Imagine being able to instantly connect with people, and feel at ease among strangers, and stay assured in any social situation.
Human beings are social creatures, which means social skills are a necessary part of a fulfilling and meaningful life.
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Some people are naturals, but most of us deal with some degree of social anxiety. The good news is that social skills are like any other skill--most people aren't born with them, and it's never too late to learn.
Learn the seven secrets for becoming the most likable person.
1. Being smart is good; being social is better.
People like smart people. But smart people are especially susceptible to certain social mistakes, like interrupting, discounting other people's input, or cultivating a know-it-all air. Don't let your intelligence hold you back socially; be a likable person and spend more time being engaging.
2. Have fun! Seriously.
Being fun is a trait people generally appreciate in others. But situational awareness is the key to knowing how to play it. Be sensitive to what's going on around you; there will be times your playful side can have free rein, but at others it will be necessary to hold back. The trick will be in knowing when to have fun and when to be serious.
3. Draw people out.
Be curious about other people, and make a point of finding out what is fascinating and unique about them. Don't hog the conversation but truly listen. Make it your mission to discover what makes those around you interesting. And, because people love talking about themselves, you'll gain a reputation as a great conversationalist and extremely personable.
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4. Keep communication collaborative.
Don't make your conversations a monologue but a dialogue; make it a partnership in which both parties contribute. Find a topic--ideally not too controversial or divisive--about which everyone has something to say, then listen as the ideas begin to weave around one another.
5. An attitude of positivity and praise goes a long way.
Don't be afraid to be positive and encouraging. If someone looks nice, or is well dressed, or played the piano incredibly well, tell him. If you think someone is funny or interesting, let her know. People are drawn to positivity.
6. Pay attention to nonverbal communication.
Pay attention not just to the words you're saying but also your pace, your tone of voice, and your body language: posture, gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions all send messages. If you are avoiding eye contact, standing far away, or crossing your arms, you are likely telling others that you don't want to interact. If you adopt a confident stance, smile, make eye contact, stand upright, and uncross your arms, you are more likely to make a good impression.
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7. Present the best parts of who you are.
The person who is most liked is one whose actions match his or her words, who presents an authentic self in every situation. We are judged by four things: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it. Our social skills and deeper relationships are happiest when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.
The secret to being more likable is to make your social skills a priority in your life. Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can.