We all have that one person in our lives who is simply wonderful to be around. They’re full of charisma and jokes and great advice. But what really stands out are all the qualities that make them easy to be around. These lovely people have a certain “it” factor that makes all their friends and family feel comfy, understood, and appreciated.
They have all sorts of gleaming, positive qualities. But they also tend to lack the negative traits that so often send others running for the proverbial hills. You know the ones I’m talking about — a tendency to complain, negativity, selfishness, insincerity. The list really goes on and on.
While it’s no one’s job to make others feel good, there are certainly a million reasons why you might want to give this whole “easy-to-be-around” thing a try. “People who are positive and desirable to be around often do better at work, move forward [in life], and are supportive and happy of others who do so as well,” psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. “It is essential to know which traits people are drawn to, and which turn them off. That way you can make sure that you are aware of your thoughts, behaviors, and actions.” Read on for some daily habits that’ll help put others at ease, while making you one of the most charming people in the room.
1. Stay As Positive As Possible
While it’s OK to vent occasionally, it’s much easier to be around people who keep complaining to a minimum. “These people project an attitude of positivity,” Martinez says. “And they tend to think of things in terms of solutions instead of problems.” Keeping a positive attitude may be easier said than done, but there’s no denying it’s way more likable.
2. Truly Listen When Someone Is Talking
Likable people make a habit of truly listening when someone else is talking. “They are interested and concerned about others,” Martinez says. “They don’t sit and talk about themselves incessantly, but instead ask how others are and genuinely listen and care. It makes others feel connected and care for.” And that’s always a good thing.
3. Take A Genuine Interest In Others
In the same vein, it’s so important to actually show interest in what your friends and fam have to say. “People love talking about themselves and their interests,” says relationship expert David Bennett, in an email to Bustle. “Instead of focusing on sharing your interests all the time, ask others about their interests.” I promise it’ll be greatly appreciated.
4. Be Everyone’s Cheerleader
Everyone wishes they had a friend to cheer them on when things get tough. If you aren’t already that person, go ahead and assume the role. “Maintain a cheerful and optimistic point-of-view with friends and serve as their cheerleader,” says life coach Nina Rubin. “Friends appreciate encouragement more than devil’s advocacy.”
5. Set Up Some Boundaries
People who are easy to be around often have a healthy level of self-respect, and that includes having boundaries. As therapist Kim Shashoua, LMSW tells me, boundaries can keep your relationships healthy. Without resentment brewing under the surface (from a lack of boundaries) you’ll be in a better mood, and therefore way easier to be around.
6. Offer Up Lots Of Compliments
While you don’t want to overload people with meaningless praise, a well-timed compliment is always nice to hear. “People want validation that they are basically good people,” says life and parenting coach Elaine Taylor-Klaus, in an email to Bustle. “Authentic acknowledgement is a powerful way to do that.”
7. Work On Accepting Yourself
Remember what I was saying about having self-respect? “When you like, love, forgive, and accept yourself, you’re more likely to have empathy for others,” says NYC-based coach and success strategist Carlota Zimmerman. People will pick up on your positive self-love vibes, making your presence a breath of fresh air.
8. Have Some Empathy
Empathy is an important part of getting along with others, so start brushing up on your skills — if it doesn’t come naturally to you. “Focus on communicating that you understand other’s feelings through sensitive and validating words, using examples of your own experience, facial expressions, and body language,” Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Joseph Cilona tells Bustle. Everyone will pick up on your caring ways and want to be around you as a result.
9. Be Someone Others Can Rely On
In a world of flakiness and last-minute cancellations, make a point of being the one dependable person in everyone’s lives. As relationship and resilience coach Sheryl Green says, “When you say you are going to do something or be somewhere, do it!” If people can count on you to stick to your promises, you’ll instantly be their favorite.
10. Don’t Be Afraid To Smile
OK, so I’m not saying you have to stand around grinning 24/7. But Cilona tells me it is important to flash the occasional smile. A quick grin is friendly, welcoming, and always makes people good. (And hey, it may even score you more dates.)
11. Make The Right Amount Of Eye Contact
The “right” amount of eye contact might be up for debate, but there’s no denying too much (or not enough) can be a bit off-putting. The general rule is to look for a few seconds. Then look away. Then back again. This will allow for a natural amount of eye contact – enough to make someone feel acknowledged without freaking them out.
If you can do these things, you’ll definitely be on your way to being one of those magically attractive and easy-to-be-around people.