This post was inspired by one of those many articles that try to outline ways to become more likable. There are obvious things like, “Smile more”, or “be more positive”, or “be genuine”. But there is one that really struck home, and I think it’s a hard one to do, especially for those who are perfectionists and hugely insecure in maybe the one thing they cannot perfect.
My advice: Embrace this weakness.
Research actually shows that although people may respect you if you appear perfect in every way (no one really is!), it actually makes you less approachable. Only deities are truly perfect (well maybe the Greek ones had some issues) so people will look up to you but have a hard time getting closer. So – this weakness I told you to embrace: make it your human trait, and then work on perfecting everything else.
This is one silly example, but I think helps explain the point. Maybe your weakness is being really gassy. Let’s say you’re really good at yoga, and one day you let one little toot out during a yoga class. Up until then, people around you might have been thinking, woah, (s)he’s so good. I wish I were that flexible, strong, whatever. But until that toot, they would probably have a hard time approaching you. (Kids are better at this by the way…). And especially so if they are self-conscious about the lack of their strength or flexibility.
So you farted. What to do next? Perhaps turn red and avoid all eye-contact? That might be the instinctive thing to do. However, the best way is to fight the urge, and react lightly: make fun of yourself, or just a whisper of “oops!” and smile. This reaction will bring you down to earth from the clouds in the minds of others, and in fact make you more likable, and perhaps even relatable for some people 🙂
Of course you should strive to be all of those simple like-able traits like smiling and positivity, but this adds another tool in your toolbox. Good luck, and have fun with it!