3 Common Things Naturally Likable People Never Do

Kelsey Clark

Many believe that likability is a prized characteristic belonging to the intelligent, attractive, and talented among us. But, as Travis Bradberry, Ph.D., points out in an article on LinkedIn, likability is actually under your control and is highly influenced by your emotional intelligence. “Likability is so powerful that it can completely alter your performance” in life and at work, writes Bradberry, who is also the founder of TalentSmart and the best-selling author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 ($20). In his own words, here are the three subtle behaviors that hold people back when it comes to being likable. 

Humble-bragging: The social media age has turned humble-bragging to an art form. But Bradberry believes that draping your humble-brag in false self-deprecation is what turns people off. “We all know those people who like to brag about themselves behind the mask of self-deprecation,” he writes. “[But] everyone sees right through it… It isn’t just bragging; it’s also an attempt to deceive.”

Being too serious: “People gravitate toward those who are passionate,” he writes. “That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work.” Instead, he recommends balancing your passion for work with your ability to have fun, showing people that they’re just as important as your work is.

Only talking about themselves: Everyone who’s been trapped in a one-sided conversation can speak to how frustrating this is. “The biggest mistake people make in conversation is being so focused on what they’re going to say next, or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them, that they fail to hear what’s being said,” Bradberry concludes. Remember: Always ask questions and actually listen to what the other person is saying before adding your two cents.

What subtly irritating habits would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below! 

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