Have you noticed that some people are just naturally likable? They find it easy. Other people may not have the intangible of likability; however, with a little awareness of likability, can be just as likable as those who find it easy. Here’s a story of likability in action.
“I ran short of money while visiting my brother and borrowed $50 from him. After I returned home, I wrote my brother a short letter every few weeks, enclosing a $5 check in each one of the letters. He called me up and told me how much he enjoyed the letters, regardless of the money. I had never written my brother regularly before. Eventually I sent off the last letter and the $5 check in it. In my mailbox the next week, I found an envelope from my brother. Inside was another $50.” Sometimes likability is as simple as this story.
I realize not everyone wants to be likable. But I think most people would rather be likable. This article is for those of us who want to grow in our likability. I want to make us aware of the amazing power of likability.
When I say likability, I’m not talking about people using likability for their own ego-driven ends. That repels most people. I’m talking about likability with honor. Likability is where people like and respect you for just being you. Likability is others centered, not self-centered. Likability is awareness in action.
Let’s explore some suggestions about likability from life coach Jonathan Wells. There’s nothing new in these suggestions. We have the knowledge of likeability. The key is in being intentional in applying these suggestions in everyday life.
The first suggestion is to intentionally say please and thank you. The Bible says love is not rude. People turn off when others turn on their rudeness. When you want something, say please. When someone does something nice for you, say thank you. When we say please or thank you, we are recognizing there is someone else on the earth besides us that matters. We need a bit more of that these days.
Secondly, follow the golden rule. Jesus said it. “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.” There would be no murder, no gossip, no backbiting and no stealing if everyone applied this. Then people can spend time going forward rather than unpacking emotional baggage from being treated wrongly in the past.
Thirdly, work with others. Help and serve someone, with no agenda. For example, make it easier for others at the grocery store by getting your cart out of the aisle. Work with others, not against others. Value people and they will value you. Make a deposit and get a return.
The next suggestion is smile and smile often. Smiling tends to elevate your mood. Smiling also lifts the spirits of those you smile at. If you don’t believe me, try this little experiment. For an entire day, before you say a word to anyone, smile first. Notice their reaction. Most will smile back. That’s likability.
Here’s a hard one. Say “I’m sorry.” If you wrong someone, or if you make a mistake, or if you hurt another person (intentionally or unintentionally), apologize for it. Don’t justify or play the blame game. We can’t fix a personal problem if we are always fixing the blame on others.
One of the best ways to be viewed as more likable is to be a good listener. It’s not easy. Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone. Listening tells others you are genuinely interested in them as a person. Who doesn’t like that?
Consider the power of a sincere compliment. Have you ever received an unexpected compliment? It was nice, wasn’t it? In a world that tends to be overly critical, a sincere compliment can be very encouraging. Your mood should not dictate your manners. That’s likability in action.
And finally, laugh! Laughing is an instant vacation. Everyone likes to laugh. Laughing releases endorphins. That makes you feel happy and relaxed. When you laugh, you are encouraging others to laugh, too. When you contribute to the happiness of others, most people can’t help liking you. Think about it. Your laugh may be for others also.
There you go! The world is filled with nice people. If you can’t find one … be one. Make your day better by making other’s days better by the power of likability.