We all know someone who is just inherently likable. You know who I'm talking about: it's that one friend you have who can seemingly do no wrong in anyone's eyes. Everyone smiles when they walk in a room, everyone likes all of their Instagram photos — even the one taken in less-than-ideal lighting with absolutely no caption — and they get invited everywhere. Their perpetually likable status would be annoying... if you didn't like them so much yourself. Those of us who don't feel like we fit this description (aka, most of us) likely spend a decent amount of time wondering how to become more likable. As it turns out, there are some interesting qualities people who everyone likes have in common.
Some of them are pretty obvious — we know a very likable person isn't going to be arrogant, superficial, and rude. Still, it can sometimes be hard to figure out the exact perfect mixture of traits that make up someone who is extremely well-liked. It's not just about having an outgoing personality, knowing exactly what to say and when to say it, and being able to throw a really good party — it can go deeper than that, and that's probably what makes the qualities of a beloved friend so interesting.
1. Likable People Are Sincere
Forbes reports that in a study done at UCLA, "subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likability." Sincerity was one of those adjectives, and that definitely makes sense. People like someone who is sincere and authentic, and who comes off as genuine. So, bottom line: Be yourself!
2. They Are Transparent
Another top-rated adjective in that study was "transparency." Again, this makes sense: people like someone who isn't afraid to be themselves. We like people who are honest and open about their feelings and about what's going on. We like when people can admit when they're wrong.
3. They're Understanding
The last top-rated adjective from that study was "understanding." No one likes to hang out and talk to someone who is constantly trying to judge them, or who is always ready to give them a lecture. We instinctively want to surround ourselves with people who are willing to listen and try to understand us.
4. Well-Liked People Are Curious
Research has previously proven that people who are curious have better relationships. When someone is curious enough to ask their companion questions, that can almost always only be a good thing. People love to talk about themselves, and when someone gives them a chance to do that, they're going to like that person even if they don't exactly realize why.
5. They Are Positive
It's not surprising that likable people almost always happen to be very positive. Research has shown that when someone says something good or bad about someone else, the person listening is going to associate that trait with the person speaking. So, if someone says negative things about other people, their friend is going to assume that person is negative, and vice versa. Likable people might indulge in gossip sometimes, but for the most part, they stay positive and say good things about others. They also have a generally more positive outlook on, well, pretty much everything.
6. Likable People Are Good Listeners
It's a fact that good communication is the foundation for a great relationship, no matter what kind of relationship it is. And part of being good at communicating is being a good listener. Well-liked people know how to listen — not only are they acting curious, but they're also genuinely listening to what the person they're with is saying. They don't turn conversations around to be about themselves — they focus on the person talking.
7. They're Vulnerable
Similar to being transparent and sincere, well-liked people are also more vulnerable. In other words, they aren't afraid to show who they really are, no matter who that person is — and they also aren't afraid to show when they're upset, angry, or very happy. They don't guard their emotions carefully, and they aren't incredibly mysterious. This is probably why so many bloggers on Instagram with millions of followers open up about their random struggles throughout life — it keeps them just vulnerable enough and makes other people want to keep watching. Being vulnerable makes others feel closer to you.
8. They Are Open To Things
One thing well-liked people definitely aren't is judgmental. Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and president of TalentSmart, says that highly likable people do not pass judgment. They are open-minded to anything. Bradberry revealed, "Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen."
9. Likable People Are Confident
Having the right amount of confidence is the key to pretty much anything — including being liked by all. There's a big difference between being arrogant and confident - arrogance will not make you well-liked. But people are drawn to those who just seem happy with themselves, even if they aren't shouting it from the rooftops.
10. They Are Patient
Need a minute? Well-liked people will happily give that to you. According to Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, likable people are very patient. Hill said, "Remember that proper timing of your words and acts may give you a big advantage over impatient people." Think about it: the people you like the most are the ones who don't get quickly annoyed. They're the ones who give you time and space — they don't immediately demand a text back.
11. They're Attentive
Most people might consider their cell phone an extension of their arm, but that doesn't mean people like those who can't look away from them. Cherie Burbach, author of Art and Faith: Mixed Media Art With A Faith-Filled Message, said, "In order to really make a positive impact on someone, you have to not only put your phone away, you have to pretend you don’t have it.” Acting attentive isn't just about asking questions and listening, it's about giving people your full attention. Well-liked people aren't on Instagram while having a conversation, they're looking people in the eye.
12. They're Intuitive
Body language is really important when it comes to liking or not liking someone, and intuition plays a part too. Well-liked people are generally intuitive, which makes sense — they know how to pick up on other people's feelings, which means they know what they should and shouldn't be saying. They act appropriately and ask the right questions.
13. Likable People Are Encouraging
Think about that friend you have who everyone likes: doesn't he or she always make you feel awesome, and like you can do anything? I have a friend who is very well-liked, and I love to talk to her about things I'm nervous about, because she always lifts me up. Likable people want to help you feel good, and obviously, that is going to make you want to be around them more.