Are you asking yourself, “why don’t people like me?”
Without a friend to trust or someone to call upon during tough times, life can be even more difficult than it already is.
Everyone needs someone they can turn to in life, whether that’s our family or a friend.
While we don’t get to choose our families, we can certainly choose our friends.
You may find yourself without either and wonder how you can turn things around so that people will like you again.
If you’ve crossed a line and have been put out of a family or have been double-crossed by friends, it might feel impossible to get back into someone’s good graces, but all is not lost.
You need to take responsibility for your actions and change the way you operate. Other people aren’t going to change.
You need to change the way you are around them in order to see different results.
Here are 17 tips to become more likable.
1) Stop showing off and trying to impress people.
Nobody likes a showoff, and if you are trying to impress people with your money, cars, home, or knowledge, you can stop right now.
People, more than ever, just want to feel connected to one another.
When you are throwing all of your achievements at them, they don’t get to know the real you.
Plus, it’s pretty annoying to listen to someone talk about themselves and their stuff all the time.
Just let people get to know the real you and be humble. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.
Research has suggested that humility offers several positive qualities, including being more helpful, according to Wade C. Rowatt, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences:
“The research indicates that humility is a positive quality with potential benefits…While several factors influence whether people will volunteer to help a fellow human in need, it appears that humble people, on average, are more helpful than individuals who are egotistical or conceited.”
People who are enjoyable to be around are humble, not arrogant.
It’s healthy to be confident, but there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. The difference is humility.
2) Stop being so needy.
You need to stop needing everyone to come to your rescue. You’ll need to lay off the constant phone calls and text messages.
If you walk around believing that everyone is going to abandon you, you won’t be surprised when that happens.
Instead, be there for people who need you. Let go of what you think is going to happen and focus on what is happening.
3) Forgive and stop criticizing
If you want to get your friends back you are going to have to forgive and forget. Some people can forget, but not everyone can forgive.
It’s an important part of healing and moving on for some people. If you constantly remind people about their mistakes they are not going to be interested in being your friend.
Belittling others by pointing out their mistakes can rub people the wrong way.
Dr. Rob Yeung, a performance psychologist and author of How To Stand Out: Proven Tactics for Getting Ahead, says that “one of the reasons humans came to dominate the planet is that we evolved to cooperate with each other, which means being able to trust other people.”
Therefore, habits that “promote aggression, status, or dominance over other people tend to erode trust.”
4) Stop trying to control everyone around you.
You need to quit trying to be the boss of everyone. They are not on this earth to do your bidding.
According to Berit Brogaard D.M.Sci., Ph.D, “control is a big problem in relationships…they don’t respect you and the way you are.”
Your control issues may stem from your own lack of control about your own life.
It’s not easy to admit it, but once you realize that you are your own worst enemy, you’ll start to come around and focus on your own shortcomings instead of pointing out everyone else’s.
(To dive deep into techniques on letting go and living more in the moment, check out Hack Spirit’s most popular eBook: The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment)
5) Stop tearing others down.
You need to stop putting other people down. You might not even realize you are doing this, but if you are someone who likes to criticize others or gossip about others, then quit it.
A piece in Bolde by emotional intelligence author Dr. Travis Bradberry noted that gossiping about others is a certain way to make you appear as a negative person.
It also means people won’t trust you with sensitive or personal information. Who wants to be someone like that?
Don’t assume anything. Don’t think you know better than anyone. Don’t make choices for people.
Give people room and hold space for them while they figure things out and you’ll have more and better friends in the long run.
6) Get down off your soapbox.
If you want to get people to like you again, you need to stop preaching.
Know-it-alls suffer from something called “belief superiority” and it’s tough to get along with someone who thinks they’re better than you.
You don’t know everything and everything you do know only applies to your experiences so don’t try to get everyone’s life to fit into your version of it.
Nobody likes a know-it-all. Get off the soapbox.
7) Stop blaming others for your mistakes.
According to therapist Karen Hartmann, “Toxicity stems from greed, blame, shame, and guilt,”
It’s nobody’s problem if your life isn’t going as planned. Rather than look around for someone to blame for your bad choices, look in the mirror.
If you can own your decisions, rather than find scapegoats for them, you’ll be able to get back in the good graces of your friends sooner rather than later.
But you need to say so. Being able to say you were wrong can go a long way.
(To learn the art of how to stop blaming others and take full responsibility for your life, check out our eBook: Why Taking Responsibility is Key to Being the Best You)
8) Stop sooking about your life.
If you just drag others down with you when you have a pity party nobody is going to want to be your friend.
In a piece for Psychology Today, psychologist Guy Winch said, “The constant negativity issuing forth from chronic complainers presents a huge challenge for those around them. And nothing makes chronic complainers happier than being more miserable than their friends.”
Sometimes, you need to find the good in things, no matter how small, in order to stay afloat.
Everyone gets to have down days, but if you constantly live in the mud, people will stop coming to pull you out.
Get over it and get back to living a life of possibility. Complaining doesn’t get you friends.
9) Be open to those around you.
If you are trying to be more palatable to the people around you, make sure you are opening yourself up to them and not making everything about you.
Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy says it’s important to demonstrate warmth first and then competence, especially in business settings.
“From an evolutionary perspective,” Cuddy writes in her book Presence, “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”
Getting to know other people is an important part of their impressions of you. Properly listening to others helps build rapport and trust.
