An easy way to remember the essential elements of drastically increasing your odds of being likable to others is to E.R.A.S.E. anxiety and negative thoughts and focus your energy instead on: Empathy Relevance Authenticity Smiling Eye contact.
Empathy means you are able to know and understand the feelings of others. Focus on communicating that you understand those feelings through sensitive and validating words, using examples of your own similar experience, facial expressions and body language. This requires careful attention to these elements of communication in others and listening intently.
Relevance refers to communicating and engaging in ways that people can easily relate to and understand. Use clues from their communications to zero in on topics and ways of relating that they appear to be interested in and excited by. Another good clue is the length of responses they give to questions. Short or one word responses usually indicate disinterest, discomfort or lack of enthusiasm, while lengthy and more detailed responses often indicate interest and the ability to relate.
Authenticity means being real and truthful. This is a very important element of likeability and perceived confidence level. This doesn’t mean you have to have the energy and demeanor you’re putting out at a party all the time. It just means you are engaged with others and feeling as much as you are thinking. Thinking too much at the expense of feeling and engaging will often be perceived as being fake and lacking authenticity.
Smiling and eye contact are absolute requirements. None of the above is possible without them.