The 9 Habits of Insanely Likable and Charismatic People

smiley-1041796_19201. They have positive and Negative empathy.

People who possess positive empathy don’t get jealous, they get excited. They are thrilled when:

+ Someone else decides to quit their job and travel in South America for 6 months.

+ Someone else gets their dream promotion (or hired at their dream company).

+ Someone else gets their business acquired for $100 million.

Negative empathy is the ability to comfort others when they’re down. People who possess this trait will:  

 Help someone when their family member gets diagnosed with cancer.

 Support someone when they get fired from their dream company.

 Comfort someone when they break up with their significant other of six years.

Positive and negative empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and genuinely feel what they are feeling — either good or bad.

We are physiologically and psychologically hardwired to help people (i.e. feel empathetic). The trick is feeling it for both positive and negative events.

2. They are humble.

This quote sums it up perfectly:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

– C.S. Lewis   

People who are genuinely enjoyable to be around are humble, not arrogant. They don’t wave awards in people’s faces. They don’t name drop for the sake of sounding important. They don’t toot their own horns. They don’t have an aura of I-am-the-coolest-person-in-the-world.

Of course, it’s healthy to be confident and sustain a high self-esteem. But there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance.  And the difference is humility

3. They are vulnerable.

Vulnerability is uncertainty. It’s putting yourself out there to risk embarrassment or judgment. That definition can become foggy, so here are a few examples: 

Vulnerability is approaching a stranger in a coffee shop, asking them on a date.

Vulnerability is giving a presentation to 195 people, even when you’re scared shitless of public speaking.

Vulnerability is stating your conflicting opinion, when nine out of ten people in a room all believe the same thing. 

Incredibly likable people aren’t afraid to open up. They aren’t begging for approval from others, so they have no desire to come off as a perfectionist. Furthermore, they realize that those who do appear as perfect may actually be less likable.

When someone appears perfect, we distance ourselves from them. When they appear flawed, we’re attracted to them. This psychological phenomena is known as The Pratfall Effect:

Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength?

– Sigmund Freud    

4. They have a sense of humor. 

In a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, people who were exposed to humorous ads for low-cognition products were vastly more likely to purchase the product. 

But here’s the crazy part — people HATE ads. So if ads alone can make someone smile … surely so can another human. 

Think about it. When was the last time someone you just met cracked a joke and you thought, wow I hate guy/girl. Probably never. 

It seems obvious, but people who are enjoyable to be around genuinely have a great sense of humor.

5. They are present.

When our phones vibrate, we are curious. Who texted us? So we check to find out. As a result, we’re distracted from the face-to-face-conversation. This makes it seemingly impossible to have a productive face-to-face conversation.

Similarly, it’s difficult talking to someone who is completely tuned out of a conversation. A wandering mind is far more difficult to fix than clicking a button on your phone. But just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

If you’re struggling with being present during conversations, remove the distractions and make eye contact.

6. They are genuinely interested in EVERYONE.

Dogs make us feel this way!  Why are they so lovable?

Perhaps because they are genuinely excited to greet EVERYONE. They don’t pick and choose who they are excited to meet for the first time, or see for the second time.

Remember how likable people are humble? Well, they’re also not pretentious.

That means they don’t hold a chip on their shoulder when dealing with someone who is “under” them. They are genuinely interested in what EVERYONE has to say. They want to hear their story.

Charisma is not so much getting people to like you as getting people to like themselves when you’re around.

– Robert Brault   

7. They avoid social narcissism. 

Guess what the favorite topic of conversation is for a social narcissist? Themselves.

They want to talk about their stories. Their problems. Their successes. Their complaints. Their family. Their friends.

45 minutes later, it’s time to split ways and they haven’t once asked about the other person’s past, present, or future.

Instead of rambling about how amazing (or terrible) their lives are, likable people ask questions. They dive deep into the minds of the person they’re talking to.

Not surface-level, small talk questions such as where are you from? Or what do you do? Or how about that weather today?

But they dive deep, asking open ended questions, uncovering the emotions and motivations of people. They ask questions that will make the other person feel good — or ask themselves questions. They ask open-ended questions. They ask why. They show genuine interest.

8. They are generous and altruistic.

There are three types of people:

  1. The Taker
  2. The Matcher
  3. The Giver

The Taker is an egoist. They tend to get more than they give. They believe the world is a competitive, dog-eat-dog world. As a result, they put their needs before everyone else. This strategy works for short-term gain … but it’s nearly impossible to sustain.

The Matcher is someone who seeks balance between giving and taking. They seek fairness and equality. If they put too much into a relationship, without getting anything in return, they’ll eventually give up. They believe in even exchanges and trading favors.

The Giver is altruistic. It’s a rare breed of human who doesn’t look for anything in return. Whereas Takers are focused on receiving all of time and Matchers are focused on receiving at least some of the time … Givers don’t even think about it.

It’s incredible how far you’ll go by being generous and altruistic, putting everyone else’s needs before your own. 

You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

– Zig Ziglar

9. They reciprocate praise (and take blame). 

When a likable person is praised for their work, they typically have a response like this: 

Thank you so much! However, I’d like to emphasize that this was a team effort. I played only one small role in hitting this goal. Jen, Sam, Mike, and Kelsey … you were all crucial to making this happen. And we wouldn’t have done it without you.

In other words, they give credit where credit is due. When they’re recognized for a success, they shift the praise toward everyone else. They give praise and empower people without expecting anything in return.

Conversely, when things go really bad, they aren’t afraid to take the blame.

A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.

– John Maxwell