

Do you want to show someone how much you’re paying attention to them without interrupting them during a conversation?

Try nodding every once in a while while they’re talking. This will show the other person that you’re actively listening and also increase your approachability and likeability.

Another pro tip: try nodding your head when you ask a question. This will make the other person more inclined to listen to you and even agree with what you’re saying.

3) Talk with your hands

Have you ever felt weird because you realized you were making elaborate hand gestures while talking?

Well, you shouldn’t be too concerned. Research has found that people who make hand gestures while speaking tend to be viewed as warm, agreeable, and energetic.

It works both ways: people who talk with their hands express their thoughts more effectively while making people more interested in what they’re saying.

Maintaining an inviting and strong posture, uncrossing your arms, and leaning toward the other person are also forms of body language that can make a huge difference in a conversation.

4) Smile (even in a goofy way)

What’s the simplest, most effective way to make a great first impression? Offer a huge grin that brims with authenticity.

Many studies have shown that people are drawn to the positive emotions and calm feelings that a smile can bring.

Plus, smiling is contagious. If you want people to like you, smile at them more often and they’ll be happy to return the favor.

5) Touch the right person the right way

This one can get very tricky, and you should only make this a habit if you’re comfortable with it.

The thing is, it has been shown that very subtle physical touches — like a friendly handshake, a light touch on the arm, a pat on the back, and a high-five — are great ways to show you care.

Simply put: when you touch people the right way, it makes them feel more connected to you.

But here’s the catch: don’t overdo it. If you do, you’ll run the risk of being suspicious and less likeable.

3. Talk more and ask often

Ok, I know what you’re thinking: wait, shouldn’t we talk less to get people to like us? Shouldn’t we focus more on listening instead of speaking up a bit more?

This belief, it turns out, is inaccurate.

Those who talked more in conversations were liked more by people they were talking to for the first time, according to a recent study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

What does this mean for you?

It means that what matters is not just how much you talk, but what you do to make the conversation better.

Simply put: you shouldn’t worry about talking too much.

That’s because by speaking up, you let the other person know more about you — and that can make them feel like they have more in common with you.

And speaking of speaking up, do you want to know another trick to make you more likeable?

Ask more questions. 

A study by Harvard researchers found that people who asked more questions — specifically follow-up questions — are better liked by people they were talking with.

People like to know that you’re listening, and they appreciate it when you show interest. Asking questions is one surefire way to show your genuine curiosity.

It gets better: when you ask people the right questions — about their interests, their passions, and their lives — you make them feel cared for and valued.

You get them to talk about themselves and they leave the conversation feeling heard.

4. Know when and how to open up

This is connected to habit #3 — but this time, the focus is on you.

You see, the other person should also get to know you so they can like you more.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Research suggests that the more you open yourself up to another person, the closer you feel to them — and this can lead to more liking and greater bonding.

Think about that for a minute.

The key is to slowly reveal details about yourself and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Open with small talk and then transition to deep questions and topics.

Soon, you’ll be able to spark the other person’s interest, make them sympathize with you, and make them more willing to open up.

5. Call people by their name

Do you find it odd when a person tries to remember every other person’s name and turns it into a brain exercise?

Or do you know anyone who meets a person for the first time and then repeats that person’s name in the first few minutes of a conversation just to remember it?

Well, greeting people by their names every time you see them is one of the best habits you can use to connect with other people.

Here’s the deal: people love the sound of their names.

When you use people’s names in conversations, it tells them that you’re respectful and thoughtful — traits that make them like you even more.

6. Be silly

Who doesn’t love a person with a great sense of humor?

If you’re not afraid to laugh at yourself and be a source of laughter for others, then that exudes confidence. And confidence is one of the most likeable qualities in a person.

People will feel more at ease in your presence if you don’t mind looking a bit silly. Not only will it make you more likeable, but people will also respect you more.

But here’s the catch: don’t go out of your way to make a fool out of yourself. And make sure that your jokes don’t hurt anyone. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be funny anymore.

Final thoughts

Try to add these habits to your repertoire, especially if you’re worried about not being liked.

But at the end of the day, remember that staying true to yourself pays off in the long run.

No one likes a fake. If you’re comfortable in your skin and do things that make you happy — it makes you more appealing to people.

Ultimately, people will see your character and authenticity — and they will like you for being you.

Maria Fatima Reyes

Fat Niebres is a freelance writer who loves to chase stories that matter. She finds meaning and inspiration in the mundane. When she's not writing, she's probably reading, eating, traveling, or having deep conversations with her husband. She brings her experience in broadcast, print, and NGO communications, and has been published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Inquirer.net.

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