It should go without saying that having the character traits that make one likable is one of the most valuable tools any person could ever possess.
Likable people earn more money, get more ass, and generally have better social lives than their counterparts.
And it makes perfect sense when you stop and think about it.
Let’s face it, no one likes an asshole, and more importantly not a single person – not an employer, not a client, not the guy sitting at the bar – wants to be anywhere near someone they can’t stand.
Just think about the last time you were around a person who, for one reason or another, just rubbed you the wrong way.
Perhaps your gut reaction was to just get the fuck out of dodge and away from that person as quickly as possible, or maybe you even wanted to unleash a violent haymaker against the side of his head to shut him the fuck up.
We typically know right away who we like and who we don’t.
Although without even knowing it, you too may fall into the ranks of an unlikeable person.
Hey, we realize that might be hard to believe – how could anyone not like you? – but it is possible you’re not the crowd-pleaser that you think you are.
What’s encouraging, however, is that even if a person falls into this category, he can rise above it by making some minor tweaks to his behavior. But he must first learn more about what makes him unappealing in the first place before a change is possible.
These attributes are a sure-fire sign that there is room for improvement.
It is essential to be confident and feel like you are the very best at what you do – whatever that may be.
But no one likes a braggart.
Most people are privy to this, even people needing so desperately to brag, so they boast about themselves in a way that almost sounds like they are their worst critic.
These people might do this as a way to fish for compliments or to point out their supposed awesomeness to a crowd.
The guy casually playing guitar at a party might talk about how it would be easier for him to get gigs in his hometown if he didn’t write such obscure tunes.
But what he is trying to say is: Hey, I’m writing music unlike anybody in this area, and I’m smarter, more talented, and more original because of it.
The same goes for the guy who makes fun of himself for being a gym rat when all he is doing is drawing attention to the fact that he works out extensively.
He might as well rip off his shirt and make everyone feel his pecs. That’s what he really wants to do.
People who exhibit this behavior believe that it makes them less of a blowhard, but according to Forbes columnist Travis Bradberry, no one is fooled.
“While many people think that self-deprecation masks their bragging, everyone sees right through it,” Bradberry wrote. “This makes the bragging all the more frustrating because it isn’t just bragging; it’s also an attempt to deceive.”
Always So Serious
There are those people who are so desperate to be revered as passionate that they always try to give off the impression as someone who is absorbed in their work.
At social functions, these people might not laugh at jokes, make jokes of their own, or engage in any of the conversations.
They are too busy trying to be seen as intense and focused geniuses to care about having fun.
This is a huge turn-off.
Likable people can be serious about their chosen profession and still cut loose when it is appropriate.
More importantly, they are friendly to others and do not act above them.
“They focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers, remembering what people said to them yesterday or last week, which shows people that they are just as important to them as their work is,” Bradberry wrote.
Never Asking Any Questions
People can have a difficult time listening to others.
They might hear the words coming out of their mouth, but they never absorb what they are trying to say.
Most of us are too busy trying to conjure up some philosophical shit to spew once their lips stop moving – we really just want to impress them with our wisdom.
But if someone catches on that you’re just waiting for your turn to speak, you’re not getting any points for likability.
Likable people ask a lot of questions, says Bradberry. It is the best way to show the other person that not only are you listening, but you genuinely care about what they have to say.
Going Ape Shit On People
While this one should be a no-brainer, it is incredible how many people still believe that yelling at someone or throwing a fit is actually productive.
Let’s get this out on the table right now, it’s not.
No one likes it when someone screams in their face or makes them feel like a dumbass. If you are someone who does this sort of thing, you guessed it, pal, you are among the unlikeable.
Controlling one’s emotions – that is to say, not unleashing on people, even when they deserve it – is the sign of a stable, reliable person that others will respect and trust.
“When you’re able to control your emotions around someone who wrongs you,” Bradberry wrote, “they end up looking bad instead of you.”
Always On Your Cell Phone
If you are one of those people who always seems to get on their cell phones at some point during a conversation, you are probably unlikeable.
“Nothing turns someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone,” Bradberry wrote.
Instead, leave the phone alone until after the conversation is over.
No one is so important that waiting 10-minutes to answer a text is going to ruin their lives.
The people in front of you at the time should be your only focus.
It is exciting to know influential or famous people.
Hell, this can sometimes make for some rather entertaining stories.
But the person that always seems to name drop comes across as a pretentious asshole.
We all know that they’re just trying to make themselves sound more connected to a particular scene than what they really are.
If they were that connected, they’d be hanging out with those people right now instead of us.
Name dropping falls in line with the same type of behavior as modest-bragging, Bradberry says.
And you guessed it, it is a behavior displayed by unlikeable people.
“Instead of making you look interesting, it makes people feel as though you’re insecure and overly concerned with having them like you. It also cheapens what you have to offer,” Bradberry wrote.
It’s okay to say, “Yeah, I’ve met such and such, they were nice,” but leading every story with “This reminds me of the one time I was with (insert name here)” is just sad and makes you sound like a starfucker and a douche bag.
It might seem like most people are willing to listen to gossip, but people who talk about others are not likable.
Talking to others about a co-workers DUI or how their wife left them is just in bad form.
Likable people never engage in this sort of exchange. While the gossiper might say, “Man, Mike is a raging alcoholic that’s probably going to end up losing his job because of it.”
A likable person is more apt to reply with, “Mike has always been nothing but nice to me. I hope everything works out for the best.”
Even if we all know Mike is genuinely fucked, it is none of our business.
Being close-minded is one of the quickest ways to look like an asshole in front of others.
If someone at work says they enjoyed dinner at a new Mexican joint over the weekend and all you have to offer is how gross they are for liking that garbage, you are probably not the kind of person that is quick to make friends in most places.
Having an open mind toward people, ideas, and new experiences are critical in this life.
Even if it is not your thing, a likable person will show a genuine interest in something and perhaps even a willingness to give it a try.
So rather than berating someone for their experience, a likable person might say, “Awesome. It sounds like you had a lot of fun.”
Open-mindedness is especially important when working with others. Likable people will not discount another person’s concepts just because they don’t get them right away.
These people are also quick to compliment others for their efforts or accomplishments.
Sharing Too Much Information
This one is simple. Telling people about all of your problems immediately after meeting them is never the way to go.
It takes time to build those kinds of relationships where we can spill our guts freely.
Share that shit with that buddy you’ve known for 10-plus years, but don’t just go springing something on a person you met five minutes ago about how your wife is a cheating skank who ran off with the pool boy.
A likable person will get to know the people around them before ever divulging a smidgen of their personal details.
Being empathetic if someone comes to you with a problem is one thing – Hey, I understand what you are going through — but just feeding people your drama right out of the gate is not consistent with likable behavior.
If we’ve learned anything from this list is that we should always try to avoid making our interactions with others, an opportunity to show them our awesomeness.
We should have more confidence than that. If the exchange is handled appropriately, chances are they will be impressed with you anyway.
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