If you want to be exceptionally likeable, avoid these 14 behaviors

by Isabel Cabrera | January 2, 2024, 4:11 pm

So, you want to become more likable but aren’t sure what to do. 

People often think that to be likable, you’ll need to have good looks, intelligence, and eloquence.

But in reality, it’s less about those attributes and more about how genuine, compassionate, and kind you are. 

It’s also about avoiding behaviors that will make you unlikeable. 

Without further ado, here are some behaviors to avoid if you want to be exceptionally likable.

1) Constantly interrupting people

This is incredibly off-putting behavior.

If you repeatedly cut people off during conversations just so you can put your point across, you’ll realize that not many people will want to talk to you.

It just shows that you’re disinterested in whatever they have to say. You’re not willing to give them the time of day.

Why even bother having a conversation if you just want to listen to yourself speak?

Yes, you may have interesting points to share. But conversations flow both ways.

Listen to them speak, and then say whatever you have on your mind.

2) Boasting about your achievements 

No one likes a show-off.

You may be the best at what you do – be it sports, academia, or cooking, and people may also be interested in listening to your achievements. 

But don’t make everything about yourself. 

It just makes you appear self-centered and arrogant.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share anything about yourself! 

Find an appropriate time to share but do also express interest in the achievements of others. 

3) Pretending you know everything 

I really dislike ‘know-it-all’s. Especially those who… don’t know anything at all.

They don’t seem smarter or more intelligent. They just appear foolish. 

This gets particularly irritating when they assume they know what you’re thinking, or how you’re feeling about a certain situation.

And they get it completely wrong.

Not only does it make them look dumb, it comes off as really insensitive as well.

If you want to be more likable, the key thing is to be genuine.

If you don’t know the answer, just admit it. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, then maybe just don’t say anything. 

4) Refusing to apologise 

Not taking responsibility for your actions when you’ve hurt someone or made a mistake is a sure way to make others dislike you.

I used to have a friend who behaved like this.

Whenever he made a mistake and someone confronted him about it, he’d either deny it or shift the blame.

If his actions ended up hurting someone, he’d either avoid that person or brush it aside.

It’s no wonder that people started avoiding him altogether. 

Owning up to your mistakes is uncomfortable. But it also shows maturity and humility in taking responsibility for your actions. 

5) Being judgmental 

Some of the best people to hang out with are those who don’t judge you for who you are. 

You can be yourself completely around them without them questioning your decisions. 

You don’t have to pretend to be someone else so that you’d feel accepted.

It’s unavoidable for people to have their own set of beliefs and values, but it’s up to you to make a conscious choice to set these aside when talking to people who are different from you. 

If you do this long enough, you’ll find that people will find you more likable

6) Ignoring boundaries

Ignoring someone’s boundaries is a clear sign of disrespect. Who wants to be with someone who does this repeatedly?

Disregarding a person’s decision or preference can cause them to feel uncomfortable. 

This reminds me of someone I used to work with who loved prying into people’s lives. 

She’d ask personal questions and wouldn’t stop digging for information even though the other party was uncomfortable. 

Even after telling her that they’d rather not share that experience, she’d continue to try her luck and ask even more questions. 

She was insufferable and no one liked her. Don’t let this be you!

7) Constantly complaining

The world is already so full of negativity, that it’s best not to add on to it.

If you’re someone who’s constantly complaining about everything under the sun, you may want to reconsider your topics of conversation.

Perhaps there may have been people who didn’t mind putting up with you at the start, but if you keep this up, no one will want to hang out with you. 

It’s exhausting and zaps the energy out of the room. 

In contrast, people who chat about happier things and are generally cheerful, are usually considered to be more likable

Hanging out with them is so refreshing and their cheerfulness is contagious!

8) Trying to prove you’re better than everyone 

It’s not wrong to be competitive, but this shouldn’t supersede friendships.

If you’re constantly comparing yourself with others in your friend group and always trying to one-up everyone else, people may find you tiring to be around.

You may even put the other person down in your attempt to prove that you’re better than them. 

And for what? You’re just giving others more reason to dislike you. It also reeks of insecurity and that’s not a good look.

Instead, try to celebrate people’s achievements. You don’t have to be the best all the time.

9) Lying 

Just don’t.

This is the fastest way to erode the trust between you and the other party. And trust is not easily repaired once it’s broken.

As much as possible, be honest and upfront about everything. 

This may be difficult to do all the time, but the consequences of getting found out will be a lot worse.

Not only will there be a breach of trust, the hurt and betrayal inflicted on the other person can cause the relationship to break down.

10) Being defensive all the time

Confident people are very likable

You can poke fun at them and they’ll laugh along with you, or even shoot back with some playful banter. 

If someone points out mistakes or if they know they need to apologize for something, they’ll do it.

Then, there are those who are defensive all the time

Crack a harmless joke about them and they’ll start to pick a fight. 

Point out something that they did wrong and they’ll spend hours trying to convince you that they’re not at fault, or even, try to put the blame on you.

How does anyone enjoy spending time with a person like that?

11) Gossiping

Would you like to spend time with someone who spreads rumors and talks about others behind their back? For all you know, they may even be doing this to you.

Most people enjoy this though. Some meet up just to talk about other people. They’re bonded through this. When you take this subject away, suddenly they have nothing much to say to the other person.

But gossiping can lead to the spreading of misinformation, which could potentially harm a person’s reputation.

Personally, I believe that if you don’t have anything good to say about someone or something, just don’t say it.

12) Never having an opinion

What’s worse than someone who makes bad decisions? The one that doesn’t make any at all.

Perhaps they don’t wish to step on anyone’s toes or they are perfectly fine with whatever decision that’s being made. 

But not having an opinion on anything may backfire instead. Rather than give the appearance of an easy-going person, it may infuriate others and make them perceive you as someone who’s not assertive at all. 

Or worse, someone who doesn’t dare to make a decision.

13) Taking things too seriously

People who can laugh at themselves or when things don’t go their way are really enjoyable to be with.

While they do acknowledge that things could be better, they’d rather move on to the next chapter than dwell on what happened. Getting a good laugh over it and of course, learning what went wrong helps them move forward.

Life’s too short to be so caught up with every little hiccup or challenge that comes our way.

So, don’t take things too seriously and lighten up! 

14) Being rude

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised just how many people are just plain rude

They barely have any self-awareness and show little to no respect for the people around them. They’re overly sarcastic, enjoy making people feel uncomfortable, and are downright offensive. 

What’s worse is that they don’t feel the need to change. They’re perfectly fine with the way they’re behaving.

As a result, people try their best to avoid them. And to no surprise.

Final thoughts

While there are certainly a lot more behaviors to avoid, you can use this list as a start.

Remember, being a likable person means being someone that people can trust, and are generally fun to be around with.

It’s good to reflect and see where you stand.

Ask yourself if you’d hang out with a person like you. If the answer is yes, then keep it up! If the answer is no, there’s no better time than now to work on yourself.

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