You’ve heard of the intelligence quotient, or IQ, and you probably know it’s not a super reliable way to determine how smart you are. But did you know there’s a “likability quotient,” too, and you can take steps to influence yours and, thus, make yourself more likable?
What is a likability quotient?
Dr. Hendrie Weisinger, an expert on emotional intelligence, wrote about this in 2015, explaining that likability is “a key predictor to success in all areas of life.” Simply put, however likable you are will directly influence how successful you are in your friendships, romantic endeavors, professional field, and familial relationships.
The quotient here refers to the measurement of your likability, which you can generally gauge by how people treat and interact with you. Weisinger used getting party invitations or job promotions as indicators of your likability and its related successes, but think about how you engage with everyone around you. If your siblings regularly call you to tell you about their day, your friends trust you with secrets or invite you to important events, or you have meaningful romantic entanglements, you can feel confident your likability quotient is high.
How can you increase your likability quotient?
Weisinger’s writing suggests focusing on your sense of humor and your listening skills, and while both of those will make you appealing to others, there are a few other things to consider, too. This week, Dr. Jack Schafter, a former FBI behavioral analyst, expanded on Weisinger’s suggestions in his own work for Psychology Today, advising you to look at these so-called “laws” of attraction:
- The Law of Similarity. People with similar ideas, attitudes, and interests tend to bond. If you want to be likable, consider the groups to which you want to appeal—and whether the people in them share your interests. It will be easier to be liked by those with whom you share common ground.
- The Law of Misattribution. Here, Schafter points out that when people are enjoying themselves, they tend to associate their good vibes with whoever is near them at the time. Surround yourself with people who are having fun or racking up endorphins—whether at the gym or an office happy hour—and you’ll be associated with good times, increasing your likability.
- The Law of Curiosity. “When you behave in a manner that produces curiosity in another person, it significantly increases the chances that individuals will want to interact with you to satisfy their curiosity,” Schafter writes. Talk about your unique experiences, like if you were raised in a different environment than where you live or if you studied something offbeat in college. Give people something to be curious about.
- The Law of Self-Disclosure. Be vulnerable, but not performative, when engaging with others. This can help you develop close bonds, as people are naturally inclined to open up and get involved with people who are sincere. They’ll likely be vulnerable in response, and now you have some true ties together.
- The Law of Humor. This one is obvious, but when you’re funny, people will like you. Don’t be afraid to let your goofy side show.
- The Law of Availability or Scarcity. Don’t make yourself too available to people, at least not off the bat. This ties into what we were talking about with curiosity: You should leave people wanting more when you engage with them, so they have a reason to seek you out. Don’t be desperate; make it clear you are an in-demand commodity.
Essentially, be open, be funny, and don’t be fake or desperate, if you want to increase your LQ. Then, get ready to let the successes flow.
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