When I was 16, I found out that one of my classmates thought I was “scary.” Admittedly, she was shy and I was the opposite, it still took me aback. How could I be scary? I’ve never even got into a fight.
Everyone wants to be instantly loveable. When you think about it, one person probably springs to mind. Whether it be your partner or the friend that everyone adores, it’s a character trait that can get you places.
If you’re instantly loveable, chances are people are going to be quicker to trust you. Not only does that solidify your relationships, but it can also help grow new ones. Put it this way, you’re more likely to get on with your boss if you’re considered loveable instead of an asshole.
Even the coldest of humans have loveable traits in them, they just need help identifying them.
You’re genuinely interested in the conversation.
You can tell when someone isn’t listening to you. One of the most frustrating things is when you’re talking to someone and they start up another conversation with another person.
I say frustrating, it’s incredibly annoying.
Being genuinely interested is a sign of a good listener. The penguins from Madagascar got it partially right — a smile and wave is a good start.
When someone is venting, sometimes all they need is an open ear to pour their words into. To go even further, you can actively show you’re listening:
- Don’t go on your phone.
- Copy their body language.
- Nod and say “mm-hmm” or “yes” every now and then.
Action tip: Instead of asking generic questions, probe their vulnerability with two words: “I’m curious.” They’re more likely to open up as you sound genuinely interested.
If I had a pound for every time someone asked me “what’s wrong” when I’m minding my own business, well I’d have a lot of money. If you’re like me and have a resting bitch face, it can come across the wrong way — even if you don’t mean it to.
Smiling is quite literally infectious. I find myself broad with glee when watching bloopers from The Office — more than the actual show. Seeing other people smile and laugh is likely to trigger the same response on your own face.
Smiling is associated with happiness, so it’s no surprise that people are often remembered by how much they smile. The more you do, the more loveable you’ll seem.
Take a leaf out of Usain Bolt’s book. He was in the most pressurized of situations, yet he was always smiling when no one else would. He became a loveable, larger than life figure. Of course, his records will be remembered, but so will his personality. Sometimes, it pays to smile more.
Action tip: In typically serious scenarios, add some emotion into your face. Interviewers have mentioned I need more energy in the past, and it can be easy to let the seriousness of the situation reflect in your face.
You follow up with someone.
Following up on someone is a true sign that you care. It is easy to say you need to talk to someone more, but the real test comes when your brain tries to forget what you said.
Asking someone if they’re okay after they told you something that hurt them makes you a more trustworthy person. As with any relationship, the little things matter the most.
Think of it like drunk plans. You have a few beers and all of a sudden you’re planning your next trip away. The plan is really set into motion when someone follows up afterward.
Action tip: You don’t need to make a grand gesture. A “how are things with __?” Or a simple “are you okay?” can go a long way.
You admit when you’re wrong.
My dad and I are very stubborn people. He’ll scold me for leaving a plate out but won’t back down when he leaves his clothes on the sofa. It’s a back and forth that usually ends up in a petty squabble and a mostly harmless punch to the arm.
Essentially, we don’t like admitting we are wrong. It’s an abrasive way of looking at things, and not a very loveable one either. It takes a lot of courage to admit you’re wrong, courage which will endear you to your loved ones.
Action tip: Before you fly into a fit of rage defending yourself, ask if the ensuing argument is worth the hassle. It likely isn’t, and a bit of calm can help you see the error of your ways.
You know how to give a compliment.
Last summer, my friends and I went to the pub. I was excited because I was wearing my brand new t-shirt for the first time. Normally, my friends barely note that sort of thing. That day, one told me he loved it. I was shocked — a compliment? From a bunch of 21-year-old guys? It’s a miracle!
Of course, the next time I wore it I was mocked for “only having one t-shirt.” Swings and roundabouts, after all.
People like to be complimented. Telling someone you like something about them shows you take notice. With very little effort you’ve endeared yourself to them.
Giving a compliment makes you feel good too. Writing on Inc.com, Jeff Haen says:
“We praise another person because we want them to feel good — but we also praise them because it makes us feel good.”
So not only are you more loveable in their eyes, but your self-perception becomes more rose-tinted too.
Action tip: If you like someone’s jumper, say so. They’re most likely proud of it, and it will boost their mood.
You know how to receive a compliment.
It’s all very well giving a compliment, but what about receiving one? When I first started writing, I felt awkward when someone praised my work, as it opened up a vulnerability. For the first time in a while, someone was judging me.
It’s easy to swat away a compliment with a “but…” followed by something you think you could have done better. My parents congratulated me on my dissertation grade, but I’ve always felt I could have done better so downplayed their compliments.
Until recently, I hadn’t considered how it makes the other person feel. If giving a compliment makes someone feel good, then they’ll feel bad when you toss it away.
Action tip: When someone compliments you, say “thanks” and smile. Bask in the praise and everyone is happy.
You can laugh at yourself.
Once every few months, my friends and I have a “remember when” style conversation. We spend hours listing the vast array of stupid, funny things we did during our time at school.
Eventually, we land on my experience of playing cricket. I was last up to bat, and practically shaking with nerves. The bowler chucked the ball at me, I swung far too hard, brought the bat around, and hit my stumps. I’d gotten myself out.
It was stupid and I sucked, but it’s made funnier because I find it hilarious too. Sometimes, it is better to let go and laugh at yourself rather than a defiant stand. It shows you don’t take yourself too seriously; people can have fun with you.
Action tip: If you don’t want people to talk about something, laugh with them. They’ll have their fun, and it’ll soon be forgotten about. Less drama = fewer worries.
Being a loveable person is done through micro-actions. You appear more trustworthy and caring, which makes you more approachable.
You can build relationships quicker and help them last longer. Plus, it isn’t difficult. All it takes is a small understanding of social skills.
So go on, smile. People will love you for it.