Follow on YouTube Follow on Instagram

Episode 137: The Likeable You

Many people fall for the mistaken belief that being likeable is linked to something innate and unlearned, something you must be born with.
As if it’s linked to how attractive or talented you are.
Yet in reality being likeable is simply a matter of understanding other people, empathy. A skill that can easily be learned.

I’ve had many emails from listeners asking the question “How can I be a nicer person?” and the fact that someone feels that they need to ask that question means that must be a nice person in the first place, if they weren’t then they wouldn’t care and wouldn’t ask!

When this comes up in one to one therapy sessions we might look at self esteem to help people recognise their worth, their value.
But we may well need some practical things to do, because if you’ve had 30 years of hiding your personality from people in order to protect yourself then hiding becomes your personality.

So what do likeable people do?
Basically, I think they provide value to our social group. Now, that can be as big as having a full on conversation about current affairs at the water cooler, or it can be brief eye contact and a cheery “Good Morning” as you walk past someone.
Once you are a part of someones life, you’re contributing to it in some way and people can form an opinion about you and hopefully a positive one, so be positive!
If you would normally walk into the office and say “Another day, God I hate it here” you’re going to get on peoples nerves!
I know that sounds obvious but sometimes we say these things thinking that that’s what everyone wants to hear. We often project how we feel onto everyone else and assume that they all feel the same way, and so speak accordingly and it can drag people down.
Whether they agree with you or not it certainly doesn’t add value to their life.

If you’re quite shy and usually let everyone else do the talking that’s fine but you can still join in. Smile, nod, laugh in the right places, ask questions to show that you’re listening.
If someone feels that you’re engaging with them then they will like you more. and it snowballs into many areas of your life.
I meet people in therapy who say that they never get invited out when there’s a work social event, which reinforces their belief that their colleagues don’t want to engage with them and so they keep their head down, say nothing and just get on with their job. Reinforcing everyone else belief that they aren’t interested in being invited out on social events.

If you want the same result then do the same things.
If you want a different result then you must do something differently.

If every conversation you have also involves you checking your phone for Facebook updates or messaging someone else then you aren’t engaging. The other person isn’t going to feel listened to or respected, and you will get pushed down a little in the order of importance in that persons life, it’s not rocket science.

Have you ever met someone that seems to deliberately disagree with you over something, just for the sake of trying to prove you wrong?
This is often linked to insecurity, where a part of them is desperate to appear more intelligent in order to make them more likeable. But it ends up having the opposite effect.
Be aware of it, because if you feel the pull to behave like that then your self esteem needs a bit of a boost.
We should be able to engage with each other feeling that we’re on the same level, in a non judgemental way.

If you go through life not judging others then you’re less likely to create a feeling that you’re being judged yourself.

Episode List

Episode 138: Keeping Up With The Joneses
Episode 137: The Likeable You
Episode 136: Why It's OK To Be A Loser
Episode 135: The Psychology Of Extremism
Episode 134: Are You A Lobster?
Episode 133: Critical Thinking
Episode 132: There Is Nothing Either Good Or Bad
Episode 131: The For And Against Of Imagination
Episode 130: Loneliness & Social Networks
Episode 129: Letting Go Of The Past
Episode 128: What Is Love?
Episode 127: Procrastination
Ep. 126: Who Were You Before The World Changed You?
Episode 125: Stop Saying "Sorry"
Episode 124: Emotional Contagion
Episode 123: Patience
Episode 122: Building On Your Foundations
Episode 121: Dealing With The Critics
Episode 120: Being Assertive. Just Say No!
Episode 119: Inactivity
Episode 118: Social Functioning & Evolution
Episode 117: Unleash Your Inner Superhero
Episode 116: Goals, Values and Priorities
Episode 115: 10 Tips To A Happier Life
Episode 114: Lies And Confabulation
Episode 113: Confirmation Bias
Episode 112: Are You An Imposter?
Episode 111: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
Episode 110: Are New Years Resolutions a good idea?
Episode 109: The African Violet Queen Of Milwaukee
Episode 108: Reframing
Episode 107: Spiders And Behaviourism
Episode 106: Practise Makes Perfect
Episode 105: Fear Of Flying
Episode 100 - 104: Happiness
Episode 99: Body Image And The Media
Episode 98: Evolution and Adaptation
Episode 97: Reflections And Regrets.
Episode 96: Dealing With Fear
Episode 95: Confidence
Episode 94: Enthusiasm
Episode 93: Tips To Relieve Christmas Stress
Episode 92: Dealing With Change
Episode 87 - 91: Self Esteem
Episode 86: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
Episode 85: The Importance Of Being Lazy
Episode 84: Elephant Chains
Episode 83: Eating Bananas And Setting Goals
Episode 82: Ignoring The Media And Listening To Music
Episode 81: Awakening The Instincts
Episode 80: The Fine Line Between Love And Hate
Episode 79: The Best Medicine
Episode 78: A New Start
Episode 77: Time Distortion
Episode 76: Making Decisions
Episode 75: What's In A Name?
Episode 74: Pushing Ourselves Further
Episode 73: Conformity
Episode 72: Purpose
Episode 71: Perspective
Episode 70: Expectation
Episode 69: The Mind / Body Link
Episode 68: Overcoming Shyness
Episode 67: Mood Boosting
Episode 66: Sabotaging your goals
Episode 65: Self Talk
Episode 64: Money Makes The World Go Round
Episode 63: First Impressions Count
Episode 62: False Belief
Episode 61: Absolutes
Episode 60: The Psychology of feeling calm
Episode 59: Belief
Episode 58: Anchoring Emotions
Episode 57: Negativity and Perspective
Episode 56: Health And Happiness
Episode 55: Imagination vs Reality
Episode 54: Change