What makes someone likable?

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There’s a cafe in Brooklyn that I always go to.

They often mess up my order. I get drip coffee when I order an espresso, and I get ordinary milk when I ask for my hipster almond milk.

Still, I go there anyway. Why?

Because I like the people working there.

They are nice without being fake. They are interested without being needy. They are likable.

To me, that cafe is a metaphor for the rest of life:

When we’re likable, we attract people. People want to be with us and help us. Everything in life gets easier and more fun when everyone’s on your side.

What’s their secret?

  1. They’re casual and natural when we talk so that I feel relaxed around them.
  2. They don’t put on their “professional fake face” but act like I’m a good old friend.
  3. They remember what I was up to last time and ask me a few words about that.
  4. If they notice that I’m not talkative, they’re good at picking up on that instantly and give me space.

To sum it up, all of this makes me feel like they care about me on a personal level. They built a connection with me. That’s what makes me keep coming back.

Obviously, connecting with people is about more than those four bullets. But what I think is cool is that it’s a skill you can learn.

Check out what I wrote about likability over here if you’re interested in learning more.

Do you have any favorite cafés or restaurants? What makes you come back there?

Let me know in the comments!

David Morin is the founder of SocialPro. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more.

Go to Comments (4)

4 thoughts on “What makes someone likable?”

  1. What if in any restaurant/café you never find people likeable. Still as long as you’re likeable as person who is in personal level. You no longer find difficulties on being there. You have a good point David, likability is important for Interpersonal happiness.?

  2. Still they keep messing up your order! I feel like getting to know them on a personal level would save you some money and bad coffee! Also, it’s an excellent business model if they suck so much and yet you keep coming back!

  3. Sounds like a nice place with nice people that you feel connected to.

    I’m wondering BEFORE you actually broke the ice, David, who initiated conversation first? You or person/s who work there? and if you still remember, do you mind telling us what was said as icebreaker (beyond “hi”, “hello”, “how are you doing?” and stating what you want to order)?


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