Some people are just a joy to be with.
What’s interesting is that they don’t even do grand gestures or say grand things.
And so we can’t help but wonder… What makes them so likeable?
The secret most likely lies in the small, low-key things they do.
In this article, I will introduce you to 12 of these behaviors that make them well-liked by everyone.
1) They put in the effort to make you feel welcome
They’re the ones who approach you with a smile if they see you looking all lonely in a party. Or the ones who check up to see if you’re okay on your first day of the job.
It’s not like they get anything from doing this.
In fact, they might sometimes end up getting told off if they tried to chat with someone who wants to be left alone.
They nonetheless try to make people feel welcome because they truly care.
And it’s this pure, selfless desire to make people feel seen and cared for that makes them so memorable and easy to like.
2) They give without expecting anything in return
They would offer you a free ride when you need it, offer you a snack when you seem hungry, and then help you out if they see that you’re having a hard time.
And they will do all this without expecting people to like them for it, or to be obligated to pay them back in the future.
That’s not to say they don’t deserve to have their kindness paid back, of course. But they aren’t going to get upset when people can’t pay them back.
And in a world where people like pretending to be “nice” simply to catch people’s attention, this purity is a refreshing and memorable breath of fresh air.
3) They’re incredibly easy to please
You can tell them the lamest joke the world has ever heard, and you’ll still get them laughing.
You can give them some dried fish or chips and it’ll make their day.
They don’t try to be uptight and hard to please, no matter how many people scoff at them for being so “simple” or easily impressed.
And it’s precisely because it takes so very little to make them happy, amazed, and excited that we feel good (and relaxed) around them.
4) They’re very attentive
They’ll offer you ginger tea when they notice your voice is raspy. And give you a comforting pat even if you didn’t exactly tell them outright that you’re sad.
It’s almost like they can read your mind.
Truth is that they actually can’t—they simply pay attention to the words that leave your mouth and the vibes you’re giving with your body language.
5) They exude positivity (but not in an annoying way)
The world could be depressing sometimes, so of course we would appreciate having positive people in our lives.
But at the same time, too much positivity can feel downright insulting.
The people who we end up remembering and liking are those who have the right kind of positivity. They prefer to look at the bright side, but remain realistic and acknowledge that it sometimes sucks a lot, too.
They cling to hope and positivity, but don’t ever make you feel like your personal struggles are made light of or disregarded.
6) They don’t find issues when there’s none
There’s always drama going on somewhere in the world, and drama going on in our personal lives.
And, unfortunately, there are some people who simply can’t stay away from it all.
It’s almost an addiction—if they can’t find some juicy drama at the office, then they’ll go on to start drama by ranting about how their partner is irresponsible or how their neighbor never smiles.
People who are likeable know how unbearable and toxic this trait is. So they’d never do it.
Instead of finding issues, they’d find things to be grateful for. And even if there are indeed issues, they won’t make a big deal about it.
7) They express their gratitude
People who are likeable make sure that people around them feel appreciated, especially when they do something good.
But what sets them apart is that they don’t just say a quick “aww, thanks”, they’d make sure to express their gratitude in sincere and creative ways.
If you give them a bracelet, they’d take a photo of them wearing it and send it to you.
If you let them borrow your pen, they’d return it with a chocolate bar.
A simple thanks would have been okay, but likeable people want to go a little extra.
8) They find solutions instead of just complaining
Likeable people rarely complain.
They see problems as just challenges they can solve. And they’re usually the kind of people who can weather any storm.
Instead of sulking, whining, and worrying, they prefer to work on solutions.
They know that how they act during a crisis affects others around them, so they’d rather not add to the problem by saying things that could further dampen everyone’s mood.
It’s such a blessing to work with someone like this. Even stressful situations become joyful because of their attitude.
And that’s why they’re very well-liked by their colleagues and friends.
9) They’re extra careful with their words
You might be familiar with people saying “oh, it’s just words” as an excuse to say whatever they want without care.
But words are not just words, and in fact the Indonesians have their own saying about this—mulutmu harimaumu, or “your mouth is your tiger.”
Likeable people are those who, even if they haven’t heard this saying, nonetheless understand its sentiment and try their best to be mindful of the words that leave their mouths.
Instead of saying “This soup’s worse than a puddle of pigswill”, for example, they’ll instead say “I think this soup’s a little too bland, care to pass the salt?”
They know how to say what they must without sounding either fake or offensive. They’ll try to, at least, and will happily apologize if they cause offense nonetheless.
10) They always show empathy
And I do mean always.
They don’t stop trying to show empathy and understanding to people just because someone is not “likeable,” for example.
They’re not just going to dismiss someone who’s always negative as “toxic” and then shove them out of their lives.
Instead, they’ll try to reach out and try to understand why they’re that way. Perhaps they have had a rough childhood, for example, or maybe they’re going through a lot of emotional turmoil.
And they’ll hold on to that even if it turns out that being around that person isn’t good for their emotional well-being.
They’ll just keep their distance while continuing to understand why they’re that way.
11) They find the right timing to say things
When you say something is almost as important as how you actually say it.
For example, someone who’s grieving a breakup isn’t going to be happy hearing their best friend say “I’m engaged!”
And likewise, people aren’t going to like having someone tell them that their kid just spilled a drink while they’re happily reenacting their marriage on cruise. They know that info can wait.
This is just part of being mindful, and people who are likeable are the most mindful bunch.
12) They encourage people to be themselves
It’s always nice to be around people who aren’t judgemental.
But the ones who we remember most fondly are those who go the extra mile and encourage us to be who we truly are.
When people open up to them, they will happily cheer them on.
And, if they think they have to, then they’ll give feedback instead of shrugging them off or roasting them for whatever reason.
They also accept themselves fully. They’re not afraid about showing off their “bad” and “cringy” side, and they’re open about their many insecurities, too.
All of this really cements them as people that everyone else can feel comfortable hanging out with, and through that be remembered and loved.
You can tell that you’re around someone who’s genuinely likeable when you find yourself feeling energized and at ease in their presence.
They have the power to make you love life and yourself a little more.
There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that says “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And I believe this is the mantra of likeable people.
If you want to be more likeable, it’s easy. Just think “How can I make this person feel good?”
It’s actually quite simple.
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