While we sort of love that the concept of popularity doesn’t exist in France—in Paris, it’s rather uncool for everyone to like you—there’s no denying that it continues to be viewed as important in America. We don’t think it’s necessary to be adored across the board; after all, it’s basically impossible unless you’re being inauthentic to some people, which always backfires (just ask Taylor Swift!). But if you think about it, you’re more likely to want to be around someone who’s charismatic than someone who isn’t, right? Luckily, likability can be learned. Here, eight behaviors popular people practice regularly, which you may want to adopt ASAP.
Although we might aspire to perfection, no one actually wants to be around someone who hides their humanity behind a flawless facade. The most likable people are real; they openly discuss their failings and embarrassments without over-sharing to an extent that makes others uncomfortable. The ability to laugh at yourself publicly is one of the most attractive traits, period.
To put it more directly: Likable people are good listeners. If you're seated between two people at a dinner table, you're much more likely to warm up to the one who asks you about yourself, listens to your answers and provides thoughtful responses (without talking over you) than you are to the person who makes polite yet generic small talk or only blabbers on about themselves. Likable people also know when it's time to put their cell phones away—they don't text during dinner or respond to an iMessage while you're mid-sentence.
Popular people never have a scarcity mind-set—they believe there's enough room for everyone to have success, which is why their social feeds are always full of congratulatory messages to friends and family members on their various achievements. They're also prone to making sure their colleagues, both superior and reporting, get credit for their achievements even if it means downplaying their own. They know this is a long-term strategy for ensuring success—a loyal network is critical to any career.
Your favorite people aren't the ones who always insist you come to them when it's time to meet up, who expect you to tag along to social events they enjoy but won't do the same for you, and who don't even so much as offer to give you a ride to the shop when your car breaks down. On the contrary, the most likable people give and give and give—without expecting anything in return—in a way that feels natural. Since they don't see this as an exchange, they're not likely to hold whatever it is they've done for you over your head; theirs is a no-strings-attached type of generosity.
One of the most attractive things about likable people is that they're confident and therefore don't feel the need to behave in a way that's uncomfortable or unnatural to them. All the aforementioned behaviors are organic—this doesn't mean they're not practiced, it just means they're not doing them through gritted teeth.
This one isn't necessarily shared by every well-loved person, but you'll find it's pretty prevalent. We all like to laugh, so we tend to want to hang out with those who can make it happen on a regular basis.
This one isn't universal either, but we will say that on the most superficial level, a unique or strong sense of style attracts us to people. Noticeable personal style signifies confidence and a lack of self-consciousness that draws people to you like a moth to a flame. Imagine Alexa Chung without her sartorial eye, for example—it's a huge part of her charisma.
Snobs are such a bummer—when you really like someone and then see them disrespect a waiter, for example, it's a major turnoff. Popular people are not classist in any way, and they treat everyone as if they're on the same level, no matter where they themselves fall on the spectrum. In fact, the most likable people not only know how to make everyone feel equal, they also know how to make them feel exceptional.