Everyone wants to be likeable whether you are with strangers, friends, colleagues, customers, managers, employer and love ones.

Your likeability determines your success in both your professional and personal lives. It's been proved time and time again that it forms the basis of enduring and better-quality relationships in all spheres. That includes a better love life, better friendships, better jobs and promotions, and better service from people you are forced to deal with, such as doctors, tradespeople and waiters - just about everyone.

When you make other people feel good and they get a positive experience when they're with you, they tend to like you and so their psychological experience is a good one.

Here are a few simple things to remember to make yourself easy to like.

Dress well

First impressions are formed instantly, and physical appearance plays a big part. In the medium to long-term, people base their liking of a person on other traits and will discount their physical ideal if the body language appeals. So pay attention to how you look - who can fail to like someone they find very attractive?


When you smile, other people feel good. It doesn't have to be full-wattage all the time. Just sincere. Even when things are not going too well and you force a smile, the empathetic person picks this up and is able to delve into reasons for your mixed feelings.

Expression in the eyes

This comes high in the likeability ratings. Eye contact shows you're interested in someone, both in general situations and in romantic ones. The expression in your eyes conveys a lot and people can detect levels of warmth, sympathy and concern.

Are you a good listener?

How you respond to other people is sometimes more important than all the traits listed above. When women talk to other women they tend to be more animated: they nod at appropriate times and may make facial expressions to convey empathy. Men tend to have a problem with focus, so the theme of a conversation gets lost and the responses are off-key. In addition, men don't tend to give so many visual clues to show that they are listening. If you are a man, try responding with your body to what's being said - it will help you focus. If you come across as a person who listens, other people want to gravitate towards you.

  • Adapted from 'Body Language' by James Borg (Pearson Books)