Your efforts spent improving your appearance, reputation, accomplishments, and social skills don’t automatically result in likability. Likability will always come down to how you make someone feel when they’re with you. People want to feel as if they matter.
How someone feels around you is connected to their desires. Be cognizant of the two primary levels of human desire:
1. Shallow desires
2. Deep desires
On a shallow level, people want to relax, learn, play, laugh, be entertained, and generally enjoy themselves without stress. The deep level is the heavier stuff—the average person wants to feel loved, respected, valued, and listened to. They want to feel like their opinions and feelings matter.
The most likable people are dynamic. They offer value across both levels—shallow and deep. They offer excitement, energy, and positive attitudes. They look toward the future, they inspire, they uplift others around them, they offer entertainment value, they seek to help others, and they are interested in what others are saying and doing. They’re genuine, trustworthy and respectful.
The great Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, said:
You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is just another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one.
Another perfect quote for this post is by Maya Angelou:
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Try to stop worrying so much about your every word and your every action. Your words will be forgotten. (Can you remember the words from a conversation last month or last year?). Focus outward toward the other person and how they're feeling. Be curious about them. Bring more positive energy to every interaction.