How to Be Liked

Three Parts:Getting in the ZoneBeing a Conversational NinjaMastering the Skills

All of us at one time or another feel like the world just doesn't care for us as much as we'd like it to. If you've been in that funk for a while, maybe it's time to take action. With a quick revamp of your thinking and a few social pointers, you'll be well on your way to being that person in no time.

Part 1
Getting in the Zone

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    Get comfortable with yourself. You've probably been preached it a billion times already: In order to get people to like you, you gotta like yourself first. Easier said than done, huh? But you know it's true -- think about someone you know that has really low self-worth. They're probably a little negative, overly sensitive, and not a ton of fun to be around. If only they were comfortable with themselves, their entire world would treat them differently.
    • Write down a list of good things about yourself. Do something that makes you feel happy and confident. Don't be afraid to try something new and scary. Don't even think about skipping this step -- it's crucial. You don't have to be outgoing and hilarious, you just have to have a healthy level of self esteem.
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    Be genuine. Once you're comfortable with yourself, stick to it. Putting on false pretenses and self-presenting and trying to maintain an image, apart from being downright exhausting, is just a huge turn off. Who you are is good, flaws and all. Instead of being a second-rate version of something else, be a first-rate you, you know? What's the point in doing anything else?
    • Believe it or not, research has shown that embarrassing yourself in front of other people can actually get them to like and trust you![1] After a second thinking about it, it makes sense: you show everyone you're real, just like them. What a relief! You're no longer perfect. Phew. Close one. The more genuine you are, the better.
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    Get enthusiastic. Let's get down to brass tacks here: Imagine you're in bed with someone, doing the deed. That person is going through the motions, but you can't really tell how they're feeling one way or another. Would you be anxious to jump into bed with them again? Probably not. The same goes for life! Everyone wants to be around that one person that likes up the room with their excitement. There's no reason that can't be you.
    • Once you realize the little things in life can be thrilling, the enthusiasm will flow. After all, life is short. Not every cup of coffee has to be the best cup of coffee you've ever had (in fact, it could be the worst), but you can still be enthusiastic about it. Woo, coffee! Finally! Morning jitters! It feels so good.
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    Be curious. This is mainly about other people, but really you should be curious about the entire world. When something is presented to you, actually think about it. Don't just accept it. If there's something you don't understand, seek to learn more about it. This should go for concepts, sure, but it should go double for people.
    • So the next time you meet someone who's 24 and they're telling you about the time they spent making chainmail and sous-chef-ing at one of your favorite French bistros, allow your jaw to drop in subtle incredulity and ask for an explanation. Pry a little. You're interested!
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    Be hygienic. In case you've been living on a deserted island, turns out humans prefer contact with those who don't smell. Science is still out on why. So do yourself a favor and shower, brush your teeth, and dress with the lights on. People won't give you the time of day if you don't.
    • It's best to put a little effort in (read: more than just a shower). Humans go off of looks probably more than they should. If you've read Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink," you're familiar with the Woodrow Wilson effect (and how he got elected based on his authoritative good looks and good timing (photojournalism being new and all) and even if you're not, you probably know enough about JFK to see the link. Whether we like it or not, being pretty has its definite benefits. No two ways around it.
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    Know how you come off and why. Humans interact on three different levels: verbal, non-verbal, and paraverbal.[2] You're probably okay with the first two, huh? But paraverbal is how you say your words. You know, the tone, the pitch, the pacing. That stuff matters just as much!
    • Start by observing someone who's really well-liked on these three levels. How do they stand in relation to others? When they're on their own, do they seem easily approachable? Now how do they talk? What do they say and how do they say it? When you start noticing patterns, start observing yourself. What patterns could serve you to emulate?
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    Know that it's different for men and women. While this is true for every environment, it goes double in the workplace. Men and women get away with very different things when it comes to being liked. A man can be assertive and even angry and it's a display of his passion; a woman shows the same emotions and she's deemed out of control.[3] Take any advice you get with a grain of salt and as for any observations you make, it may be wisest to account for gender.
    • Though it doesn't go for everyone, it's usually safe to say that women are more liked when they're a bit softer. Two words: Hillary Clinton. The butt of more jokes than possibly anyone ever. And why? Because she acts like a man in a man's world when she's not one. She's also awesome and a great role model, so if you're a woman, aim for something between her and June Cleaver.