It seems like a backward approach, but if you’d ever walked away from someone feeling like they really listened to you and you really like them, despite not knowing anything about them really, you’ll know what we are talking about.
10) Ask questions and be interested in others.
Be honest with your engagements and take an interest in the lives of those people you want to be friends with.
If you are striving to get along better with people at work, take an interest in the work they do, their goals, and their achievements in the company.
Ask lots of questions and follow up with people after they have told you something important. It means a lot to people when they know you care.
In another piece by Bradberry on Linkedin, Bradberry spoke about the value of asking other people questions in conversation.
This shows that you’re engaged, and even more importantly, that you’re actually listening.
11) Let others speak.
Want other people to like you? Stop talking. We are very good at shooting ourselves in the foot or putting that foot in our mouths.
If you are working on relationship building, let the other person have the floor.
Licensed professional counselor, Heidi McBain, MA, tells Bustle, “It would be helpful if they could learn to be good listeners.”
“To be a better listener someone needs to track the conversation and check in to make sure they are truly understanding what the other person is sharing with them,”
This is also a good idea if you tend to be nervous around other people or tend to say the wrong thing.
Let others lead the conversation and you’ll be their favorite person in no time.
12) Show others you are reliable.
When it comes down to it, people like those they can trust. If you have let the balls drop more than once, it’s going to be difficult to show people that you are serious and can be trusted.
Jeff Haden in INC says it best:
“Being moody, short-tempered or gloomy are the opposite of likable. People who are known for their unpredictable and fluctuating moods aren’t making anyone’s “most lovable” list.”
You need to get up and show people that you mean business. If you say something, mean it. If you say you will do something, do it.
13) Find balance in your life.
Nobody likes it when your drama seeps into their lives.
If you want people to like you, check your crazy life at the door when you go to a party or work event.
Sure, everyone has problems, but not everyone has to let them out of the bag like yesterday’s laundry.
This is especially the case if you’re dealing with someone who is overreacting. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Albert J. Bernstein, being overreactive to someone else who is also overreactive can lead to more problems:
“…the basic idea is that in many situations, you’re reacting with instincts programmed into your dinosaur brain, rather than thinking through a situation. If you’re in your dinosaur brain, you’re going to play out a 6 million-year-old program, and nothing good is going to happen. In that case, the dinosaur brain of the other person is going to understand that they are being attacked, and then you’re responding with fighting back or running away, and either one is going to escalate the situation into what I like to call the “Godzilla meets Rodan” effect. There’s a lot of screaming and yelling, and buildings fall down, but not much is accomplished.”
People like it when you are calm and collected. Don’t be a hot mess.
14) Do things that other people like.
Robin Dreeke, author the book, It’s Not All About “Me”: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone, says that “ego suspension” is a key to building rapport with others:
“Ego suspension is putting your own needs, wants and opinions aside. Consciously ignore your desire to be correct and to correct someone else. It’s not allowing yourself to get emotionally hijacked by a situation where you might not agree with someone’s thoughts, opinions or actions.”
When you let go of your ego, you do nice things for other people and be considerate of the needs of others.
You don’t need to give up everything you have in the name of saving humanity, but it’s nice to remember to pick up a coffee for a coworker or ask about a child’s soccer game once in a while.
Little gestures go a long way in helping people like you a lot.
15) Speak from the heart.
Say your truth in the world, but be mindful of how it may impact other people. If your truth is racist, keep a lid on it.
According to Peter Bregman in Psychology Today:
“Here’s the crazy thing: honesty is much more compelling, powerful, and effective than the alternative. People want the truth. They are willing to accept it far more often than we think. And they respect other people and organizations for speaking it.”
If your truth is about religion or politics, tread with caution.
There are ways to be you and be friends with people who have different viewpoints than you do; it’s about respect, allowing space, and hearing others out.
16) Put the phone down.
As mentioned above, listening is important if you want to be liked.
But how can you know if someone likes you if you never look up from your phone to check in on the status of the conversation you are supposed to be having?
Drop the phone and pick up your interest in the person sitting across the table from you.
Nothing on your phone is more important than that person.
Align with those who believe what you believe.
Clinical psychologist Linda Blair says that “usually the basis of making a friend is a shared experience.”
Therefore, find your people. This is not a new idea, but it is one that is growing with conviction.
If you find that it’s hard for you to make friends or break into circles, it might be because you are hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Find people who are aligned with your thoughts and beliefs and surround yourself with them. It’s easy to like people who are like us.
17) Meet new people.
If all else fails and you feel like you are just not living up to your own expectations related to your relationship building, get out and meet some new people.
The more interaction and experience you have talking to others, the better you will be at it.
It’s a practice that can take a lifetime to develop, so don’t get discouraged, and don’t hide at home because you don’t know what might happen.
The only way to be likable is to put yourself out there for more people to like!
[Not only does Buddhism provide a spiritual outlet for many people, it can also improve the quality of our personal relationships. Check out my new no-nonsense guide to using Buddhism for a better life here].
The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy for a Better Life
If you haven't already, check out Hack Spirit's most popular eBook: The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy for a Better Life.
Within my book you’ll discover the core components of achieving happiness, anywhere at any time through:
- Creating a state of mindfulness throughout the day
- Learning how to meditate
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- Healing from pain and trauma
- Unburdening yourself from intrusive negative thoughts
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