What makes a person likeable?

If you look back on your friends and acquaintances that you would deem most likeable, what do they all have in common?

In my experience, likeability is more a matter of attitude than any external factors. You don’t have to be rich, attractive, powerful or particularly intelligent. What you do need to have is a positive attitude.

Likeable people are: 

  1. Positive

    A positive outlook is a choice. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a sign of naivete, either. A person can be equally rational and positive. It’s about choosing to find the positive side of a situation without becoming irrational about it. And people simply enjoy being around other people who aren’t negative downers all the time.

  2. Confident

    Likeable people tend not to have anything to prove. If someone is constantly trying to prove their worth — or even their likeability — they aren’t going to be very fun to be around. The most likeable people don’t need to put others down to feel better about themselves.

  3. Non-judgemental

    So long as no one is getting hurt, likeable people refrain from passing judgement on another’s morality. They may have strong beliefs of their own, but they rarely try to foster them on others or judge others according to their own code. Going back to number one, they tend to try to maintain a positive opinion of people as much as possible.

  4. Extraverted

    We like people who make the effort to talk to us, get to know us, stay in touch, and initiate interactions. Even if you’re naturally introverted, you can train yourself to make the effort to connect with people. In this day and age, there are lots of ways to communicate that aren’t as intimidating. Likeable people make the effort to stay engaged with others.

  5. Valuable

    What I mean by this is that they add value to any situation. They’re the ones who keep the conversation lively at the lunch table. They ask the important questions in meetings. They pay attention when you speak and offer encouragement or advice. They go above and beyond to solve a problem.

  6. Responsible

    People like other people they know they can count on. Likeable people do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they will do it. They always come through. Even the seemingly small act of being punctual is really about responsibility, and it makes a person more likeable.

  7. Non-Competitive

    Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and felt like you were being one-upped at every turn? If you caught a big fish, he caught a much bigger one. The most likeable people aren’t competitive. They may be ambitious, but they’re only in competition with themselves, not everyone around them. They’re much more likely to go bake another pie than worry about who got the biggest slice.

As you can see, these traits can all be learned and adopted; though some people may be born more naturally inclined to this type of attitude, anyone can train themselves to be more positive, less judgemental, and so on. Likeability is much more about attitude than aptitude.

What else would you add to my list?