Part 2
Being a Conversational Ninja

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    Genuinely like other people. Take an interest in other peoples hobbies and interests. When they see that you like them, they will like you in return. Humans are funny creatures -- once in a while they may sense!
    • If someone walks in the room and you immediately light up and smile, they'll recognize it. How awesome would it feel to be received like that? You're capable of giving everyone warm, fuzzy feelings just be seeming genuinely interested in them because you just plain ol' like them. It's not making yourself vulnerable; it's being real.
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    Be sincere. Be kind. Whatever you say, mean it. Don't mess with people, don't get caught up in lies or manipulation. When it comes down to it, you should treat others like you want to be treated. If you wanna get your foot in the door anywhere, being sincere and warm will do it.
    • Start by being as patient and polite as you can with people. Listen and try to help if you can. Do things for people because you want to, not to get something back. No matter how much of a bad mood you're in, be as nice as you can to people. Remembering to be kind and sincere when you're not feeling like it can actually turn your mood around.
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    Get them talking. Most everyone loves talking about themselves. They love people who want to listen to them talk about themselves. Unfortunately, there are people in this world who are just waiting to pipe in with something that can steer the conversation in their direction. Take advantage of this by getting them talking! Ask them something about themselves and let them run wild.
    • Let's say you walk up to Darrell (it's spelled like Darrell, but it's pronounced Darrell) at work and you say, "Hey, Darrell, how's your weekend?" and he replies with a simple, "Good, good. Got to spend some time with the fam." Instead of saying, "Oh, that must've been nice," keep it open-ended. Respond with, "Oh, do you not get to see them much?" Soon he'll be relaying you with the moving patterns of his second cousins. As long as you seem interested he'll keep going!
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    Use self-deprecating humor. This one is a toughie -- if you do it too seriously, people may be confused as to whether you're being funny or if you just genuinely hate yourself. If you do it with a smile and a laugh though, you'll be safe. When Conan O'Brien quipped about Michael Phelps being "out of shape," he added, "If he's out of shape, I've been dead for five years."[4] Showing you're lighthearted and willing to poke fun of yourself is an incredibly endearing quality.
    • Being able to take a joke is a very useful quality. When people get to know each other, there's a level of crap-giving that builds solidarity and allows for bonding. If you can do this for other people, it shows that you're fun, flexible, and comfortable with yourself.
    • Use other kinds of humor too! It's all good. If you can use the kind that unites the group, even better. Getting people on the same level allows them to feel more at ease around you. So make 'em laugh!
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    Flirt and flatter. Everyone likes being flirted with. It just feels good. It's playful and makes us feel like someone is paying attention to us because we're attractive. What's not to like about that situation? What we enjoy less is flirting with someone who doesn't show us they're receptive to it. So do the initial deed and start flirting. You'll show them you're personable, open, and playful. Awesome.
    • Touching a person can create an immediate bond. Think of someone saying hi to you, giving you a wave, and passing by. Now think of someone saying hi, brushing you affectionately across the shoulder, and passing by (probably smiling and making eye contact, too). Which person do you feel more connected with?
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    Make them feel special. This doesn't have to be some grand gesture. In fact, it shouldn't be. The smaller things often speak volumes. So go ahead, get a little personal. Let them know you're interested in them as a person and they'll likely return the favor.
    • Use the person you're talking to's name. Work it in. Per Dale Carnegie, it's the sweetest sound to any person. And if you've just met them, it'll help you remember it!
    • Remember details. Did your boss mention his daughter's cookie sale randomly and in passing last week? Ask him how it's going. You may or may not have a sweet tooth that needs squelching.
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    Don't make it all about you. Sometimes insecure people try to make up for their low self-worth by coming off as really self-absorbed. They think they're coming off as awesome when they're really just coming off as selfish. They should really be doing the opposite -- putting the focus on the other person. They'd be more comfortable and be more well-received!
    • When people compliment you, just say "Thank you." If you find an opportunity to talk about how great you are, let the moment pass. People don't have to know how many awards you've won or how many names you can drop or how many things you've seen and done. Those will come out naturally in conversation. You don't need to insert them.
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    Be positive. This one barely needs explaining. Happiness and positivity is contagious. People like happy people. If you have a positive spin on something, it's refreshing. While it's tempting to want to appear modest by beating yourself down or to try to appear intellectual by hating everything (we all know that person), don't do it. It's no good for you, your wrinkles, or the people around you.
    • That being said (you knew there was a caveat, didn't you?), know when to commiserate. Complaining is a tool that can drive people together. Just make sure you don't do it all the time! Did your boss just take away casual Friday and insist everyone work late? Appropriate. Did Sheila just take the last donut? Not appropriate. Again, pick your battles.
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    Know when to end the conversation. There is no conversation on the entire planet that is or should be infinitely long. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And some should be shorter than others. When you sense yours dying down, let it. Tell the person how interesting the conversation was (unless it was terrible; in which case, why are you wasting your time on this person?) and tell them you'll talk soon. Boom. Done.
    • If it's getting awkward, politely excuse yourself. A simple, "Well, I have to get going. I'll see you later!" is not something to be questioned. And don't think it's just you: Awkward conversations make up 17% of all conversations. Maybe. There will be science on it eventually. Probably.

