First impressions are a big deal. You meet someone new, and the fate of your relationship is quickly determined. Breaking down barriers is important if you want to have a guaranteed “in.” One way to break down barriers is to become a person who is inviting–someone who is likable.
We may want or, in some cases, need people to like us. If you're a “want” person, you're probably a people-pleaser. And the people-pleaser in me is eager to help the people-pleaser in you. (But only if you want the help, of course. I wouldn't want to upset you! *wink*).
Although a clear pleaser, I value authenticity and don't have it in me to “fake it till I make it.” Genuinely growing into a more likable person is just the kind of advice I look for, and I hope you will find it helpful as well.
Below are seven additional tips I would add to the graphic above:
1. Remember the person's name.
Calling someone by name after one interaction is a rare gesture. It shows the person he/she is important and starts off the next conversation on the right foot!
2. Pay attention to smell.
This may sound silly, but make sure you smell good at all times. Your smell shouldn't be noticeable to the point it is overpowering. Put on a subtle hint of cologne/perfume and be sure to pop in a breath mint when necessary. You don't want any foul smells distracting someone from getting to know you.
3. Stay relaxed.
If you are too focused on your interactions, you may forget how to be yourself. Most people can pick up on deception. Be sure you are relaxed and comfortable presenting yourself in an authentic way.
4. Respect boundaries
Understand boundary cues. Don't overstep into someone else's space. Learn a person's boundaries and respect them. One wrong move and your reputation could be compromised.
5. When in doubt, toss in some humor.
If all else fails, offer your best humor. People come out of their comfort zone quicker when they can share a good laugh. Don't just be concerned with the smile on your face, focus on putting a smile on the faces of the people around you!
6. Be vulnerable.
If you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you are giving others permission to express themselves in return. Vulnerability advances relationships to a new level.
7. Genuinely listen.
Smiles and frequent nodding are not enough to convey you are listening to a conversation. Repeat key points and only add your input if it adds value to the conversation. Ask several questions to get the conversation rolling and spend time genuinely listening to the response.
Does any of this advice come naturally to you? If you're a people-pleaser, it might. If you're not, these steps may take more time and attention to become part of your interactions. Don't give up!
Being genuinely likable is not just to impact yourself but to positively impact others.