If you scour the internet, you are likely to find thousands of references to likability and its importance in work and social settings. Customers are more likely to buy from you and you might be more apt to keep and engage friends and love interests. Here are three quick examples and easy switches to common phrases that might change the way you are perceived in everyday conversation.
Switch "I know" with "I agree" or "That's true."
The heart of a conversation is the exchange of information and opinion. Sometimes, we already have the information or share the opinion of the person or people talking to us. A harsh "I know" to someone's comment is off-putting. It makes the receiver feel inadequate and undervalued and can make the I-know-speaker seem like a know-it-all. By replacing this with "I agree" in the case of an opinion, you express empathy and empathy, above all else, makes you seem warm, open-hearted, and way more likable. If someone tells you a story or fact that you might already know or have heard, by saying "that's true," you're reassuring the other person that the information they are giving is good and needed, not blowing them off with "I know" which translates in the listeners' head to "Oh, I already know about this, you should stop talking."
Switch "I appreciate it" with "Thank you"
'Appreciate' is one of those words that sounds disingenuous or facetious. Saying 'I appreciate it' makes the thanks about you, not about the person who helped you. By going back to the trusty 'thank you,' you are telling the person who did something for you how important they are by making it about them.
Switch "No problem" with "My pleasure" or "You're welcome"
Speaking of thanks, when we were young, we were taught to say 'please' and 'thank you' and in response 'you're welcome.' In the real world, it is often normal to respond to someone's thanks by casually saying "No problem." By even using the word 'problem' you might give the person thanking you an indication that the reason for their thanks was annoying or inconvenient. Replacing problems with "my pleasure" shows the person thanking you that you are happy to have helped them out. This is especially important when a boss or supervisor thanks you for doing your job. Of course it wasn't a problem, you were just doing your job, right? In the case of a 'thanks,' it will always be appropriate and accepted to say 'you're welcome.'
Communication is hard sometimes, especially when mixing personalities and backgrounds. Getting people to understand you and like you can be even harder. In conversation, there are a few switches we can all make to better respond and increase our own likability.