To people with social anxiety, it can feel as if it’s up to others if they like you or not. But actually, it has to do way more with you. Science found that the following things are the typical qualities of a likeable person. And the best thing about them? They are all behaviors, meaning you can actively improve them!

Related: 10 exercises to be more social
Related: How to build confidence in 3 straightforward steps

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

1. Be likable by showing a friendly face

Image of a woman holding a post-it with a smile drawn on in front of her face, symbolising a genuine smile which is one of the qualities of a likeable person

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we like people who are friendly.

So the quickest and easiest way to be likeable is to make friendly eye-contact and smile, including showing teeth. While a positive language will help you, in general, to be liked more, these two things make the biggest difference.

It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Obviously, if you want someone to like you, you’ll look them in the eye and smile when meeting them.

But especially if you are shy or a little socially awkward, this could be something to actively practice.

So the first and most important of the traits of a likeable person is simply being friendly to others!

2. Be a good listener

You know that saying that everyone’s talking, but no ones listening? That’s how most people feel. Everyone wants someone to listen to them. Like, really listen!

So of course, being a good listener is one of the things that makes a person likeable. If you want people to like you, show interest in their stories. Don’t just sit there and wait for them to finish talking. Follow along with what they are saying, look at them while they are talking and make them feel heard!

Need some help learning those skills? Check out these Mastering People Skills Classes at CreativeLive*! You’ll get 30 super informative lessons with challenges and activities to actively improve your likability. 

3. Show curiosity

Have you been told to not be so nosy all the time? Well, research says that curiosity actually strengthens our relationships.

First of all, when you are curious, you will definitely be a better listener (see above), because you will want to find out things about other people.

BUT these studies actually also found that other people will like you more when you are curious. So show interest in others, be curious about how they tick and why and they will automatically like you better!

4. Be empathic

Image of two female friends laughing together, mimicking each other's body language.

Another one of the qualities of likeable people is to be empathic. And by that, I particularly mean showing empathic body language.

Other people like us better when we mimic their body language. Naturally empathic people do this automatically, but you can also learn to do it consciously.

So when someone gets excited, get excited with them! Life is more fun this way anyway.

5. Give compliments

Ah, who doesn’t like a good compliment? But surprisingly, this is not even so much about people liking you for giving them compliments.

Instead, it’s more about people associating the words you use with your personality! How fascinating is that?!

So if you compliment someone as friendly and helpful, people will start to think of you as friendly and helpful. A perfect reason to go out and give more compliments, isn’t it?

6. Don’t judge

This behavior is super closely related to being a good listener and showing curiosity. Of course, people don’t like when they feel pre-judged. They also don’t like close-minded people.

So practice keeping an open mind, taking other people’s perspective and being curious instead of passing judgment.

A very good way to practice this is mindfulness meditation.

7. Have a positive outlook

Being positive, happy and enthusiastic is extremely contagious. Do you also have that one friend who is always in a good mood and gets even the grumpiest of your group to smile and get excited?

These kinds of people are extremely likeable. Because we don’t judge others by what they do as much as we judge them by how they make us feel.

Become aware of how you make others feel and what kind of energy you spread. Make it a positive one and people will definitely like you!

Related: Chronic unhappiness: These 5 habits make you sad

8. Be genuine

While some of these tips might sound like you are supposed to pretend, that’s not how it’s meant. In fact, being genuine and honest with people is another one of the qualities of likeable people.

People can tell if you are being dishonest. And they don’t like it. If instead, they can tell that they can trust you and you are being real about who you are and what you think, they’ll feel much better about your company.

9. Admit your flaws

Now you might think that being genuine will have to include showing parts of yourself that you are not necessarily proud of. You would be right. But you know what? People will actually like you more if they see you mess up every now and then!

This is called the “Pratfall effect” and it describes how people become more likable if they make some kind of mistake. I mean, we all know how a little imperfection makes our peers just so much more approachable!

One little caveat: This only works, if they generally consider you to be likeable already. So don’t simply go and mess up in front of the people you want to impress. Use your other likable traits first!

Related: How to overcome perfectionism: 7 tips

10. Show some humor

Image of 3 women in a social situation: having a friendly conversation and laughing

Last, but not least: Laugh and make others laugh!

We already know that we like funny people more, and almost every “dream partner” has the attribute “humor”. But science was friendly enough to back this up for us.

Showing humor and making someone else laugh positively influences how the other person sees you. As in, they’ll like you better!

Want some real help learning how to make people like you? Check out these Mastering People Skills Classes at CreativeLive*! You’ll get 30 super informative lessons with challenges and activities to actively improve your likability.

Do you agree with these qualities of a likeable person?

Or are some of these traits rather annoying to you? I would be surprised, but I would love to hear about it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Read about the 10 qualities of a likeable person and find out how you can work on your likeable characteristics!

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.