Some people have a list of enemies a mile long. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people can seem to do no wrong. They know how to talk to people, they they get discounts, dinners, special treatment, you name it—simply because they are a great person to be around. It’s a special quality, being so lovable. If you’re not faking who you are and people genuinely like you, you can probably be described as lovable.
What makes a person lovable? What qualities do they have that others lack when it comes to charming people? Relationship and love expert Elly Klein talks to Personal Space about the qualities of a lovable person—a.k.a., Oprah Winfrey.
“Well, first and foremost, almost everyone’s lovable…I’ll get to the ‘almost’ part a little later,” Elly says. “But is there such a thing as being loved by everyone? Absolutely not. A perfect example is Oprah Winfrey. How can anyone not love Oprah? Whether you agree with her on everything or not, she has the most enormous heart and an endless drive to make the world a better place, while remaining warm, fun and down-to-earth, most of the time. Yet, there are people who absolutely loathe her, including some of my own friends. Why? I have no idea. But that’s how they feel. Perhaps they don’t believe she’s genuine. Perhaps they think she’s self-serving. Perhaps they just find her annoying. Or perhaps they’re so jealous of her success they have an overwhelming urge to tear her down. Whatever the case, everyone’s lovable. And everyone’s un-lovable—to someone. That’s just reality. If you strive to be lovable to everyone, you’re fighting a losing battle.”
Elly says like beauty, lovability is in the eye of the beholder.
“Some people love strong characters. Some people love weak characters. Some people love intelligence. Some people love a sense of humor. Some people love brilliance. Some people love the underdog. Some people love people they have things in common with. Some people love people who bring something new and interesting to the table. So, if your goal is to be more lovable, it really depends on your target audience. If you give them what they love, they’ll love you,” she explains.
The top three qualities you can cultivate to become more lovable?
1. Be a good listener
“It’s a simple equation: asking questions and listening to the answers equals loveable. People love to feel heard and validated.”
2. Be a good communicator“Good communicators use both words, tone and body language to get their point across while showing understanding, empathy and appreciation for the person or people they’re communicating with. Hot tip: No matter how angry you might be over something, always, always, always resist losing your cool. It never ends well for anyone—especially you—thus making you not so lovable in that moment.”
3. Be a giver“If you give more than you receive, you’re far more likely to be lovable. Now, there’s a fine line between being a giver and being a doormat, so for goodness sake have some boundaries! People actually respect reasonable, gently-presented boundaries. Here are five ways to be a giver based on the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman: Give quality time, give compliments and praise, give acts of service, give affection, give gifts.”
Now, back to the “almost” in almost everyone is lovable.
“I promised to expand on the word ‘almost’ in ‘almost everyone’s lovable’,” Elly says. “There are some people who, sadly, aren’t lovable because they’re not worthy of your love. And those people are narcissists. Usually, they have something called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They can range from passive-aggressive misery-makers to abusers and criminals. But whatever the case, they’ll suck the life out of you, and whatever relationship you have with them will never be reciprocal—it’ll always be all about them. As much as you may want to love that person, for your physical and emotional well being, don’t. Try to distance yourself from them as much as possible—preferably physically, but definitely emotionally.”
And the real secret to being lovable? Love yourself. It’s true.
“The only person who needs to love you is yourself,” Elly says. “That might sound like a lame bumper sticker best reserved for the back of hippie wagons covered in flowers and peace signs, but the fact is you’re the only one who has to live with you 24/7. If you don’t like the person you see in the mirror, change. If you do like the person you see in the mirror and others don’t, stuff ‘em. There’s a platitude that goes something like this: ‘You can’t expect others to love you if you don’t love yourself.’ I’m not so sure about that. I’ve loved people who haven’t loved themselves. But I wasn’t able to give them their self-esteem. I wasn’t able to make them feel lovable. That’s something they were only able to give to themselves.
“So, if you have a kind heart, if you’re doing your best, if you’re constantly looking for ways to improve, if you truly like yourself… guess what! You’re lovable.”
Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.