Before we explain the best ways to be likable, let me give you two facts…

#1 “The more well-liked you are. The more likely you are to keep your job.”

Australia Journal of Psychology

They concluded that we like to work with likable people, even if they’re low on competence.

#2 ” Likability is the greatest predictor of popularity and social acceptance in a group for adults, more important than wealth, status, or physical attractiveness.”

John Kinnell

1. You need like more people

Has it ever happened to you that you started liking someone after you found out he/she liked you?

If you want to be more likable, you need to like more people and show them that you like them.

We like people who visibly enjoy being with us.

Do you know what the opposite of liking is?

It is ambivalence – the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

A study found that the more ambivalent relationships you have the more likely you are to have higher rates of stress, depression, and dissatisfaction.

A researcher named Michelle Duffy wanted to see if ambivalence impacted people in the workplace, more particularly police officers.

Here’s what she did…

First, she surveyed police officers on their levels of stress, absences from work, and how often they were undermined and supported by their closest coworkers.

Unsurprisingly, she found the more officers felt undermined, the more unauthorized breaks they took, the more absent they were from work and less committed they were to their jobs.

Here’s where it gets interesting… the officers who had colleagues who were sometimes supportive missed even more work, missed even more work, were even less committed.

Officers were impacted more negatively when they had ambivalent relationships, even more than toxic ones.

The researcher argued that when police officers have toxic relationships, they can work to keep clear of them, they don’t worry that much, and take steps to distance themselves.

But ambivalent relationships were more confusing. It made them constantly second guess, be on guard, and grapple with wonder and worrying.

Why do we feel ambivalent about certain people?

Being ambivalent is almost like an emotional insurance policy.

First, it helps us feel protected against rejection. We don’t want to commit to liking someone just in case they don’t like us back. And we don’t commit to disliking someone just in case they like us back. So we stay in the zone of ambivalence.

2. Nonverbal Behavior

You can quickly decide if you like someone with these quick nonverbal hacks…

1. The triple nod – It’s the universal sign that you are listening and want them to continue talking. You should nod your head really slow.

2. Toes, Torso, Head – Angle toes, torso, and head toward the person you are talking to.

3. Tilt – Another universal sign that you are listening to is the subtle head tilt.

Being likable means that with your nonverbal and verbal you are communicating…

“You are welcome here” – It’s about welcoming people, having them feel that feeling of belonging – It triggers serotonin.

“I enjoy your company” – I’m laughing at your jokes; I’m excited to talk to you – It triggers dopamine.

“I’m happy to see you” – I feel connected to you; I feel like we are on the same page.

Unlikable people convey…

“You aren’t welcome here”

“You irritate me”

“I’m closed to your presence”

Additional Liking Behavior:

When you see someone in the hallway, wave hello and smile.

When you see someone eating lunch. Tell them to come to sit with you.

When you see someone in an elevator. Say hello and make eye contact as you use a positive opener.

When someone speaks up in a meeting. Turn your entire body towards them as they speak and lean in when you agree with them.

3. The Similarity-Attraction Effect

We are constantly looking for people similar to us.

“Birds of a feather flock together” is a far more accurate cliché than “opposites attract”.

This is called the similarity-attraction effect. It says that people like and are attracted to others who are similar to themselves.

A like on Facebook or a heart on Instagram are all digital forms of the similarity-attraction effect in action.

When you give someone some link love, you are telling them, “I like this, too!”

That is why we are so addicted to checking our social media – we like to know that our friends and followers both like us and are like us.

Without realizing it, we are constantly searching for reasons to think, feel, or say, “Me too!”

In a good meeting or great coffee date, you hear phrases like this:

Wow – you like orange is the new black? I’m an addict!

You’re gluten-free? Join the Club!

You’re into rock climbing? Me too!

On the other hand, one of the biggest mistakes people make is pointing out differences while trying to connect.

You know, I never really got into Orange is the new black. I thought it was kind of boring.

You’re one of those gluten-free people? Don’t you think that’s a fad?

I’m not a big traveler.

These kinds of “Not Me!” comments tend to push people away and shut down a conversation.

It doesn’t mean that you should blindly agree to everything they say but you have to put effort into searching for real similarities and shared interests.

4. Conversation Blueprint

The conversation blueprint is how you can move through conversation with ease.

If you skip the steps too quickly, people might think it’s way too much, too fast.

Level 1: General Traits – “What are some exciting things you are working on?”; “Have any vacations coming up?”, “Tell me about your family.”

Level 2: Goals & Values – What drives someone? What motivates them?

Level 3: Self-Narrative – It’s the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves… how we make sense of our journey through life.

Self-narratives can help you see their framing on their own lives and their own choices.

Pay attention to people in your life. Those who you don’t get along with well… you are probably on level one with them.

People with whom you get along very well, you are at a level three.