Part 3
Mastering the Skills

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    Have good manners. When's the last time you hung out with someone who was straight up rude? If it was recently, it was probably one of your old, embittered relatives. If you really had the choice, you wouldn't. So don't be your cranky grandpa. Use "please," "thank you," and hold the door for the person behind you. Can you think of one reason not to?
    • It is not impressive to treat people beneath you as if they're beneath you. So tip the waitress. Ask her about her day. Don't scowl at the grocery clerk about the clean-up in aisle 5. Be polite to everyone.
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    Use emotional self-control. The most likeable people are those who are calm, laid back, and easy-going. People (especially strangers) may get turned off if they see that you are overly neurotic, difficult, or paranoid. Try not to get angry or overreact when things don't go your way. It will only make you feel more stressed out and strangers uncomfortable.
    • That doesn't mean you should be aloof to the emotional needs of others, but try to help others in a comforting and reasonable way. People want to see a person that is stable and happy. Try not to get easily offended by harmless jokes, and have a good sense of humor about things in general.
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    Get involved. Just getting yourself out there is half the battle! If you're on someone's soccer team, for example, it gives you ammo for making conversation and it also shows them that you're similar. We humans like to know when people are like us! So join a club or group and get around people. You can't be liked if you're at home by yourself!
    • This will also put you around people that you may naturally get along with. It's hard getting along with strangers and people that you don't have anything in common with. A club or group is a great place to test your new social jiujitsu!
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    Smile and make good eye contact. You can say all the nicest, most interesting things in the world, but if you're frowning and staring at your cup of coffee, no one's going to pay you any mind. Soon enough, you'll be the person in the corner talking to their morning cup of Joe. So smile! Let people know you're approachable and in the moment. And when they talk to you, look at them! Rocket science, huh?
    • When we're nervous, it's tempting to avoid eye contact. If this is an issue of yours, make it a point to look at you. If you don't, it can be a little offensive -- especially if they're talking! They'll not know of your issues and just assume you're not paying attention. A good rule of thumb is if they're talking about something that seems important to them, make the effort. If it's just casual, off-hand remarks, let your gaze wander.
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    Read up. To hold your own in conversations, it's imperative to use the right tone, have approachable body language and a general aura of positivity, but if you have nothing to say, you'll feel pretty useless. So read up on current hot topics! Treat yourself to some TV and some mindless Internet surfing. You'll feel better having interesting things to say.
    • Not everyone shares the same interests. Because of this, not everyone will like you. Reading up on NASA's latest findings and getting tickets the Doctor Who one-night special won't get you into the group that spent last night watching Real Housewives of Alcatraz. Stick to what interests you -- it's all that really matters.
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    Don't try too hard. We all know that person that's too nice for their own good. They're constantly complimenting others, going out of their way to accommodate everyone, and not making any decisions because they don't want to rock the boat. Don't be the doormat, trying to please everyone! You'll be better liked if you do have a backbone and a sense of self. Without a personality, there's no one under that skin of yours to like!
    • It deserves to be said once more: there is no pleasing everyone. You will get along with some people and you won't get along so well with others. This is how the world works. So when you don't jive with someone, don't stress. You'll jive with someone else.
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    Be confident because you're awesome. Seriously. If you think people don't like you, there's a large possibility it's all in your head. You have a unique personality that has value in this world. You just gotta show off your stuff to know it! So get out there! Can't win if you don't play.


  • Be adventurous. People like others who like to try new things and take part in things outside of their comfort zone. Be more daring and curious; stay interested and see where it goes..
  • Always be yourself. If people love you for someone you're not, it may seem like a good idea to keep pretending that's who you are, but it's not a good idea. Just don't be scared-show people who you are. And stick to people who love you for who you are.
  • Start small. This entire process is incredibly challenging and will take time, so don't rush into it and then get upset if things don't work out the way you planned. Make small goals for yourself, or just work very thoroughly on each step before moving on.
  • Commit yourself. Your teammates aren't going to like you too much if you never show up to games/shows and hardly ever contribute. So remember to do everything you can for your team or club.
  • Don't join too many after school activities. Things may get hectic and you might get stressed out. It's best to start one and totally commit yourself to it. Once you think you're going pretty well with that, try managing some more activities, but don't work yourself too hard.
  • Check out the related articles. They're all incredibly useful and will help you on your journey.
  • If things are getting awkward, just smile and leave the conversation by saying excuse me or goodbye.
  • Be nice, and don't care what people think. Act like yourself.


  • Do not use your friend, and do not be used. Have an equal relationship. If you feel like you constantly need to give in and chase after your friend, this is a toxic relationship. Talk it out with him/her, and if it doesn't work, still be friendly and polite, but avoid that person.
  • This article is not on how to be popular. It's just on how to be liked. So don't be angry or upset if you don't climb a step on the social ladder.

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