One of the great things about life is that there are an infinite number of ways to live it.
What one person chooses to do can be entirely fine and fruitful. Another person can do things totally different and also experience a wonderful life.
This seems to frustrate some while others seem to accept it and appreciate the lessons available from all the different humans on the planet.
Being likable is not a prerequisite to living a quality life. But many people view being likable, at least to some people, as being advantageous. Humans are generally social creatures. Finding the right balance of being authentic to yourself and being likable to others is a great way to live life.
And today our lives are lived online. Perhaps not as much as they are still lived face-to-face, but much of our interaction occurs online. So it can be critical to learn how to be likable online.
If you’re interested in this aspect of modern life, here are a few tips…
1. Understand Yourself
The key to being authentic is to consider what matters most to you. It’s about understanding the top priorities in your life and letting go of other things. That’s one of the most difficult things for humans to do. We seem to have a drive to accumulate. Maybe it’s because our ancestors needed this mindset to survive. They didn’t have much so accumulating was necessary to live.
But today we have access to just about anything we want. But that can become an issue. The more we add the less energy we have to the most important things.
I’m from Wisconsin and Vince Lombardi still looms large in the state. One of his famous quotes was that each person that worked for the Green Bay Packers should live by the creed: God, Family and The Green Bay Packers.
It’s not that couldn’t care about other things. It’s just that if you did you’d be taking away from the other three and that can lead to less than greatness in what really mattered.
A key part of being likable is understanding yourself. It’s about identifying your best traits and then accentuating them.
2. Assume The Best
One of the most difficult things in life is assuming the best in others. It seems natural for many. It seems unnatural to others. Especially as we grow older and experience a few bad apples. Getting burned a few times can really have a profound effect. It can lead us to assume the worst in people. Even if we’re meeting them or interacting with them for the first time.
A key to being likable online is to assume the best in others. Switching your mind to think this way can lead to a lot of good interactions.
3. Listen & Ask Questions
In real life and online one of the biggest keys to being likable with others to listen and ask questions. It seems common today to listen to what a person says and then turn the conversation instantly to yourself. You hear a story and then try to relate your own story on a similar topic.
But that throws the entire dynamic off. It’s not that you necessarily become unlikable, but the person you’re conversing with likely won’t be drawn to you as much as they could have been.
Asking questions shows that you’re interested. It shows that you care. What is more likable than actually caring about other people?
4. Withhold Unsolicited Advice
We all know these people. They offer their advice about our lives. Sometimes they do it without us even speaking to them first. There are just some folks out there that feel it’s their duty to tell others how to live. But remember, there are an infinite number of ways to live a quality life. Just because someone isn’t doing it the same as us doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong.
I’m always working on this rule, but I’ve seen that cutting back on unsolicited advice can really make a person more likable.
5. Withhold Complaints
Complaining really wears others down. There are a few reasons that people complain. And after awhile it becomes part of who they are. But it really turns others off to them. They often become isolated and that seems to lead to even more attention seeking with their complaining.
Complaining seems to trick our minds into thinking that we’re accomplishing things. It’s an easy way out. It’s a way to avoid creating something. Alex Spanos didn’t complain about his humble beginnings. He created a real estate empire. This, among many other qualities, made him a very likable person.
6. Achieve For Yourself
It feels good when others say that we did a good job. The online world seems to encourage this type of feedback. We post something online and every like feeds our ego. But that is dangerous territory.
The best way to go through life, it seems, is to do things for yourself. To achieve something because it’s important to you. I remember a story about Frank Sinatra. His career had reached incredible heights. Then he fell out of favor for a few years. It was a real downtime.
Then in 1954 he won an Oscar for his performance in From Here To Eternity. After the show he went for a walk by himself. He didn’t bask in the glory with others. He knew he was back on top of the world, but he seemed to understand that what he had achieved, a great comeback, was for himself. He didn’t need the immediate recognition of others.
7. Aim To Learn
A learning mindset kind of wraps up all the previous points about being likable. When you go into each day thinking that you can learn something, you open yourself up to what other people are doing. It doesn’t mean that you have to use all the of the information you learn or believe that it’s right for you. It simply means that you’re open to all information with the understanding that some of it will be really helpful.
I love golf and one of my favorite golf stories is about Butch Harmon. He’s arguably the most successful golf coach of all time. From afar it would be easy to think that he knows it all. But while in his 70s, he was coaching Rickie Fowler. And he saw Rickie hitting neat little chip shots. So he walked over and asked Rickie for a lesson on how to hit the shot. A 70-something year old successful coach asking a 20-something year old for tips.
That’s one way to be likable in the world.
Being likable is not a requirement to living a quality life. It’s not a requirement to how you spend your time online. But it seems that when you find a balance between being likable and being authentic that you can find something really good. So if that’s a goal for you I hope these tips can help you work towards it.