Skip to main contentA logo with &quat;the muse&quat; in dark blue text.
Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work Relationships

Make Yourself More Likable: 11 Simple Ways to Change Your Reputation Today

co-workers laughing together

There aren’t too many of us out there who enjoy being resented or avoided. The desire to be well-liked and respected by our peers is pretty much human nature, after all.

But, what exactly makes someone likable? Surprisingly, it’s not complex—that’s right, there’s no tried and true formula combining the kindness of Mother Teresa with the insight of Gandhi.

Instead, just a few simple habits can instantly make you more likable. Really, that’s all it takes.

1. Actively Listen

People don’t just want to be heard—they want to be listened to. So, devote all of your attention to being engaged in conversations with others, and make your best effort to actually retain some of that information. Trust me, it’ll come in handy!

2. Ask Questions

If you improved your listening skills, chances are you picked up some personal tidbits from the people you’ve interacted with. Well, using those to strike up new conversations will show that you’re both attentive and friendly.

Ask your co-worker how her marathon training is going or check in with that acquaintance about his recent exotic vacation. It’s a surefire way to make others feel cared about—which is essential if you want to be well-liked.

3. Smile

Likable is often synonymous with friendly. And, you don’t see too many friendly people constantly scowling and frowning, do you?

Your face can say a lot about your personality and demeanor. So, try to be conscious of your expressions and smile when a situation warrants it. It’ll instantly make you seem warmer and more approachable.

4. Maintain Eye Contact

There are constant distractions around us. But, if you’ve ever been totally blown off by someone who’d rather stare at his or her iPhone screen, you know how disheartening that can be.

Likable people know this—and that’s why they do their best to maintain eye contact during conversations. Again, it’s just another way to let others know that you’re genuinely interested in their thoughts and opinions.

5. Utilize Names

We’re not all great with names. But, if you’re engaged in a conversation with someone, chances are you should at least know his or her first name.

Work that into some of your statements—even if it’s just a quick, “It was great speaking with you, Mark.” Using names drives home that personal connection, meaning you’re that much easier to like.

6. Remember Body Language

Body language is a key part of how we communicate. So, if your goal is to appear more approachable and friendly, your nonverbal cues need to mirror that.

So, uncross your arms and stand tall. It makes your posture that much more welcoming.

7. Be Genuine

Likable people all have this in common: They know who they are. They’re authentic—they don’t try to be someone they’re not.

Get comfortable in your own skin and always stay true to your honest self. Nobody likes someone who seems fake, and it only serves to make you look insecure and untrustworthy.

8. Stay Positive

We typically don’t gravitate toward people who feel the need to constantly air their grievances and nitpick every single thing that’s wrong that day. Exuding negativity is just that—negative.

Instead, positivity is always more attractive. So, even when those little annoyances get under your skin, brush them off instead of obsessing. You’ll be surprised at how much that small change can impact your entire attitude and reputation.

9. Be Open-Minded

We can all be quick with snap judgments. But, jumping to conclusions without giving others a chance to explain their thoughts will only make you seem condescending and obstinate.

Do your best to be open-minded and hear people out. Being tolerant and unbiased will always make you more likable.

10. Offer Help

Common courtesy and little acts of kindness can go a long way in improving your likability. And, offering to assist others is a great first step.

Whether a colleague is swamped with projects you could chip in with or you see someone struggling to open a door with his arms full of groceries, step in and lend a helping hand. It’s tough not to like someone who’s so supportive.

11. Poke Fun

While there are certain things that need to be taken seriously, people who have the tendency to approach everything with a stern, formal attitude can be difficult to connect with.

So, loosen up a little, poke some fun at yourself, and learn to laugh at those little flubs and blunders. That more easygoing demeanor is sure to draw people in your direction.

Everybody wants to be well-liked—it’s human nature. Luckily, being likable isn’t all that complex. Implement these habits, and you’ll see just how easy it is!

More From Inc.