What kind of person is well-liked? Someone who is successful, talented, an expert in their field? While these kinds of people are admired, they scare potential friends away. Why? Because people feel lesser by comparison.
Even if you are not trying to, your ambitions can make you seem unapproachable. Pair that with a confident attitude and you will find that respect comes a lot easier than genuine friendship.
But this doesn’t mean that you should compromise your goals to make friends. Not by a long shot. In life, it is as important to gain respect as it is to establish relationships.
All well-liked people do one thing very well. They are relatable, they don’t have to share people’s interests or come from a similar background to make friends. They are relatable because they are flawed.
Flaws make us human. Everyone has them and always will. Your weaknesses may be embarrassing or frustrating but they are a large part of who you are. Your flaws also tear down that larger than life image.
Perfect people make others nervous. We feel uncomfortable around them because we are worried about messing up. We are worried about what they will think or say. But when we know they have weaknesses, we can start to relax.
So, if you want to be well-liked, identify and accept your weaknesses. Your accomplishments might bring people in but your flaws will keep them around. So, if you are clumsy or have a goofy laugh, don’t be scared to let it show. You wouldn’t be you without it.
Accepting your weaknesses also demonstrates humility. It shows the people around you that you are self-aware. No one wants to be friends with someone who thinks they are flawless. Reflect on your personality and be proud of the well-rounded person you are.
Ultimately, those are the people everyone likes. Just be careful not to overshare. Don’t make your weaknesses everyone else’s problem. If you act like a victim or treat your life like a sob story, no one will enjoy spending time with you. Remember that your flaws should only be part of who you are not all of it.
Anyone can tear people down. It doesn’t take a genius to use someone’s weaknesses against them. We all have something we are sensitive about. We all get anxious or fearful when we have to open up. It’s easy to criticize, shame and bully but what will that get you?
Some people think that you have to put others down to boost yourself up. They don’t have confidence in themselves so they attack people who show weakness. But that won’t make people like you. Potential friends will feel intimidated and pressured. They will close themselves off to avoid becoming your next target.
By bullying others, you make it difficult to form meaningful connections with the people around you. So, instead of bringing people down, build them up – give people honest compliments especially when they accomplish something you can’t.
For example, you may not have the confidence to pursue your dream job but let’s say your friend does, they set aside their fears, take a big risk and it actually pay off. A bully would try to undermine their success; they’d tell their friend that their job is easy. They’d make them feel bad about achieving a life-long goal. Why? Because it gives the bully a way to justify their own failures.
While this strategy might temporarily sooth with your ego, it will push people away. You want your friends to feel encouraged and supported around you. By giving genuine compliments, you create a foundation of positivity that improves their self-esteem.
They will like being around you because of how you make them feel about themselves. The best part about a compliment is that it often functions like boomerangs. When you dish out a compliment, it’s likely to come right back.
In other words, if you praise people, they will start to care more about you. They will see how invested you are in their happiness. So, they won’t just like you, they will feel motivated to help you as you did with them. They will want to boost your self-esteem and watch you succeed.
This is what I mean by a foundation of positivity. You should use compliments to lay down a supportive groundwork, that way you can build compassionate and lasting friendships.
Also read: 10 Proven Signs A Girl Likes You
The way you react to a mistake speaks volumes about your character. Imagine you are walking through a crowded room with a drink in your hand; you aren’t really paying attention so you accidentally run into someone. Your drink spills all over their shirt leaving a huge stain.
You could get defensive; you could yell at the other person and say that it’s their fault for running into you. Even though you messed up you could pretend that you did nothing wrong.
Ultimately, this reaction will end up frustrating everyone around you. They’ll create unnecessary conflict or make the other person feel bad for a mistake you made.
Defensiveness comes from an over-abundance of pride. Proud people refuse to admit their guilt because it would ruin their image. They overvalue themselves, developing an inflated ego that can’t bear to be wrong.
So, when something doesn’t go their way, they’re quick to pass the blame. This kind of pride and arrogance drives people away. When you get defensive, people will think you are stubborn and obnoxious. You can try to convince them that you did nothing wrong but the damage is already done. In fact, the harder you fight the worse it will get.
It’s actually pretty simple. Admit your mistake and apologize. After you spill your drink on that person’s shirt immediately say that you are sorry. Take the blame and offer to help them clean it off. This reaction will completely change how the situation plays out.
Instead of picking a fight your apology will often neutralize the other person’s frustration. They will realize that you feel guilty so they won’t try to make it any worse.
In fact, an unfortunate accident can sometimes turn into a conversation starter. But that will only happen if you can set aside your pride. An honest apology can have the same positive impact on the people around you even if they weren’t involved.
When we see something bad happen we often try to put ourselves in the victim’s shoes. So if someone had just spilled a drink on you, how would you want to be treated? Would you want to be yelled at? Or would you want the other person to be kind and empathetic?
My point is when you make a mistake, don’t try to preserve your ego or make yourself look good. Make the other person feel better by treating them how you would want to be treated. If you do, even the person you spilled the drink on will start liking you.
You can also get people to like you by making them feel important but it isn’t about creating an illusion. You shouldn’t be faking it. This trick only works when you actually care about the other person. You have to listen, pay attention, and remember key details about them. You have to demonstrate a genuine interest in what they have to say.
But here is where it gets tricky. You can do all these things without anyone noticing. You can be a great listener and caring friend and yet no one could ever give you the chance to show it. To them, you just seem quiet or confusing.
This is where most introverts run into trouble. They are generally great conversationalists but struggle to come off as likable.
Start by remembering their name. When they introduce themselves don’t just tune them out, pay special attention to their name and use it throughout the conversation. This shows them how concentrated you are on them.
By simply adding their name to the end of a sentence it becomes significantly more personal. You can also make them feel important by letting them teach you. If they are especially interested in a subject, get them talking.
You don’t have to actually know anything about it to keep the conversation going. All you have to do is ask probing questions. The objective is to show how interesting you think they are. This will give them a huge boost in confidence. When you make someone else feel good they will think that you are that much more likable.
If you get into an argument with someone don’t try to win. Don’t try to prove them wrong or make them feel bad. In the heat of the moment, it might seem worthwhile to argue but you won’t actually change anyone’s mind. You will just push them away.
Likable people don’t care if their opinions differ from someone else’s, they can discuss difficult subjects without trying to change someone’s views. You need to accept that potential friends won’t be exact clones of you. They won’t share all your interests, beliefs, or values, and that is okay. In fact, differing opinions make stronger and more exciting friendships but only if you can agree to disagree.
This is an incredibly hard thing to do. For some people, it takes years of practice. When we feel strongly about something we naturally want others to agree with us. If they don’t the frustration can make you say things that you don’t really mean. These hurtful comments can and will ruin potential friendships.
So, instead of arguing with people, let them have their own opinions. They’ll appreciate that level of respect and will give it right back. It will also make them more willing to open up with you. Obviously, if you are comfortable with someone it means that you like them. Don’t be afraid to ask why someone believes something or pose a challenging question but in the end, you shouldn’t expect your opinions to change theirs.
Also read: 12 Psychology Tricks to Persuade Anyone