We all know someone who we would think of as charismatic, or a people magnet. They always seem to find similarities and things in common with everyone they come in contact with, and use these as a basis for attracting people and drawing them in.
But what is it about them that has this effect in particular, and is it something they’re born with?
The keys to attracting friends are pretty much the same for romance and business relationship as well. There is a mistaken belief that being likeable is somehow linked to being good looking, fiercely social, or incredibly talented.
However, it has been shown that when people are evaluating whether they like another person, they inevitably focus on qualities such as approachability, humility and positivity.
These qualities relate to people who have high emotional intelligence (EQ). Studies have shown that 90% of high performing individuals show the traits of high EQ.
Being likeable is definitely within your control, and unlike your intelligence (IQ), your EQ is a flexible skill that you can develop and improve, to add to your overall personality and likeability.
So let’s look at a few traits of those who exhibit high EQ, are highly likeable and charismatic, and seem to attract people easily.
Ask genuine & thoughtful questions
The most important question you can ask someone is ‘how are you?’, but you need to really mean it and listen to the answer given with genuine interest.
Quite often, people are so focused on what they’re going to say next that they don’t really absorb what’s being said, and miss out on that real connection with the person. People want to know that you care about them and are listening to what they have to say when you ask for it.
Asking a slightly more meaningful question can provide some depth, such as what is going on with your family lately, or how have you been going with the late nights and extra work? etc., asking these kinds of questions and even a simple clarification question shows that you are both listening but also that you are genuinely interested in their life.
Friendship is an investment
Having meaningful friendships and feeling connected to people can be just as important to a healthy lifestyle as diet and exercise. Think of maintaining your friendships as an investment in your future.
The time and energy you give to them will come back to you over the course of your friendship, and help to provide you with a complete and fulfilled life knowing that people are also there for you when you need it.
Social media can be a great way to keep up with what people are up to, but it is only a passive tool, and there is no real connection with the people that you ‘stalk’.
Nothing can nurture a friendship like actually spending time together, and giving that person your undivided attention. If you can’t do this face-to-face, then at least via telephone or Skype or FaceTime.
Be authentic and selfless
Likeable people are comfortable with themselves, and they know who they are. Not pretending to be something different, and concentrating on what you’re passionate about, makes you a far more interesting person to be around than if you try to be someone you’re not.
Nothing will repel people faster than being fake – no one likes a fake, and they can pick up on it. People naturally gravitate towards genuine people because they exude an air of honesty and reliability, and create a feeling that they can be trusted. This puts people at ease around you and will help build the relationship.
This comes back to being genuine. You need to be honest with and accept yourself for who you are.
Otherwise, how can other people accept you?
Positivity brings a desire to be your best, and you begin to be at ease with your true self. People tend to repel those who are desperate for attention, and by being comfortable with yourself, you don’t need to develop a bigger than life extroverted personality to be likeable.
Just being friendly and considerate will go a long way, and you will find that people are much more attentive and accepting that if you try to win them over by showing off and boasting about how important you are. When you’re receiving attention or praise for an accomplishment, shift the focus onto the people who have helped you along the way.
If you genuinely appreciate those who have given you their time, showing this appreciation and humility will endear you to people who will see you as worthy of their time and efforts in the future, and they will work to maintain the relationship with you also.
Don’t pass judgement
Being open-minded goes a long way to making people feel comfortable around you, and confident enough to share their life with you through your relationship. Nobody wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed their opinion and isn’t open to listening to someone’s point of view.
Being open-minded makes you approachable and more interesting overall. Seeing the world through other people view doesn’t mean you have to agree with or believe in the way they think about something, but it means that you hold back judgement in order to better understand how they work.
Use positive body language
Being aware of the effect your body language has on other people is a big part of emotional intelligence, and can help to have far more productive communication.
Only 7% of communication is made of the words we say, and 38% is made up of your tone of voice and expression, where 55% comes from all the other non-verbal information that we present.
Using an enthusiastic tone, holding an open posture without crossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning in towards the person you’re talking to are all part of positive body language that people with high emotional intelligence utilise to draw others in.
Being respectful of the other person’s space is important, but an appropriate touch on their shoulder, a friendly hug or some form of physical connection during a conversation causes a release of oxytocin in their brain, which is associated with trust and other positive feelings.
Smiling is also a simple and effective element to emitting positive body language. Smiling is everything. It conveys warmth, interest and openness, and that you are happy about communicating with the other person. People subconsciously copy the body language of someone they’re talking to.
If you want people to feel positive about your interaction, smile genuinely while talking to them, and they will subconsciously mirror the behaviour and feel good about having connected with you. It is very true that how you say something can be far more important than what you say.
Use people’s names
This one is a classic, and to quote the famous Dale Carnegie: “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”.
Someone’s name is a key feature of their identity, and people subconsciously love to hear you use it often. Really charismatic and likeable people make it a point to use people’s names when they interact with them at the start of the conversation, at the end of the conversation, and even during the conversation at times such as addressing a question.
Studies have backed the positive feelings associated with using people’s names, showing that they feel validated and a better connection when communicating with someone who uses their name effectively throughout the conversation.
Make a strong and lasting impression Research has shown that people mostly make up their mind on whether or not they like you in the first 7 seconds so you have to be on point immediately!
While this may sound intimidating, you can use this knowledge to your advantage. First impressions are heavily tied to your body language and the way you make the person feel.
Utilising positive body language with a warm friendly and confident demeanour will help to ensure your first impression on them is a positive one.
Also, keep in mind this famous quote from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Live life with zest
People gravitate toward those who are passionate about something, as that passion can be contagious and gives them feelings of positivity. Having and displaying a sense of humour is also extremely contagious.
If you are displaying your witty personality through jokes or stories, or just laughing at the world around you, you will always be surrounded by people. Being able to laugh with each other can help to build intimate and happy relationships with those around you.
Behave in a friendly way, be open-minded and enthusiastic, focus on the positive, smile, and act like someone who really enjoys life!
These are just some of the traits that are commonly associated with likeable people who easily attract and build relationships with the people they meet on a daily basis.
Really charismatic and likeable people just seem to bring out the best in everyone around them and seem to always be having fun in many different environments and situations. While you may feel that you don’t naturally display some of these traits, they are skills which you can consciously develop and improve.
Add some of these skills to your social toolkit, and watch people flock to you!
Main IMG © Summit Entertainment