What does it mean to be likable?
It means possessing certain traits that make you…well…liked!
Being likable means that people are more likely to trust, open up and gravitate towards you.
It’s also the way to go if you want to make lots of deep and authentic connections – both on the personal and business side of things.
When it comes to work, being likable can help you climb up the career ladder quicker and open yourself up to more opportunities. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know?’
If so, you’ll understand how being likable has its benefits!
If you want to be likable, here are 14 phrases to add to your vocabulary!
1. ‘Thank you’
Let’s start off with a common phrase that should be a part of all our vocabularies.
Saying ‘thank you’ will instantly make you more likable. These two little words show gratitude and appreciation for someone’s words or actions.
You can use this phrase in many situations, such as when someone holds the door open for you, compliments you, or helps you out in some way.
This phrase also shows you have manners, respect and consideration for the other party.
So, the next time someone compliments your outfit, a ‘thank you’ wouldn’t go a miss!
This six-letter word should also be an essential part of your vocabulary.
Because much like ‘thank you’, saying ‘please’ is another way of showing respect and consideration.
When I was younger, my Mum used to ask where my manners were if I’d asked for something without saying please first. It’s just common courtesy.
If you ask for a favor or want something, make sure not to forget this phrase to boost likability.
3. ‘Tell me more about yourself?’
If you want to be more likable, a good way to do that is by having a genuine interest in others.
That means asking questions. Not just any questions, though.
Open-ended questions that encourage deep discussion.
One phrase that achieves that is, ‘Tell me more about yourself?’
This question allows someone to go as deep as they want with their answer. Interests, hobbies, career, personality – there’s an open door of things they can talk about here.
I’m personally drawn to people who take the initiative to get to know me with this icebreaker.
You can use this phrase in any event or occasion where you’re exposed to lots of fresh faces you hardly know.
4. ‘I like your [insert thing here]’
You might want to throw a compliment in there too. We all like compliments (at least, I do)!
Compliments can give us a boost in mood, ego and generally make us feel good.
Don’t throw a compliment out there for the sake of it, though!
Be sincere with the compliments you give. If you notice how cool someone’s outfit is or like an aspect of their personality, there’s no harm in pointing it out.
Just don’t try to flatter someone if you don’t mean it, as it may come across as fake.
Using your words as a force for good, aka giving compliments, will make people see you positively.
5. ‘How was your [insert thing here]?’
Let’s go back to the open-question thing for a minute.
As mentioned, open-ended questions help show your genuine interest in other people.
So, another type of question to ask is, ‘How was your [blank]?’
Let me fill in that blank with some examples.
– How was your day?
– How was your trip?
– How was your meeting?
– How was your weekend?
Each question here encourages further conversation and shows a genuine interest in someone else’s life.
By asking these kinds of questions, it will help you come across as open, caring and of course, likable!
6. ‘I remember you said [insert detail here]. How did it go?’
Asking open-ended questions is one thing.
Another is to remember bits of a conversation you can bring up at a later date.
If you can follow up on what someone said, it shows that you were actually listening to their conversation.
This is especially impressive when you remember minor details they’d expect you to forget!
To better remember things people say, try practicing active listening.
Listen to someone’s story fully without interrupting them and be present.
Active listening can help you catch details of the conversation and understand someone’s perspective fully.
You’ll be more likable and form deeper connections and friendships as a result.
7. ‘What do you think?’
As you can see, this is another open-ended question. But it’s something else too.
It’s a question that encourages ideas and collaboration.
It’s also a question that shows your importance of teamwork, inclusiveness and respect.
When you ask someone for their thoughts, that person will think you value their opinion.
So, it goes without saying that caring about other people’s views will boost your likability chart!
8. ‘How can I help?’
‘How can I help’ is a phrase you’ll likely hear or say a lot (if you work) in customer service.
Now, I’ve worked in many customer service roles. Let me tell you – Starting off any customer interaction with this helps contribute to a positive customer experience.
Using this phrase makes you seem open, friendly and approachable. It also shows off your willingness to help others.
Genuinely wanting to help others will make you likable, and it’s a quality of nice people, too.
But it’s not just customer service this phrase works for. It applies to everyday life as well.
Your friend might be struggling to cope, or a colleague overloaded with work. If you can see that they, or someone else can do with some help, bust out this phrase!
9. ‘I’m here for you if you need me’
Another way to show a willingness to help is by using this phrase.
It’s good to know you have support, especially during dark periods of our lives.
If you ask how you can help and that person turns your offer down, saying, ‘I’m here for you if you need me,’ lets them know they can reach out to you anytime.
It also tells them you’re a kind, compassionate, and selfless individual who cares enough to even want to help in the first place!
The above qualities of kindness, compassion and selflessness are likable traits in itself.
10. ‘You did the best you can’
‘You did the best you can’ is another phrase that shows off your kind and compassionate side.
It’s also a phrase I often tell myself when I’m overly critical of my actions.
It’s natural to be upset, disappointed or hard on ourselves when we fail or mess up. We all do it!
So, hearing these words can help the people around us (and ourselves) feel better in these moments.
This term of phrase shows you have a positive attitude and mindset. It’s those people we tend to like being around the most!
11. ‘I understand how you feel’
We also like to be around people who ‘get us’ because being around people who don’t can feel isolating.
It’s comforting when someone validates your feelings. It makes you feel heard and understood.
If you can genuinely understand someone else’s perspective, you are empathetic and in tune with the emotions of others.
This ability will help you up your ‘like meter’, build rapport and genuine connections.
12. ‘You’re doing a great job’
This phrase offers praise and recognition for the hard work someone has put in. It can also work to reassure someone who is doubting themselves.
Personally, I respond better to praise than criticism. This is because receiving praise boosts my confidence and motivates me to do even better.
In my experience, it’s easier for people to notice flaws and wrongdoings than the good work someone has put in.
So, telling someone they’re doing a great job shows that their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. That’s another likable quality!
13. ‘I believe in you’
Another reassuring phrase to add to your vocabulary is ‘I believe in you’.
If you believe in someone, you can see their capabilities and potential, even if they can’t.
This in itself can help boost someone’s self-confidence and reinforce positivity, therefore making you more likable.
It also shows them that you support their pursuits, whatever they may be.
This is a go-to phrase if, for example, someone is nervous about pursuing a new goal, job interview or presentation.
14. ‘I’m sorry’
The last phrase that will instantly make you more likable is ‘I’m sorry’.
We’re bound to mess up in some way or another. When that happens, we may not be so likable.
But what helps to cancel that out is taking accountability for our mistakes.
If you do something wrong or hurt someone’s feelings, these words can help mend wounds.
Perfect examples of when to put this phrase into action are if you: bump into someone by accident, spill someone’s drink or betray someone’s trust.
It takes a big person to admit the error of their ways!
Being instantly more likable means using phrases that make others feel good, respected and valued.
Good phrases also show a genuine interest, compassion and empathy for others.
Remember these phrases when building connections to make you more likable, and watch those opportunities grow!
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