I read with interest a recent article by Bruce Kasanoff, who writes for entrepreneurs. He says that the most attractive quality a person can possess is to be utterly comfortable with who they are. So, if you want people to like you, be 100 percent comfortable in your own skin. He says this quality transcends physical appearance, intelligence, education, income or personality and that it is the cornerstone of success in business and in life.
Because (Kasanoff says) that a person’s internal comfort level is not fixed, you can change it. To do that, he says, you must do three things.
1. Accept the qualities you cannot change. Kasanoff warns not to waste energy on things such as how your parents raised you or whether you are too short.
2. Recognize your ability to change is far greater than you once thought. You can’t change your height, but you can change how hard you work, how grateful you are for your blessings, how open you are to new ideas, how you approach difficult challenges, and how willing you are to pay the price for what you most want in life.
3. Be persistent. Kasanoff warns that it takes time to build confidence and competence, and suggests investing the time, even on days when you feel as though you are sliding backward.
But in addition to not being insecure, I want to take this further. You can build your likability by:
» Being considerate of others. When you think about the comfort of others first, you’re going to appear very likable in their eyes.
» Being grateful for what you have. Being grateful translates to happiness, and a happy person is more prone to be likable than a complainer.
» Maintaining a positive attitude. Positive people boost the mood of others around them. In return, people love to hang around people with positive energy. Negativity abounds in our world — in the news, in social media and from others. Being positive will make you a pleasure to talk to and more people will want to talk to you.
» Staying genuine. Likable people never try to be something they aren’t. They admit when they don’t know something or if they make a mistake. If they don’t agree with someone else’s statement, they are quick to admit that they don’t see the issue in the same way, and they do so without making the other person feel badly about himself or herself.
» Not judging. When you are judgmental, people can sense it. Even if you smile and hide your negative feelings, the people around you can sense that you have just formed a poor opinion of them. Rather than seeing others as good or bad, try to understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, choices, and mistakes. Likable people make this their philosophy and, as long as no one is getting hurt, they never pass judgment on the value or morality of another person.
» Not competing. Likable people never one-up in a conversation. Instead, they view conversations as an opportunity to connect and create deep relationships with others. If you want to be more likable, enter every conversation with the goal to make the other person feel liked and respected. This will change the tone of the interactions you have, and make everyone involved more likely to enjoy it.
» Providing value. When someone complains about a situation, don’t go along with it and talk about some awful situation of your own. Recognize that the other person has a problem that needs solving. People everywhere have problems they wouldn’t mind help solving. But as people, we tend to be self-involved and not notice. If you take notice and help people solve their problems, you’ll create friends for life.
» Touching others. Don’t be afraid to pat someone on the shoulder, shake hands or, depending upon the situation, hug others. It will make others more comfortable around you. Touching eliminates the physical barrier of distance and eliminates the emotional barrier that the distance represents. It may seem awkward at first, but practice it. Others will respond in a positive manner.
» Developing deep conversations. Small talk doesn’t develop long-lasting friendships or make you more likable. Show a genuine interest in others, ask honest questions to help further your understanding of them and relate to what they’ve told you. Don’t settle for small talk. Move the conversation forward to more personal subjects.
Think back to the last time you interacted with a really likable person. What did that person say or do that made you warm to him or her? Remember, at some point, most likable people decided to work at becoming more engaged, more respectful and more likable. Now they seem to work magic and develop friendships wherever they go.
You can seem like that, too! Just develop the habits above.
— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or to get his book. If you have questions about business or social etiquette, just ask John at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjr.
Til Next Time,