Do you ever wonder what others think about you? Not in the comparison or I need to be perfect kind of way, but more the self-improvement kind of way. Like, you want to make sure you’re being a good friend, but it can be kind of awkward to out of nowhere ask one of your girlfriends, “Hey, am I a good friend?” Plus, if your friend has feedback, all the sudden you’re taking criticism you might not be prepared for and things can just SPIRAL.
Whenever I find myself wondering this kind of thing, I like to do a little self-assessment! Instead of putting it on others to tell me what I might be doing wrong, I ask myself, what characteristics do really likable people have in common and am I exemplifying these qualities? The list below is what I came up with the last time I checked in with myself in this way and I thought you might be interested in it, too.
It’s not about trying to be the perfect friend, perfect fiance, perfect work college, perfect daughter etc, that’s not realistic. But more so just trying to be a good human. And who doesn’t want to be better at that? Plus, being likable (while still being YOURSELF, which is key), can honestly make life easier. From doing better at networking or in interviews to getting along better with others, and so on, being likable is a good thing as long as you’re finding that balance between being YOU and not caring too much about what others think.
Here’s what I came up with when thinking about likable traits. I’m eager to hear what you think about this post – and whether you disagree, agree, or have more to add to the list.
They listen more than they talk.
When I find myself in a conversation with a friend (or even anyone) and I realize I’ve done more talking than listening, I try to course correct pretty quickly. Sometimes it’s appropriate to talk more, like if you’re telling a specific story or maybe in an emotional situation, but I think it’s SO important to simply listen and then respond without talking about yourself.
They have confidence (but not too much).
The people I find super likable always seem to have mastered this perfect balance of being confident but not arrogant. They also don’t talk bad about themselves, which makes them more fun to be around because they’re always focusing on the positive. Bottom line, it feels GOOD hanging out with them. We all know those people who just bring joy and good things, good conversations, into our life.
They look for the positive.
Speaking of focusing on the positive. I don’t think anyone wants to be around a negative Nancy, so this is something I’ve been working on lately (not that I think I’m negative, but I have room to improve). Whenever I’m tempted to complain about something silly or think something negative about myself or a situation, I ask myself, “What is being negative right now going to accomplish?” I’ll tell you one thing, so far, every time I’ve paused to ask myself this, the answer is always NOTHING. No, but really, being positive makes such a difference!
Their body language is on point.
My body language wasn’t really something I was very aware of until my mid to late twenties. Things like eye contact, posture, smiling, facial expression, etc. are all very important when trying to make connections with people. If you’re missing the mark with these things, it can put people off before even talking to you. Even if it feels awkward, look people in the eye when shaking their hand, give a smile and be sure you’re standing up straight. Your first impression points will skyrocket and you’ll make people feel more comfortable. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
They don’t make excuses.
This is one of the most important characteristics of a likable person, in my opinion. Nobody likes it when someone comes at them with all the reasons they couldn’t follow through on something. Don’t overthink it and just be honest here. Don’t bail all the time or always be that person with some random excuse why you didn’t follow through or show up. Instead, commit or don’t (and of course, when life does get in the way, people will understand!). I promise life will be so much easier and your friends and family will appreciate it. Follow though on your plans or expect people to stop making them with you.
They aren’t judgemental.
Remember what I said above about just being a good human? That’s where this one comes in. I always want my friends (or anyone) to be able to come to me without fear that I would judge them. The best people I know always make me feel comfortable and heard whenever I have something to share – never judged.
They don’t take things (or themselves) too seriously.
I think not taking life or yourself too seriously is key to not only being a likable person but to life in general. I learned to laugh at myself a long time ago and I’d say it has served me really well. Probably one of my best personality traits, if I’m being honest. Learning to laugh at the small stuff will save you a TON of stress in the long run, trust me. Now if only I could bring these ease into being a perfectionist…but I’m working on it.
I’d love to hear what you think about this! Do you ever check in with yourself in this way? Are there other things to add to the list? Let me know in the comments.
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