If you want to be more likable then you must remember one thing … You cannot be liked by everyone.
You cannot make everyone like you!
Any time you cultivate a trait, adopt a mindset, think, act, or feel a certain way, it will be well received by some and it will repulse others.
So before we can go any further you need to accept this fact.
No matter what you do, how you act, or how kind and genuine you might be, some people will love you and others will hate you.
Some people will become jealous of your likability and envy your social success. Some people will be annoyed by you. Some people will simply distrust you.
You can’t please everyone and that’s ok!
However, there are a few universal secrets to likability that can make you more liked by just about everyone (everyone worth being liked by anyways).
Here are 7 of my favorites.
1. Smile often
This one is simple but underrated. People frown too often and allow pessimism and negativity to keep them down.
Smile more often, laugh more deeply, and exude positivity and love to everyone around you.
It’s hard not to like someone who makes you feel happy.
2. Ask genuine and deep questions
People don’t care about you they care about themselves. If you want to be likable, the simplest way is to get more people talking about their favorite subject… Themselves.
I know you might not believe it, but 100% of the people that you encounter in everyday life have something about them that is fascinating… Even if it’s simply how bat crap crazy they are.
Find ways to cut through the small talk and ask deep questions that get people talking about themselves, their goals, dreams, and feelings.
They will think you’re the most interesting and likable person in the world and all you need to do is say three words.
“Tell me more”.
3. Cut the b.s.
I hate small talk. Almost everyone hates small talk.
No one cares about the weather or the ambiance of the coffee shop. Cut through the B.S. and get real with people.
Don’t patronize them with silly questions that you aren’t actually interested in. Get to the heart of things with something as simple as “What’s your story?”
The weather is boring. Someone with the intestinal fortitude to ask deep questions during the first interaction is memorable.
4. Make eye contact
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. If those windows aren’t clearly visible and sparkling, people will distrust you.
Anytime someone is speaking, make eye contact. You don’t have to stare, but hold your gaze and make them feel heard and important.
5. Speak slowly and listen intently
It sucks to get cut off in the middle of a conversation. No one likes it. And no one will like you if you think that you’re so important that everyone else needs to shut up and hear you opinion.
When others speak, listen. Wait until they are done speaking, pause, reflect, and then share your thoughts.
In a world filled with people who have no attention span and only want to talk about themselves, this will make you more likable than you can imagine.
6. Express gratitude and eradicate negativity
No one likes a whiner. People who regularly complain and moan about things make others feel uncomfortable and sad.
Don’t be that guy/girl.
Constantly express gratitude. Be thankful and happy for what you have. Talk about the positive things happening in your life and the world.
Focus on the good and others will feel it.
Focus on the bad and they will feel that too.
7. Learn how to tell a story and have stories worth telling
Likable people know how to tell a story. They know how to hook people and keep them on the edge of their seats the entire time.
And more importantly, they have stories worth telling.
Eventually, the time will come in any interaction where you will need to talk about yourself and give the other person a peep into your world.
When you have the ability to tell interesting and captivating stories that make people feel excited and inspired, you will become far more likable than the person who cannot talk about themselves in an interesting way.
This article first appeared on Quora.