How likeable are you, really? Do people “light up” when they see you, or do they not even change the tone of their voice?
If you want to work on that and be more likeable, it’s important to say goodbye to certain behaviors that might hurt your social interactions.
Here are some behaviors to consider letting go of.
1) Constantly talking about yourself
No one likes to talk to someone that makes the whole conversation about themselves and what they do.
It’s great that you have so much to share about yourself, and you’re probably an interesting person overall, but your interests might be boring to other people.
Read the room. If you notice people are disengaged from the conversation and checking their watch, start talking about something else. Ask them interesting and open-ended questions about them.
Make them feel heard and valued, and they’ll be coming back for more.
2) Interrupting others
Another rude and highly-annoying thing some people do is interrupt people as they talk.
You’re trying to explain something, and without letting you finish, they jump in with their thoughts, totally disrupting the flow of the conversation.
How do you think this makes them feel? Unheard and unimportant, for sure.
Therefore, if you want people to like you more, stop interrupting them when they’re talking. Practice active listening and allow others to express themselves fully before interjecting.
3) Being judgmental
Listen, I get it, we all have our preconceived biases toward other people, even if we don’t know it or don’t think we have them.
But passing this judgment on others based on their appearance, opinions, or lifestyle choices creates a negative atmosphere. You can stop a conversation in its tracks and leave the person you’re talking to in shock with your bulls*hit.
That’s why I love meeting other open-minded and non-judgmental people so much. It’s incredibly refreshing.
4) Being too serious
Debbie Downer is a fictional Saturday Night Live character that transcended the role and became a household name for a person that only thinks and talks about negative things.
If you look at any of their skits, you’ll see how focusing on the negative and being too serious is like throwing a wrench into the conversation.
While there’s a time and place for seriousness, the things that will make you more approachable and likeable are being able to laugh, being playful, and not taking yourself too seriously.
People will love you for it and will want to hang out with you more often.
Okay, let’s see what else we have in store.
5) Being unreliable
Reliability. This is key in building trust, promoting healthy relationships, and improving your likeability.
People who aren’t reliable will make empty promises, frequently change their plans, and miss deadlines.
If you want to be more likeable, you need to do the opposite. That means keeping your commitments, managing your time well, not committing to more than you can handle, and apologizing to people if you let them down.
Do you think you’re reliable? Do others see you as such?
6) Being ungrateful
Gratefulness is something you should learn from a very young age. It goes far beyond saying please and thank you.
Appreciating what you have and expressing gratitude to others is a trait that makes you very likeable.
That’s because people generally don’t enjoy the company of someone who’s always dissatisfied or ungrateful.
Being an ungrateful adult isn’t a look anyone should strive for, yet, we all know someone who behaves like a spoiled brat.
7) Constantly checking your phone
Another thing that’s incredibly disrespectful yet acceptable is constantly checking your phone, responding to messages, or even scrolling social media when talking to someone in person.
You shouldn’t do this in front of strangers, and especially not in front of people you hold near and dear.
It sends a message that you’re distracted and disengaged. And can make others feel unimportant or undervalued, as if they’re competing for your attention with the virtual world.
Moreover, seeing a couple on a dinner date and both are on their phone has become normal. Still, it doesn’t make it any less cringeworthy.
8) Being indifferent
Showing empathy and compassion can go a long way in making you more likeable. People are usually drawn to those who can understand and share their feelings.
If you don’t empathize with other’s emotions, it makes you appear cold or indifferent.
Cultivate empathy by putting yourself in other people’s shoes and responding with kindness and understanding.
Plus, when you appear indifferent, it’s challenging for others to engage with you, as they feel discouraged and believe their thoughts and feelings don’t matter to you.
If there’s something I despise, it’s gossiping. I’m a proponent of the old, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Not only is gossiping seen as dishonest behavior, but it also creates tension between people, hurts your reputation, and can even lead to harmful misinformation.
That said, gossiping is still something many, if not most, people do when talking to each other. If you have three friends and one isn’t present, the two that are present will talk about the third one behind their backs.
There are far more exciting things to talk about than talking about people behind their backs.
10) Always seeking validation
Relying on others’ approval for your self-worth is so off-putting. Stop asking people if they agree with you.
Instead, stimulate self-confidence and learn to validate yourself rather than constantly seeking assurance from others.
This includes your friends and family.
Being an adult means you can draw your own conclusions and use your head to discern whether something’s right or wrong.
Social media is now the place where most people are self-contained in little bubbles where they only see viewpoints they agree with.
What’s worse is that seeing conflicting opinions in your feed now causes real psychological discomfort. That means you will reinforce your views even more.
11) Being rude or disrespectful
Some of the things I mentioned on this list are already rude and downright disrespectful. But now I’m talking about being plain rude.
For example, making offensive jokes, using derogatory language, or belittling others.
I’ve had the “luck” of having a person in my family who behaves like that all the time.
It’s incredibly uncomfortable to be around them, and you’re basically on the edge of your seat the whole time, fearing what extremely uncomfortable thing they’ll bark next.
As far as my memory goes back, they’ve been like that. And although they have moments when they can talk like ordinary people, overall, they aren’t that likeable or fun to be around.
12) Constantly complaining
I have something to confess. I’m a serial complainer. My father is one, and his father was one too. It’s multigenerational at this point and something I’m still struggling with.
Along with being impatient, it’s one of my worst qualities. Unfortunately, my wife is the one that has to “suffer” because of it.
I recognize that complaining excessively about trivial matters is draining for others. For that reason, I’m adopting a more positive and solution-oriented mindset and avoiding dwelling on minor issues.
13) Too much sarcasm
And lastly, we have sarcasm. While it can be amusing in moderation, excessive or biting sarcasm creates a negative or hostile environment.
I’m trying to use sarcasm sparingly and consider its impact on others. Too much of a good thing, right?
If people don’t know you that well, sarcasm is often misinterpreted (especially in text messages) and can lead to misunderstandings or confusion.
Excessive sarcasm can also blur the line between genuine statements and sarcastic remarks, making it difficult for people to distinguish your true intentions.
Okay, it’s time to admit; how many things from this list are you doing? Do they make you less likeable?
Hopefully not, but if you want to find out for sure, find out what traits DO make you likeable.