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20 Things You Should Say To Make You More Likeable

20 Things You Should Say To Make You More Likeable

We communicate in verbal and non-verbal ways, and how we go about this can improve our sociability quotient and make us more likeable. Non-verbal ways include making eye contact, smiling and appearing approachable. When it comes to verbal communication, the following words or statements can have a big impact on how well you come across to others. Try to include these in your conversations and you’ll be making everybody’s party list.

1. You look well/pretty/amazing/relaxed…

Compliments are a great way to spread goodwill in the world. Do it when you mean it though, not just for the sake of it. You’ll brighten up someone else’s day and set yourself firmly within another person’s ‘likeability’ radar.

2. How can I help?

When you make others feel important you are instantly more likeable than someone who offers no value. Offering help shows that you have noticed a need and care enough to say something about it.

3. Thank you

Everyone likes to feel appreciated and these two little words can make a person feel that their effort was worthwhile.

4. Why not?

Be open minded and encourage creative, outside-the-box thinking. When we are non-judgemental, others feel more accepted and relaxed in our company. When we inspire others we instantly become more likeable. Sometimes we all need a nudge in the right direction.

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5. You can do it

Inspiring words can make the difference between success and failure. Encouragement is always welcome and raises how likeable you are. People who inspire others tend to be likeable, as they consider others and aren’t wrapped up in themselves.

6. I believe in you

We all have lapses in self-belief and knowing that someone else sees our potential and is rooting for us can motivate us to move forward. We find others more likeable when they make us feel good.

7. Here’s what’s happening

Feeling included is a basic human need. When someone keeps us informed we feel included, important and involved.

8. You’re welcome

When others perform an act of service and seem happy to do this, it can feel very validating to the person on the receiving end. Feeling welcome makes us feel included.

9. I’ll find out

Being helpful to others will always promote how likeable you are. Having a ‘can do’ attitude will get you far in life.

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10. How are you?

We all like it when someone shows a genuine interest in us and most people will respond favourably when asked how they are doing.

11. You did really well

A job well done feels even better when others notice and comment on our results. When others feel good about themselves in your company, you will be more likeable.

12. I enjoy your company

Said with sincerity, this sentence can have a big impact on another person and influence how likeable we are. We all like validation, and feeling accepted allows us to feel happy and shows that we are doing well on the social skills front.

13. What do you think about …?

We all like to be asked our opinion on various issues. It shows us that others care about our opinions and about what we want too.

14. Congratulations

Success in life isn’t quite the same if you have no one to share it with. When others congratulate you, you almost get to relive the great experience again and it feels good to know that others share in your happiness. Acknowledging other people’s victories increases how likeable you will be.

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15. I appreciate you

We all love appreciation. Positive acknowledgement from others feels good and lets us know that our efforts have not gone unnoticed.

16. Sorry

This little word can be tough to say sometimes but its impact can make all the difference. Realising when we are at fault and saying so shows that we can admit to our faults and nurtures respect in others. When you seem reasonable you are more likeable.

17. I miss you

Depending on the circumstances, “I miss you,” can be hard to say when we don’t want to seem vulnerable, but it can change the whole dynamic between two people in a positive way.

18. I understand

When you genuinely ‘get’ what another person is saying to you, it can be satisfying to know that you are both on the same wavelength. When someone connects with you on a deeper level they will find you more likeable.

19. I’m here for you no matter what

Knowing that someone else is there for us and isn’t just a ‘fair-weather’ friend can be one of the most important things in life. Feeling supported and unconditionally accepted is a real gift in a world that is full of fickle people.

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20. This too shall pass

We all need reassurance at times, and when life gets tough we need a reminder that one thing that is certain in life is change. Emotions can overwhelm us and these four words from another can help us to be less afraid and keep perspective.

 

Positive words don’t cost us anything but they can have a huge impact on others in a very positive way and make us more likeable and fun to be around. It seems a ‘no-brainer’ to use our words wisely to help us navigate successfully through life, forge happy satisfying relationships, feel empowered and connected with the world around us.

Featured photo credit: Phillip Stearns via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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