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Accessing the Asset of Likeability

June 27, 2022

Have you noticed that some people are naturally likable? They find it easy. Other people may not possess the intangible of likability, but with a bit of work can be just as likable as those who find it easy. Consider the story below.    

“I ran short of money while visiting my brother and borrowed $50 from him. After returning home, I wrote him a short letter every few weeks, enclosing a $5 check in each one. He called me and told me how much he enjoyed the letters, regardless of the money; I had never written regularly before. Eventually, I sent off a letter and the last five-dollar check. In my mailbox the next week, I found an envelope from my brother. Inside the envelope was another $50.” Likability can be as simple as that.  

I understand not everyone likes to be likable, which isn't very likable. But this article is for those who want to grow in likability. Let's increase your probability of our likeability. Our whole world could use a dose of likeability right now. Likeability is contagious. Be a carrier and a courier.   

When I say likability, I’m not talking about an ego-driven, dominant person wanting to control others, or some needy, self-absorbed person searching for significance by manipulation. That type of behavior repels people unless they wish to use these types of people for their agendas. Instead, I'm talking about likability with honor. That is where people like and respect you for just being you. Likability is centered on others, not ourselves.

Here are some excerpts of suggestions about likability from life coach Jonathan Wells. There’s nothing new about these suggestions. It’s applying the suggestions that unleash likeability. Watch your life transform once these suggestions turn into habits. Habits are the only servants that will work for you for nothing.

The first suggestion that unleashes likeability is learning to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ The Bible says love is not rude. People turn off rude people. So when you want something, say ‘please.’ When someone does something nice for you, say ‘thank you.’ You can’t turn people on if they want to turn you off. Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in one single day.  

Second, follow the golden rule. Jesus said it. Treat others the way you want to be treated. There would be no murder, no gossip, no backbiting, or stealing if everyone applied this. Then people can spend time going forward rather than unpacking emotional baggage from being treated wrongly. Peter DeVries says, “We are not primarily put on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through.” 

Third, work and cooperate with others toward a common goal or the common good. 'Help someone…just because.' That means no agenda. Make it easier for others at the grocery store by getting your cart out of the aisle. Work with them, not against them. So many people in today's world are like two peeves in a pod. William Ward says, “Raised voices lower esteem. Hot tempers cool friendships. Loose tongues stretch truth. Swelled heads shrink influence. Sharp words dull respect.”  

The fourth suggestion is to smile often. Smiling elevates your mood and lifts the spirits of those people who see you smile. If you don't believe me, try this little experiment. Before you say a word to anyone for an entire day, smile first; notice their reaction. Most will smile back. Another smile starts most smiles. Smiling increases your face value. It's like a free facelift. 

The fifth suggestion is saying, "I'm sorry." If you wrong someone, make a mistake, or hurt another person (intentionally or unintentionally), apologize for it. Don’t justify or play the blame game. Don’t allow your shame to cause you to blame. Please cancel the subscription of your issues to others. It's better for you and them. Accept the blame but not the shame. 

The sixth suggestion to be more likable is to be a good listener. It’s not always easy, but listening tells others that you are genuinely interested in them as a person, and who doesn’t like that? Skillfully listening is the best remedy for loneliness, loquaciousness (too talkative), and laryngitis.

Have you ever received an unexpected compliment? Complimenting others is the seventh suggestion for likeability. A sincere compliment can be very encouraging in a world that tends to be overly critical. Arthur Fettig said, “It takes courage to speak a sincere compliment. It is easy to complain and criticize because you are upset and your anger motivates you, but stand up and call a good job a good job. You can possibly make another person as happy as you are by complimenting another."  

And my final suggestion for likeability is to laugh. Laughing releases endorphins that make you feel happy and relaxed. When you laugh, you will also be encouraging laughter from others. When you contribute to the happiness of others, they can’t help but like you. W. Grant Lee says, “Shared laughter creates a bond of friendship. When people laugh together, they cease to be young and old, master and pupils, worker and employer. Instead, they become a single group of human beings, enjoying their existence.  

There you go. Likeability is a positive, God-given life skill that unleashes and uplifts other people’s day and your day. Likeability is yours; take it.  

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