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Publisher / Editor:
Paul Hayden

The Magnetic Gift of Likability

June 10, 2019

Have you noticed that some people are just naturally likable? They find it easy. Other people may not have the natural intangible attribute of likability. However, anyone, with a little awareness of likability, can be just as likable as those who find it easy. Here’s a story of likability in action.  

“I ran short of money while visiting my brother and borrowed fifty dollars from him. After I returned home, I wrote my brother a short letter every few weeks, enclosing a five-dollar check in each one of the letters. He called me up and told me how much he enjoyed the letters, regardless of the money. I had never written my brother regularly before. Eventually I sent off the last letter and the five-dollar check in it. In my mailbox the next week I found an envelope from my brother. Inside was another fifty dollars.” Sometimes likability is as simple as this story.

I realize not everyone wants to be likable. But I think that most people would rather be likable than not. This article is for those of us who want to grow in our likability. I want to make us aware of the amazing power of likability.

When I say likability, I’m not talking about people using likability for their own selfish ends. That idea repels most people. I’m talking about likability with honor. Likability is where people admire and respect you for just being you. Likability is others centered, not self-centered. Likability is awareness in action.

Let’s explore some suggestions about likability from life coach Jonathan Wells. There’s nothing new in these suggestions. We all understand likability. The key is in being intentional in applying these suggestions in everyday life.

The first suggestion is to intentionally say please and thank you. The Bible says love is not rude. People turn off when others turn on their rudeness. When you want something, say "Please." When someone does something nice for you, say "Thank you." When we say please or thank you, we are recognizing there is someone else on the earth besides us who matters. We need a lot more of that these days.  

Second, follow the golden rule. Jesus said it. “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.” There would be no murder, no gossip, no backbiting, and no stealing if everyone applied this. Then people could spend time going forward rather than unpacking emotional baggage from past bad treatment

Third, work with others. Help and serve someone, with no agenda. For example, make it easier for others at the grocery store by getting your cart out of the aisle. Work with others, not against them. Value people and they will value you. Make a deposit and get a return.

My fourth suggestion is to smile and smile often. Smiling tends to elevate your own mood. It also lifts the spirits of those who receive your smile. If you don’t believe me, try this little experiment. For an entire day, before you say a word to anyone, smile first. Notice their reaction. Most will smile back. That’s likability.

My fifth suggestion is a hard one. Say “I’m sorry.” If you wrong someone, or if you make a mistake, or if you hurt another person (intentionally or unintentionally), apologize for it. Don’t justify or play the blame game. We can’t fix a personal problem if we are always fixing the blame on others.

Number six is one of the best ways to be viewed as more likable: Be a good listener. It’s not easy. Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone. Listening tells others that you are genuinely interested in them as a person. Who wouldn’t like that?

Seventh, consider the power of a sincere compliment. Have you ever received an unexpected compliment? It was nice, wasn’t it? In a world that tends to be overly critical, a sincere compliment can be very encouraging. Your mood should not dictate your manners. That’s likability in action.

Number eight is fun for everyone: Laugh! Laughing is an instant vacation. Everyone likes to laugh. Laughing releases endorphins. They make you feel happy and relaxed. Laughing is contagious. When you laugh, others may laugh with you. When you contribute to the happiness of others, most people can’t help liking you. 

There you go! The world is filled with nice people. If you can't find one...be one. Make your day better by making another’s day better - by the power of likability.

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com