Navigating social situations can be quite tricky. Everybody wants to make a good impression and some come across as likable but at times, there are certain traits that make people dislike us. You will be mistaken to think that the most likable are those that are extremely talented, unbelievably good-looking or socially fierce.

Being likable is entirely under your control, and it’s majorly influenced by EQ (emotional intelligence). According to a study carried out at UCLA, individuals rated over 500 people’s descriptions basing on how likable they perceived them. The top rated descriptors fell under transparency, sincerity, and understanding, and had little to do with intelligence, physical attractiveness or gregariousness.

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Clearly, the winning adjectives in attractiveness describe individuals who are socially skilled in emotional intelligence. Another research carried out by TalentSmart covering more than a million people indicated that those with such characteristics outperformed those without by a big margin.

It is so unbelievable how likeability gets so powerful that it can easily outdo your performance. For instance, according to research done at the University of Massachusetts, managers were open to accepting an auditor’s results as long as he was likable. Also, it was unraveled by Jack Zenger that only 1 out of 2,000 leaders that were unlikable are considered efficient/effective.

In as much as whatever other people think about you isn’t a measure of your self-worth, we shouldn’t go act rude or uncaring. The truth of the matter is, we want to be in between whereby we do not come out so lenient,  nor as rude. We all want to connect with people or even present the most relatable or positive version of ourselves, but one thing or another can hold us back. Below are some of the things that would probably make you less likable.

1. Humblebrag

There was a study carried out at Harvard University which concluded that the humblebrag (somebody who is trying to brag in a subtle way to avoid coming off as straight-forward bragging) is just as annoying as the bragging. To make it worse, humble bragging comes off as insincere since anybody can see through you with your bragging attempts.

2. Not Asking Questions

According to the author of Emotional Intelligence, Travis Bradberry in a piece for Forbes said that research shows individuals who ask questions, particularly about the individual they’re conversing with will instantly come across as likable. Most people are so self-absorbed that whenever they are conversing, they seem to talk more about themselves or even focus on the next statement to make without even paying attention to what the other person is saying. When you are that kind of a person in any conversation, then you will come across as inconsiderate and annoying. You earn more appreciation and respect by asking clarification questions and just trying to show that you care about what the other person is saying.

3. Oversharing

Studies indicate that when you share too much too early, others are put off. The rule of thumb has always been, before you disclose details so personal, you need to have at least shared experiences or spent enough time with the other person. You need to nurture the trust and understanding before you drop the bombshell of how you boyfriend cheated on you. This will prevent awkward situations. Also, if you want to be likable, you will let the other person guide the conversation to avoid coming out as insensitive or self-absorbed.

4. Sharing Too Much on Social Media

Studies done by Pew Research Centre show that people who share so many photos on social media are less relatable. People who tend to share so much on social media platforms crave acceptance although that might at times work against them. Social media is such a great place for self-expression. However, we should employ self-control and do it thoughtfully. Do not over-saturate your followers by each and every nitty gritty going on in your life.

5. Complaining a Lot

We all know that sometimes you just feel like getting out all the bad vibes that we feel inside through venting. This is not bad as long as you are not complaining way too much about other people. According to Guy Winch, a psychologist, the constant negative vibes presented by chronic complainers poses such a huge challenge, especially to the people around them since they feel happier if their life is more miserable than their friends. Life will always throw curve balls at us, but that doesn’t mean that we complain at every instance and cultivate negativity in our souls.


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6. Having a Closed Mind

People have strong opinions about different issues but how accommodating to different views are you? When you are open-minded, you become more interesting and approachable to others. The reality is, no one feels comfortable striking up a conversation with individuals who harbor a formed opinion and are not willing to listen to new ideas or concepts. At the workplace, being open minded is quite crucial since people will always come up with new ideas that you must be willing to embrace. Just stop for a minute and view life through the other person’s eyes and maybe then, you will not judge so much.

7. Coming Across as Too Serious

It’s never that serious so why should you always look serious? It’s one thing to be passionate but another to be uninterested. To be a likable person, you need to find the balance between being passionate about work and still finding time to have some fun. This means that in as much as the workplace is such a serious place, you still get to be friendly with your colleagues. This will increase your effectiveness since you will not only get things done within a short time but also capitalize on valuable and rare social moments. It’s all about having interactions with your coworkers that are meaningful, showing concern and being sensitive.

8. Emotional Hijacking

Emotional hijacking indicates very low EI ( emotional intelligence). There are people who are exhibit instability, and they’ll go out of there screaming, throwing things around, making others cry and so many other things that would make others second-guess them. You wouldn’t know whether to trust them because you get so wary of their capability of holding it together in the tensest of situations. We all agree that at times, somebody might get on your nerves but exploding on them shouldn’t even be an option since you’ll easily be labeled intimidating, unapproachable, and unstable. It’s imperative that we exercise the control of our emotions and avoid snapping even all the odds are pointing at it.

9. Gossiping and Name-Dropping

Gossiping should just be a no-go-zone since it makes you look very terrible. It just doesn’t help when you are always into other people’s businesses and celebrating their misfortunes. It makes you come across as spiteful and negative. There is no problem that you know interesting or important people but let it just stay at that. It’s quite silly and pretentious if you use any opportunity you get to name-drop. People can see right through you and how badly you seek validation from them liking you.

Conversations are no longer interesting when you connect who you know to everything that you say, rather than what you think or what you know. You do not need to desperately look for attention or come out as insecure to be likeable, instead the opposite happens since you cheaply present yourself. To increase your attractiveness, simply be considerate and friendly.

10. Multitasking on the Phone

I know, in one way or another you’ve experienced this, and you will definitely agree with me that it’s one of the most annoying things in this digital world. People have placed much more value on their phones that having an hour conversation without checking phones is proving to be hard. But hey, you wouldn’t want to give such a bad impression just because of your phone or would you? Simply commit an hour or two to a conversation, and you will find out you are living in the moment. It’s even more enjoyable than you thought.

Being likable is not rocket science and neither is it based on superficial features. It’s about taking a minute to analyze the things that you like about others and finding ways to replicate and exhibit the same qualities. If you don’t like complainers, please don’t be one either, let the things you do represent you in the best way possible. Remember being yourself isn’t enough, be your best self.

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