Do you want to be a more likable person?
You know the kind I mean: somebody everyone is drawn to, trusts and looks up to. The kind of person who gets respect everywhere he or she goes.
Here’s what I call the Likability Formula. Get these 10 traits down and you will become the star of your own life much faster than you thought possible.
1) Be a good listener
Think about it:
What do we all want?
Happiness, pleasure, recognition, money, love, sex, spiritual meaning…
All of that, yes.
But we also all share a deep desire for someone who gets us.
We want to be heard. We want to be understood.
If you want that, I can guarantee you that everyone else does, too.
It’s just a matter of establishing trust and showing that you’re actually listening.
Being an active listener is one of the best ways to help you build stronger connections.
When people see that you actually listen they are drawn to you and like you.
It’s partly because so few people actually do listen, and it’s partly because it makes them feel comfortable and accepted in a world where many feel neither of those.
2) Encourage others
Next up in the key traits that will make you more likable and build deeper connections is to work on becoming an encouraging person.
You don’t want to become one of those annoying, fake-smile people who’s always giving strangers high fives and dancing around to celebrate.
But you do want to become a person with a kind word and a motivational pat on the shoulder from time to time.
Become that guy or gal who has more energy to give others than you take.
Instead of asking for appreciation and support, you’re giving it. That may sound simplistic and in a way it is.
But the power of switching from someone who’s asking or hoping for something to a person who is giving and offering something is very powerful.
You become proactive instead of passive, you have an energetic surplus instead of a deficit.
And people will notice and be strongly drawn to you.
3) Make people laugh
Next up in the likability formula is comedy. If you make people genuinely laugh they will love you.
I can’t overstate that.
But there’s a twist here:
People who constantly try to make others laugh are, honestly, insufferable.
The kind of person who’s genuinely funny but doesn’t force it is the man or woman who’s loved and sought after.
A wicked sense of humor is something that can’t be replicated or faked.
But if you’re not funny, don’t worry.
I have just the thing for you. An actual step-by-step guide on how to become funny.
Watch and enjoy (and take notes).
4) Share your expertise
What are you good at? What are you trained in and knowledgeable about?
Whether it’s repairing cars or understanding the weather, your expertise is something you should share.
For one thing, it’s useful and informative to others when you share knowledge with them.
For another thing, it makes you feel good to be useful and sought after for what you know.
If you understand a lot about electricity and a friend has this one lighting system that seems to keep being on the fritz, take a quick gander around and see what you can tell them.
Of course, you should be more careful if you’re a physician or lawyer or some kind of job where any advice could hold you liable if incorrect.
Still, make sure that you are open to generally sharing your expertise.
Even if that expertise is just an insane knack for starting a fire in damp conditions on a camping trip, trust me: people you’re with are going to really appreciate it!
5) Follow through on promises
Plenty of people start out strong and soon lose the respect of others.
It’s not that they’re bad people or even dishonest. It’s just that they don’t follow through.
You can see this often happen with children losing respect for their parents or coworkers losing respect for a colleague.
They like the person, they think they’re bright and a legit person. But they lose trust and respect for this person when they over-promise and under-deliver.
The solution is to reverse engineer that formula:
You want to under-promise and over-deliver.
More broadly, you want to follow through on any and every promise you make.
If you say you’re going to meet up with someone you do it and if you can’t make it, you let them know ahead of time.
If you say you’ll take on an extra task at work then you stick to it and do it, barring any other emergency or sickness.
The bottom line: do what you say, and others will like you and respect you.
6) Be a networker
Have you ever had the experience of meeting somebody who just seems to know everyone or at least have a potential contact for every interest or career goal you have?
It’s really encouraging and it picks you up. You want to talk to this person and be around them, not only out of self-interest but because of how many interesting stories and connections they have.
Your goal is to become a person somewhere along similar lines: have a rolodex of names and contacts.
Some people you know well, others not so much. Contacts, friends, colleagues, random people you met once on a trip to wherever.
Keep in touch, recommend people, ask them how they’re doing, multi-task.
You just never know when somebody you know will help you out or vice versa. And you never know when a new friend or colleague will end up getting the opportunity of a lifetime via a connection that you have.
It’s a great feeling, and plus even if you don’t know you will be creating a lot of great forward momentum and energy in this world.
7) Work hard, party hard
People who are well-liked and sought after are people who give their all.
They work their hardest and also know how to relax and have a great time when it’s time for a break.
There’s something to be said for a person who knows when it’s time to really double down and get to work and when he or she can relax and take it easy for a bit.
The fact is that intense and dedicated people draw respect and affection.
That’s because others know they can respect and work alongside them with results and great progress, and then they can dance alongside them or have a drink with full collegiality.
8) Admit your mistakes
You can be a stand up guy and well-respected woman who is trustworthy and follows through.
But if you don’t admit your mistakes, it’s eventually going to work against you.
We all fall short.
But we don’t all admit it.
Coming clean about your shortcomings and when you have messed up is crucial if you want to be well liked and respected.
People simply can’t trust or truly like a person who tries to cover up their own mistakes or faults.
They respect that you own everything about yourself, including where you don’t quite make the mark.
The mark of true leadership is to own up to ways in which you don’t always make the bar.
There’s no shame in being honest, on the contrary the shame lies in trying to pretend to be flawless when you’re not.
This directly brings up the next point…
9) Be truthful
If at all possible, be truthful.
We all tell little white lies now and then, but whenever possible be honest, especially on the big things.
People respect and like those who they know will tell the truth and care about telling the truth.
If you do your level best to be honest, people will notice that.
Most lies eventually get exposed, and most liars eventually earn their reputation as such.
If you do your best to be transparent and honest, others are going to take note and they’re going to be much more likely to like you.
Try your best to be honest about the small things and the big things will follow.
10) Be for real
On a related note, if you want to build stronger connections then be for real.
The best logic behind this is the following obvious truth:
It’s better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you’re not.
This is so true.
There’s no good reason to pretend to be anyone you’re not or seek out validation and approval externally.
Don’t spend your time on that.
Spend your time on pursuing your goals and being yourself.
In the end it will be much more productive.
Building strong connections
Building strong connections is ultimately about being true to yourself and others.
Follow through, be there for people you interact with and tell the truth as much as possible.
Be a net plus to every situation instead of a net minus.
Do your due diligence, work hard and know the time to take a break.
You have the ability to build strong connections by rising to your full potential and being a likable, genuine person who improves every environment you’re in.