Sunday, March 11, 2007

5 Ways to Become More Likeable

Man is a social animal, as Aristotle once said. This want and need to belong and be accepted by others is what drives us to be civil toward others. In fact, there might be times when we want nothing but to see our intimidators get run over by a bus (yikes!) but we choose to endure the pressure and react in an amiable manner in order to merit niceties, as well. In order to achieve this kind of response from everyone we meet, we must strive to be likeable.

Now, likeability does not always entail that people will throw a party every time you come into the room. A person can be likeable yet not grandstanding. You don't really have to be popular to be one. All you need to do is adjust your attitude and outlook in life toward the positive. When you feel good about yourself and always look at the bright side of things, your likeability factor will naturally rise.

Here are five ways to become more likeable in any situation.

1) Think happy thoughts
According to Peter Pan, think happy thoughts and you will fly. This applies to your attitude toward the challenges that come your way. For instance, if you received low marks for your exam, don't think of it as the end of the world. Instead, be grateful it happened because it will motivate you to study harder and manage your time better next time. Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. If you keep this as your mantra, you will never have to harbor depressing thoughts ever again.

2) Contribute something
Whether its a group project or a personal endeavor, contributing something of value, no matter how small makes a big difference. If you compare a person who always mutters about how difficult a task is and a person who acknowledges the difficulty but tries to lighten the mood by finding humor in the activity, you'd want to go with the latter, right? If you want to be likeable, don't put others down and bear more weight on a challenging activity.

3) Rein your insecurities in
There is none more annoying than a person who throws a pity party for himself or herself. Examples of insecure people are those who always have to be right at everything, those who always say 'just kidding' at the end of every comment, and those who do not know how to laugh at themselves and their mistakes. An insecure person is a crab. A crab is animal that brings everybody down when he or she is down. If you want to have more friends, don't be one. You don't have to apologize for everything you say with 'just kidding.'

4) Believe in what you are saying and stick to it
A person who keeps changing his or her opinion or merely mimics what other people are saying about a particular event or object not only has zero personality but a very low likeability rate, as well. You don't need to have an opinion about everything -- that would be equally annoying, but you don't need to say 'yes' to what others say either. You'll only end up looking like a desperate sycophant.

5) Avoid judging others
Finally, if you don't want to be judged, don't judge. First impressions might sometimes put you off but it pays to know the other person better than to immediately make conclusions about his or her character. Judgmental people, if you notice, are the ones who usually eat alone at the cafeteria because his or her colleagues are tired of hearing him or her point out the flaws of others. Surely you don't want to be this person.

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