I never thought in terms of “likes” until I joined Facebook five years ago. This simple word “like” has reframed my perspective, and I have a love/hate relationship with it.
Although I appreciate how important likability is for positive human relationships, I don’t want how we view each other (and the world) to be reduced to such simple, superficial terms. However, in this new world of liking, hearing, favoriting, and friending, we have to find a way to make it work for us.
Because fundamentally we all prefer to be friends, do business, fall in love and work for people we like.
Here are 5 ways to increase likability:
1. Remember the 3 Cs (compliments, cooperation and consideration).
Be generous with your praise and offer positive feedback. Remember that recognition goes a long way! This also demonstrates a sense of being on the same side as they are.
Be considerate of those around you. This includes letting someone else in front of you in line at the coffee shop, holding a door open, and driving more mindfully. In general, these small steps will go far in both how you feel about others and how they feel about you. These little gestures will create a cycle of positive behavior!
2. Mind your manners.
This was so important to my parents that they sent me to etiquette school for a few years. Their intent was to teach politeness, which is skill one can learn. They did me an incredible favor because saying please and thank you and having manners makes you appear more friendly. And most people, it turns out, like to be treated with manners and respect.
In Guy Kawasaki’s book Enchantment he says that smiling is the very first thing you can do to get people to like you. As Maya Angelou puts it, “People will forget what you said but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
4. Practice compassion.
We all have the ability to be compassionate. Connecting to others without judging, and without fear of being judged means we expand beyond fear into a place of likability. We are naturally drawn toward those who aren’t over competing or over comparing themselves to us. If you're not sure how to develop compassion, start by being a good listener. Everyone likes to feel heard.
5. Be real.
Telling the truth is a hallmark of likable people. We like people who keep their promises, and we're repelled by dishonesty. We don’t like people we can’t trust. Maintaining your integrity lessens the anxiety of those around you, which in turn makes you more likable and easy to be around.
At the end of the day, it’s not that hard to become a little more likable. Actually, it’s quite simple and with little effort, you can boost how you're perceived. Online relationships can benefit just as much as our face-to-face relationships. Both put a high value on kindness, integrity, and basic etiquette. Becoming a little more likable can make all big difference to you and those around you.