From lovesick teenagers to salespeople – we have all questioned how we can better appeal to others. The truth is much grittier: you can’t make people like you. Thankfully, that realization isn’t the be all end all. Simply you have to make yourself likable. Working on the 15 traits below can help you win over more people and many can be applied in both personal and professional life. Below are 15 ways in which popular people improve their chances of being liked:
1. Understand the need for a good P.R.
Personal life: Ever notice how celebrities are able to spin a bad situation to their favor? This is not as difficult as you think. Never again say that you – including your talents or business – are not likable. This applies to others as well: avoid saying anything negative about yourself or others whenever possible. Remember the Golden Rule: if you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all.
Professional life: Apply this in business when discussing your competitors. Instead of focusing on what they might lack, highlight how you blow everyone out of the water through quality products or services and not just lip service.
2. Remain positive.
Personal life: Who doesn’t like the hopeful optimist? As negativity through mean words, glares and bad moods is not exactly inviting for people to reach out and get to know you, try to maintain a positive attitude whenever possible.
Professional life: When an inevitable business crisis arises, trust that you will be able to get out of it successfully. That includes preparation through getting insurance, establishing strong networks and a solid reputation so that your customers will trust you despite any disasters.
3. Be interested in others.
Personal life: To be likable, be interested in other people. When you meet new people, ask them pleasant questions about themselves, such as where they were born, questions about their family or pets, and their interests or hobbies. Actually listen. Repeat interesting statements; look them in the eyes (except in Japan where eye contact can be perceived as hostile) and keep asking questions about them. Let them ask questions about you.
Professional life: Make sure to listen to your clients. Know what they like and how they think you can improve your business. Do this through regular surveys and asking them straight up whenever you’re able to meet with them – face-to-face, on the phone or elsewhere.
4. Make friends with the locals.
Personal life: This advice is rather a double entendre, as locals or villagers are often stigmatized as strange, but proverbial or not, whenever possible and gauging their interest, take advantage of who you are standing in a long queue with or sitting close by. Make people close in proximity know that you are aware of their existence.
Professional life: You can use this for business dealings too – reach out to those in your field whenever possible. Perhaps a new partnership could form.
5. Understand the meaning of “It takes a village …”
Personal life: Place tremendous importance on social, economic and overall security by making volunteer work a high priority. Community support makes you feel good, reminds you to appreciate your current success, and provides new networks to rely upon.
Professional life: Understand that networking is key. Regularly attend conferences in your business field to meet key players. Approach them, ask honest business questions and for their contact information. Follow up with a call and/or email. So long as you can mutually benefit from this relationship, don’t feel as if you’re a burden.
6. Be generous.
Personal life: Most of us love those who make the lives of others easier. Be that person.
Professional life: When running a reputable and successful business, carve out days for you and your employees to give back through holding volunteer events and/or donating to charities.
7. Treat others with respect.
Personal life: Positive regard towards others is important – and that includes keeping an open mind and curiosity about another’s cultural background, interests and choices – even when they differ from your own.
Professional life: Remaining civil to your competitors makes you look secure and smart to existing and potential customers – and even your rivals!
8. Don’t support chaos.
Personal life: Remain peaceful whenever possible as violence is often the quickest way to get others to avoid you.
Professional life: When you consistently prove to not engage in low-blow acts towards those your competing against, your reputation for honesty will be admired by all. Contrary to reality TV – messiness is not cute.
9. Prioritize health.
Personal life: To feel at your best, look healthier and remain happy, exercise, get optimal sleep, worry less, drink lots of water and avoid food additives, such as the trans fats which are mostly found in cheap, fried food items for a healthy life expectancy. After all, how can you appeal to others if you’re not fully functioning?
Professional life: Run a clean business through regularly refusing ideas and concepts that slow down your efficiency, quality and mission.
10. Understand the need to smile.
Personal life: Smiling helps you – studies show that smiling tricks your brain into becoming happier. Besides others enjoy it and you can often tell when others are smiling. Ask a friend to smile the next time they speak to you over the phone, and notice the difference.
Professional life: Plenty of sales jobs require their teams to smile while making calls.
11. Remain clean.
Personal life: When you look clean, neat, and have good hygiene, people are more likely to remain around you. Make sure your hair is combed and if straightened make sure there are no lumps. This is also the same when keeping a clean reputation.
Professional life: Run a clean business by staying as transparent as possible.
12. Have a sense of style.
Personal life: Having a great, distinct fashion sense that includes not looking too flashy avoids the appearance of looking like you are seeking attention. Don’t be too dull or people will not know that you exist.
Professional life: Be unique so that your clientele seeks you out, but refrain from tackiness through constant customer feedback.
13. Perfect a great demeanor.
Personal life: Avoid looking nervous. Rather, remain calm and control your emotions whenever possible. If you act awkward and nervous people will pick that up and may feel uncomfortable.
Professional life: Whenever possible, remain transparent with business dealings so that customers can rely on you. This shows confidence, which helps to gain the trust of the public.
14. Appear friendly.
Personal life: Avoid having expressional stares as they can create bad vibes. If someone looks your way, give a warm smile – but not too warm as to avoid looking crazy!
Professional life: Build and maintain a relatable, easy-to-recall brand.
15. Avoid looking desperate.
Personal life: Studies suggest that 25% of people will never like you, 25% will remain indifferent, 25% will not like you, but you can encourage a new perspective on yourself, while the remaining 25% will like you as is. Avoid the first category as there is often little to change them and focus on the other three groups.
Professional life: Remain happy with your existing customers while focusing on potential clients that you can positively affect through established services and/or products and brand reputation, while understanding that you will not be able to reach everyone, despite your amazing work!