Do you want to be successful? Do you want to excel in all areas of your life? Professionally, socially, financially, and most importantly, romantically?
You might now be asking yourself, “what could success in all of these areas in life have in common?” The answer is that one of the best ways to succeed in life is by being likeable. People who are likeable are appealing to others.
Likeability is a magnetic force that inevitably draws people to you.
Likeability gets you where you want to go in life. Studies reveal that it’s that one special thing that some people are born with or cultivate early in life that sets them apart from the pack and gives them certain privileges in this world. And thankfully, this is something that you can inculcate in yourself that will transform you from zero to hero.
Contrary to popular speculation, statistics prove that wealth, status, and physique are not the most important determinants of likeability. They have been proven to add to your attraction factor, but they are not the only—or even the most important—requirements for someone to be likeable.
In a study done by psychologist Norman Anderson in the 1960’s, Anderson asked the question, what do people most desire in others? As a context for his study, he concluded that there are approximately five different types of relationships
- Same sex friends
- Opposite sex friends
- Dating partners
- Marriage partners
- Casual sex partners.
Anderson asked subjects in his study to rate 555 adjectives (ways of describing a person) in terms of how much each adjective would make another person likeable. The results showed that the most notable adjectives for all different types of relationships, in no particular order, are as follows
- Sincere: free from deceit, hypocrisy, to be earnest
I’m always pleasantly surprised when I hear that adjectives and characteristics like this are at the top of most people’s list. I understand that physical beauty might make things easier for some people to maneuver around this world, but a beautiful exterior has a shelf life.
Cultivating the skills or honing the craft of being likeable is going to make you irresistible. This is the “thing” that people have that sets them apart in job interviews, in social settings. It’s what defines the guy that everyone wants to be around.
Being likeable is pivotal in succeeding in building strong and healthy relationships because it satisfies one of our deepest drives: the desire to belong.
Nothing makes us feel more alone and isolated in this world than the feeling that you can’t trust other people.
Before we go any further, I want to be clear about the term likeable. I’m not suggesting that you conform to other people’s standards of likeable by doing and saying things that you don’t believe in yourself.
What I’m trying to say is that being likeable has to do with the effort that you put in to belong and to show up for others in social situations. You’re not a doormat. On the contrary, being likeable is being confident, and being confident is being vulnerable enough to be yourself and be ok with it.
Likeability is the thing that feeds our human desire to belong. Not to conform, but to belong. To feel connected in some way to others. And belonging is one of our driving forces that motivates us to do or not to do certain things in life. Being appealing to others is essential in wanting to form new relationships.
Let’s dig deep into what it means to be likeable, and how you can achieve it because it will give you the tools to be successful in all areas of your life.
First, you can’t control what goes on around you. You can only control how you respond to it. This means your actions, thoughts, attitude, perspective, how kind you are to others, and, most importantly, how kind you are to yourself.
One of the best ways to respond to the world around you is through humor, which brings me to my first pillar of likeability.
1. Sense of humor
For a while now, people have been talking about a sixth sense, the missing piece to our traditional five senses. We have taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing, but what about those who lack a sixth sense? A sense of humor? Those people that aren’t in tune with what I, myself, and others would argue is one of the ruling senses. Because it is the one that you have control of. One that you can cultivate. One that is not up to biology, but psychology.
There are countless personal benefits that yields from a sense of humor. Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, refers to humor as a mature coping mechanism. Humor has been adapted through the years to enhance success in human society and relationships. The use of this defense mechanism increases pleasure and feelings of control. This defense mechanism aids to reconcile conflicting emotions and thoughts. And is used by people who are typically seen as virtuous.
Humor is a great way to deal with subjects that can be unpleasant, and bring pleasure and laughter to others. Humor helps us to deal with the immensity of the world around us, and someone that can observe the world and not let it hurt them is someone that people want to be around.
Humor is an expression of a comic vision of the world. It is expresses a perspective on events, people, and the world. It makes the heavy light, and sadness bearable. It has been called the laughing cure, the best of all medicines. For this reason, not only is humor a mature coping mechanism, but it also greatly contributes to your psychological well-being.
This is because laughter triggers the release of endorphins and hormones that bring about positive feelings and serve as natural painkillers.
When we laugh, we feel good and when we feel good we’re more productive in our professional, social and romantic lives. We want to go that extra mile at work, and we want to plan events for our friends to attend and we want to date and find that special connection with someone.
I’d say that the main reason why being likeable is your competitive advantage is that people will be drawn to you almost unknowingly. Emotions are contagious and whether people want to admit it or not, they will be unconsciously drawn to you because your attitude will rub off on them.
Do you have a friend that once you spend time with them you think to yourself, “gosh that was a hell of a time, I should reach out to him/her more.” You feel weightless.
