Want to Be Genuinely Admired and Well-Liked? Do Any One of These 9 Things

But first, a warning: It’s not about you.

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BY Marcel Schwantes - 16 Mar 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Let me first say, being well liked and admired will require your ego to be checked at the proverbial door.

To get the vibes you want from people (whether they're acquaintances, colleagues or good friends) that will further your personal or career path will really take a mindset of adding value in meaningful exchanges. In the end, being liked, respected, and looked-up to is certainly not about you.

Use these habits to attract others to you and watch your likability soar.


1. Do a five-minute favor for someone

Five-minute favors are selfless giving acts, without asking for anything in return from the people that you help. Examples of five-minute favors include: sharing knowledge, making an introduction, serving as a reference for a person, product, or service, or recommending someone on LinkedIn, Yelp, or another social place.These five-minute favors have broadened and deepened my relationships, injecting greater meaning and satisfaction into my life.


2. Share positive experiences

Studies have found that sharing the good things that happen in your life is the way to happiness. Participants that shared positive experiences with another person at least twice a week were more satisfied with life.


3. Stop getting the attention and focus it on other people

There's something magical that happens when you let other people talk about themselves, their lives and what's important to them. They respect you and when the tables turn, they'll be more curious to know about you as a result. When we shine the spotlight on someone else and let that person be seen, heard, and considered special--it becomes enjoyable to do so, and gives us a peaceful and quiet confidence that the spotlight will soon be ours.


4. React to good news with genuine enthusiasm

Researchers call it active and constructive responding (ACR). If an acquaintance or colleague shares good news (say, a promotion), there are many ways in which you could respond to this news. An ACR response might be, "That's fantastic! Your hard work paid off big time. We need to celebrate, can I buy you a drink?" An ACR response shares in people's joy and excitement, and shows interest and curiosity. By doing so, you'll develop and maintain strong personal relationships and feel more positive.


5. Soak up the wisdom of another person

Look at yourself as a small fish in the great big pond of life--seeking out connections to learn from. Who are the people of influence in your life? Invite one of them to coffee, and learn something new from this person. It will make you instantly likable, not to mention you'll be a better person because of it.


6. Express kindness through a text or email

Take two minutes each day to write a positive email or text praising or thanking someone you know. And do it for a different person each day. Positive psychology research says people who do this become known as positive leaders with strong social connections--the greatest predictor of long-term happiness.


7. Look at people in the eye, smile, and say hello

We live in such a fear-driven and insulated culture that we don't even look people in the eye when we're walking down the street, sitting in subway trains, or even when making our way through office hallways. Just for today, think of strangers as being a little more like you, and treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve: Look them softly in the eye, smile, and give a warm greeting.


8. Look at a situation by taking in the whole picture

We call it self-awareness. It's choosing to see two sides of an issue by tapping into our feelings and those of others for a different, and better, outcome. Looking at something through different lenses helps us to respond appropriately in social situations instead of reacting ugly or impulsively to people. This will send your likability meter off the scale. By redirecting negative thoughts and emphasizing positive ones, you can enjoy interpersonal relationships much better.


9. Relax and be more spontaneous

Doing both are really necessary for being a likable person in the company of others. So if you're at work and stress is taking its toll, take a break, do breathing exercises, go for a walk outside, curl up for a 15-minute power nap, or play a game. This will make a huge difference once you get back into dealing and interacting with your colleagues again, as they'll notice a shift in your demeanor and a bounce in your step. Here's the spontaneity part: Go on a date with your spouse to a new ethnic restaurant, stopping afterward to watch the sunset. At work, offer to make someone coffee (especially someone that reports to you). And next week, think about picking up a new hobby. Surprise yourself!