It’s easy to like some people.
They just have a way about them that makes them good company.
A good chunk of what makes a person so likeable is how they behave in conversation.
Here are 15 things a likeable person does when talking to others.
1. They display openness and warmth.
It all starts with the greeting. A likeable person almost always smiles when they first see someone—it’s their natural, spontaneous response.
Now, here’s where things can vary. Likeable people come in all different types, and they behave accordingly. Likeable extroverts might be huggers, likeable introverts might prefer a handshake or no physical contact at all.
What matters is that the person they are greeting feels welcomed and not in any way awkward.
2. They use the other person’s name.
People like to hear their name said out loud, and whether consciously or not, likeable people tend to use their conversation partner’s name when talking to them.
They will greet them with their name and then continue to say it when asking them questions, for example.
It’s a little thing, but it brings them closer to whoever they are talking to.
3. They involve everyone.
If there are more than two people in the conversation, a likeable person will ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to express themselves.
They will bring people into topics by asking their opinions, and they will avoid talking about things that exclude others in some way.
4. They respect others’ opinions.
No two people agree on everything. But when a likeable person is part of the conversation, they will remain respectful toward others, even if they quite strongly disagree with what someone is saying.
They know that having a shouting match and invalidating the thoughts and feelings of the other person is a surefire way to drive them away.
They don’t shy away from expressing their own opinions where appropriate, but they don’t claim to know best or have the moral high ground.
5. They ask others’ opinions.
Speaking of opinions, a likeable person will often ask their conversation partner(s) what they think about something.
They know that people enjoy sharing their thoughts on all sorts of topics, and so will actively engage the other person to see what they think.
And then, as stated, they will respect those opinions.
6. They ask questions to get more details.
Rather than keep everything surface-level, a likeable person will dig a little deeper and ask questions to get more information from the other person.
They don’t pry when it comes to sensitive topics, but whether it’s asking someone why they have a particular opinion, or simply asking more about someone’s recent promotion at work, they want to know more.
Likeable people are curious about others which happens to make people warm to them.
7. They try to uplift the other person.
When a person goes away from a conversation feeling better about themselves, they will naturally like the person they were talking to.
Likeable people inherently understand this fact. They always try to bring a smile to whoever they are talking to. They may pay them a genuine compliment or simply make the other person feel heard and valued by showing an interest in them.
8. They listen attentively.
Speaking of making the other person feel heard, a likeable person has mastered the art of truly listening to those they are in conversation with.
They allow the other person to speak without interruption, they pinpoint the important details, and they may repeat something back to the other person to ensure they have understood something correctly.
They are present, in the now, and free from distraction.
These are little things, but they make the other person feel comfortable opening up and discussing things they may not always share.
9. They show vulnerability.
Not only does a likeable person encourage others to open up through active listening and making them feel valued, but they also demonstrate a little vulnerability and openness of their own.
They admit their mistakes, they are happy to be corrected, they talk about how they feel about something that happened and not just the facts of what happened.
This forges a deeper connection between all those involved in the conversation.
One thing they do not do, however, is dump their trauma onto others—especially those they do not know very well. If they want to discuss heavier topics with someone, they will ask whether that’s okay first.
10. They know when to tell a good story.
People like to hear stories. It’s almost hardwired into us.
Likeable people don’t only know when a conversation calls for a good story, they are adept at telling one in a way that engages people’s imaginations and emotions.
This makes them fun to be around.
11. They allow others to tell their own stories.
When a person tells a story, they want to be able to say what happened from their perspective. So even if a likeable person was present during the events of the story, they don’t butt in and try to steal that story away.
They allow the person their voice.
They may add more details, but they will wait until the other person has finished telling it how they want to tell it before mentioning these things.
12. They remember things others have told them previously.
Feeling heard leaves a person feeling good about themselves and their conversation partner.
One way that likeable people do this is by remembering things a person has said in previous conversations and asking about them.
It shows that the likeable person cares enough to remember important things about the other person’s life. The other person will recognize this care and appreciate it.
13. They show enthusiasm where appropriate.
Not all topics of conversation warrant excitement, but when one does, you can bet a likeable person will express theirs.
They know that if someone shares good news or is excited about something, the absolute best way to respond is with some enthusiasm of their own.
Joy shared is joy multiplied. You can expect a likeable person to bring their A-game when enthusiasm is required.
14. They seek consensus.
When two or more people are involved, it’s only fair to find ways to keep as many people happy as possible.
It’s not always possible, of course, to keep everyone happy.
But a likeable person will often be the one among a group who mediates discussions to ensure that the choices made for the group are the ones that best reflect the opinions of the group.
Members of the group tend to appreciate this effort because it helps avoid major conflict by finding compromises.
15. They have good manners.
Please and thank you are things you’ll hear a likeable person say a lot.
They know the value of manners and the respect it shows to others. And they understand that people don’t enjoy being around those who are rude, slovenly, or who pay no heed to how others feel.
Likeability isn’t too complicated, but it’s also subjective. Doing these things will improve the chances that someone likes you, but some people won’t like you. And that’s okay. Don’t try to be everyone’s friend, but be open to being someone’s friend if you would like that.
What’s important is that you try to be your authentic self. None of the things above require you to put on an act—anyone can practice these things to become more likeable.
It’s simply a question of doing them consciously and consistently until they become a habit that you no longer have to think about.
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