On the contrary, have you ever left a conversation with someone feeling tired and lethargic, like you’ve just taken on the weight of all of their emotional baggage in a short conversation?
People that unload all of their emotional baggage on others are not magnetic. They invite pity and sorrow and bring the mood down. They are the type of people with whom you almost dread spending time The kind of interaction you go into having a planned escape route so that you don’t get trapped in a 3-hour long self-loathing pity party.
But on the bright side, not only are feelings of depression contagious, but humor is also contagious. When you’re feeling down, with whom who do you want to spend time ? People that make you laugh and forget about your sadness. The people that elevate your mood—humorous people. It’s like that old saying, you are the company you keep.
One of the most effective ways to achieve status in a given community is being that person that can offer comic relief. To be someone who can observe the world around him and make witty comments. It is also a major chick magnet. Drawing women in and keeping them interested in you for the long haul.
Many interpersonal attraction studies conclude that a sense of humor is the leading determinant of how women select a mate. Interpersonal attraction is attraction between two people that leads to a platonic or romantic relationship and it is distinct from perceptions of physical attractiveness.
When we look at other characteristics under the likeability umbrella, one of the other determinants to achieving this end is to be non-judgmental.
I think that many people mistake making fun of people and being overly judgmental to be a sign of humor. Making fun of people/ passing judgements in a humorous tone is one of the lowest expression of humor that humans have adopted. Avoid it at all costs. If you have nothing to offer but criticism and judgement, then remain silent.
Having an open mind is the best way to combat judgement. When you have an open mind, you’re appealing to be around. One way to not pass judgement is to try and find at least one thing that you like about the person that you may have otherwise judged. This is also a really great way to learn how to be more compassionate.
Instead of making assumptions about people and situations, ask questions.
Dig deeper and gain an understanding of what otherwise seems foreign to you. We’re often far more judgmental of the things and or people that we don’t understand, when in reality, those are the people, things and situations that most need our sympathies.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone was criticizing something you enjoyed? But they were very loud and boisterous about their opinion and everyone else agreed despite the fact that wasn’t necessarily how they felt?
This person got the attention they sought but it didn’t make people like them. You don’t need to be the loudest and most opinionated person in the room. Which brings us to our next point and that is not to be thirsty for attention.
3. Quiet confidence
When I say that you should have a sense of humor, I’m not suggesting that you be the class clown. That comes across as a cry for attention. You don’t want to seek attention because the only thing you will give off is a scent of desperation.
Some people are so desperate for attention that they compromise themselves and their own beliefs. But the truly magnetic people, those who are likeable and attract positive female attention, are those who command attention, not in a forceful way but with a kind of quiet confidence.
The kind of confidence that says, “This is me and I don’t really care what you think,” is what you’re after.
Being kind and considerate are two of the easiest ways to be liked by all. When you speak in a friendly, confident and concise manner, you will begin to notice how much more attentive people are to you. Think quality over quantity. You don’t have to speak just to make noise, but when you speak, it should be purposeful.
So don’t go looking for attention, command it by speaking purposefully, confidently, and concisely. That way people will pay attention to you. And not just because you’re being loud and obnoxious, but because they want to know what you think.
This is the subtle art of letting people come to you. It takes patience and time, but our next point will also aid in this endeavor of being so likeable that you attract fellow desirable people.
Consistency is something that helps you succeed professionally, and personally. It will help you create and maintain healthy relationships.
“Foolish inconsistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Note, here, however, that being reliable is not being a doormat; it’s not a negative character trait; it’s a strength and something which many people seek in long term partners.
Be consistent in terms of your mood and mindset. Nothing can make a person feel more uncomfortable than never knowing what kind of mood you will be in that day.
Being consistent is also about being someone who shows up and sticks to their word. One of the defining characteristics of an alpha male is that he is a doer not a talker; he walks the walk. He leads by putting himself first in terms of serving others.
He doesn’t sit by idly waiting for people to push him to achieve certain things and he doesn’t need to be asked. He consistently makes the effort to go after the things that he wants—in both his personal and professional life.
Thus, he leads by example. He wills himself to do things, which makes him a desirable person to follow. So be consistent and reliable.
While this might seem like a template to achieve perfection, people can’t relate to perfect because no one actually is. We’re human, which inevitably means that we are fallible creatures, and with fallibility comes mistakes.
But people are attracted to and feel connected with those who can make mistakes, own, and bounce back from them. This ultimately requires that you have a good sense of humor, especially about yourself, to bring things full circle.
So to be successful in all areas of your life remember not to take yourself too seriously, be open minded, don’t seek attention, and lastly, do what you mean and mean what you say. And you’ll cultivate the most magnetic personality that women find irresistible.