While it's never healthy to care too much about what other people think, there are definitely benefits to making a good impression and getting along well with others. When we really stop and think about the people we most admire and respect in our lives, aren't they also often the most easy to get along with? Their glowing personalities tend to attract great friends, healthy relationships, and thriving careers — as well as love and support wherever they go.
Of course, their successes are hard-earned through other means, such as ambition, effort, talent, luck, etc. But there's no denying forming solid connections with others can help these people along. "Being likable has more advantages than just having a lot of friends," Dr. Sal Raichbach, PsyD, LCSW, of Ambrosia Treatment Center, tells Bustle. "People who [get along well] with others are more successful and stable."
Whatever benefit you're looking for in life — more friends, a better career, a loving relationship — it seems it can all be won by stealing a few tips from those who tend to get along well with others. If you're shy, for example, projecting more confidence may attract more wonderful people your way. If that sounds good, then read on for a few more traits experts say are common among likable people, so you can start winning everyone over, too.
They Know How To Listen
There's a big difference between someone who appears to be listening, but is only waiting for their turn to talk, and someone who is actively listening. And the latter tends to be received better by others.
"People want to feel heard, to feel seen, and to feel understood, and a great listener can do this for others," professional counselor Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, LPC, RPT tells Bustle. "Being a good listener helps you feel more connected to others, and they feel more connected to you in return."
Active listening involves actually hearing what the person is saying, showing that you are paying attention through eye contact and occasional head nods, and then following up with sincere questions.
They Project Confidence
While we can't get inside the heads of the likable people in our lives, we can see on the outside that they appear to be super confident. "It shows in the way they carry themselves, the way they speak to others, and the way they get things done," Raichbach says.
To steal it for yourself — and fake it 'til you make it — you can project confidence through your body language, by greeting people, pushing your shoulders back, standing up tall, and making the right amount of eye contact.
They're Pros When It Comes To Empathizing
No matter the circumstance, likable people are always able to "put [themselves] in someone else's shoes," Temi Olly, a certified relationship coach and speaker, tells Bustle. She says likable folks tend to innately understand how others are feeling, and always offer their help and support in a sincere way.
They're Reliable & Trustworthy
Nothing wins others over quite like being trustworthy, whether it comes to keeping secrets, showing up on time to work, etc. "If you are considered reliable and trustworthy, people know that they can depend upon you — no matter what," psychic and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. "When someone can count on you, it makes their job easier and they know that you will be on time, or you will call to let them know you are running late so they do not worry about you." This trait helps likable people get ahead at work, but also helps them out in relationships, too.
They Try To Look On The Bright Side
While nobody's positive and sunny 100 percent of the time, likable people do their best to look on the bright side — even when times get tough. And that optimism can be contagious.
"Who doesn't want to spend time with a positive vibe person? Positive people are likable because it feels good to be around them, they are often ... laughing, and their positive energy can lift you up," lifestyle and wellness expert Jennifer Winsor tells Bustle.
They Remember What You Say
People who get along well with others show interest in people by remembering details about them. "The likable are 'other' focused and have a genuine interest in people, so they pay attention and make eye contact — creating an environment where people feel seen and heard," psychotherapist Kelly Bos, MSW, RSW tells Bustle. "When they are with family and friends they remember details ... They also ask people meaningful questions because they want to get to know them better. When they ask 'how are you?' they want to know the real answer."
They Have Open Body Language
These folks tend to be open emotionally, as well as physically. "In terms of body language, this is someone that may be smiling, maintaining eye contact, and [projecting] a confident posture with their arms down," licensed psychologist Ashley B. Hampton, PhD tells Bustle. "Someone that extends their hand in greeting would be more likable than someone that crosses their arms when meeting us, for example. Someone that is standing or sitting facing us while we talk gives us the impression the person is interested in what we are saying and is therefore perceived as more likable." It seems simple, but little gestures like these can make all the difference.
They Are Inclusive
One thing you'll never experience around a likable person is the sense that you're an "outsider," or not part of their clique. "Likable people don't tend to form cliques; they are generally inclusive of everyone, making everyone feel welcome and appreciated, no matter what," author and lifestyle expert Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. "By being inclusive, you show that you are not going to judge someone for being different from you, and this is a highly [likable] quality."
They Have A Good Sense Of Humor
Whether they're comedically funny or not is besides the point; likable people have a great sense of humor. "Almost everyone loves a person who is funny," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. "This isn’t someone who can tell jokes, but a genuinely humorous person who can lighten the mood when needed and make others feel good. But, being open to humor is also an important trait for being liked." Even if they aren't the ones cracking the jokes, everyone remembers that they had a good time.
They Don't Take Themselves Too Seriously
Branching off of a good sense of humor is their ability to laugh about life, and at themselves. As Beverly Hills-based psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish tells Bustle, "the ability to laugh at oneself" is a likable quality. It shows others that you're confident, but also real. When you have this quality and something bad happens or you make a social gaffe, nobody cares. By keeping the mood light and turning mistakes into a joke, everyone will always be on your side.
They Establish Healthy Boundaries
Even though likable people are always down to help a friend in need, they also have a healthy set of boundaries, licensed therapist Darlene Corbett tells Bustle. And even though it may seem like that would create a wall around them, or make them unapproachable, it actually has the opposite effect. By establishing healthy boundaries in life — at work, with your friends, and in your relationship — people will respect you. And that's incredibly likable.
They Are Curious
While likable people may have a lot of cool sh*t going on in their own lives, they're never short on curiosity for what's going on in yours. "Likable people are generally curious people," Paul Christoffersen, of Christoffersen Coaching, tells Bustle. "That curiosity keeps them open to other points of view and perspectives. That curiosity helps them to ask others interesting and meaningful questions. And let's face it, we all love to talk about our favorite subject — ourself."
When you're hanging out with someone like this, you always leave feeling like the most interesting person in the world.
They Treat Everyone With Respect
From the Uber driver to their boss to the barista down the street, likable people treat everyone the same — and with respect. And we can all stand to have a little more of that. "If you take the time to say hello to people you pass on a daily basis, this can make you seem friendly and very likable," Rappaport says. "Treat people the way you want to be treated and you will be greatly surprised by how much they like you in return. Being nice can make someone’s day. They may remember you the next time your paths cross — because you were nice."
They Are Easy To Be Around
When you think about it, all of the above traits add up to make someone who's super easy to be around. "Likable people radiate a sense of warmth and openness," Bennett says. "Others feel comfortable talking to them. Rather than being aloof, they are approachable and relatable."
And that's something we all can achieve by being ourselves, projecting confidence, being a good friend, and being great listeners. These traits are just a few of the ones likable people have in common, so go ahead and steal a few for yourself.