If you have these 8 traits, you’re more likeable than you think

by Isabel Cabrera | April 7, 2024, 6:20 pm

It’s a delightful spring evening. You’re over at a friend’s place for a backyard barbecue. The smell of grilled veggies and sangria fills the air, laughter abounds, and everyone’s attention is trained on one particular person. 

This person seems to radiate warmth, kindness, and this indefinable charm that leaves you curious. What’s their secret to being so darn likeable, you wonder?

In a world where creating new connections can be important in all aspects of life, being likeable is a quality many of us aim for.

The good news is that likeability isn’t something you need to be born with. 

In this article, we’ll explore eight traits that mean you’re more likeable than you think:  

1) You approach life with a positive outlook

A sunny disposition is like a magnet that draws people toward you. When you approach life with a positive outlook, you give off an aura of optimism that’s almost contagious. 

People are naturally drawn to those who exude positivity because it makes them feel good about themselves and the world around them.

Maintaining a positive outlook creates a welcoming atmosphere that encourages others to open up and share their thoughts and perspectives.

This kind of optimistic attitude sets the stage for meaningful connections to flourish.

Have you ever encountered someone with an infectious level of optimism? I once attended a travel conference where I met a fellow attendee. She was always smiling, and her enthusiasm for the event was clear.

Despite being in a room full of strangers and being a little anxious to attend the event without knowing anyone, her positive energy made me feel instantly at ease. 

We struck up a conversation, and I found myself sharing stories and insights with her, as did many other people that weekend.

Her endless positivity served as a bridge that connected us all, and by the end of the conference, we had formed a tight-knit group of friends.

2) You’re often willing to lend a helping hand

Being likeable isn’t just about being charming — it’s about being genuinely helpful, and sometimes, in practical ways.

People always appreciate those who are willing to extend a helping hand when it’s needed. 

Whether it’s offering assistance with moving house, being there to listen to a friend during a breakup, or providing emotional support after the loss of a loved one, your willingness to help can leave a lasting impression on people.

Showing empathy and offering assistance builds a sense of trust and camaraderie. 

3) You know how to actively and deeply listen to people

Let’s face it, listening is an artform, and those who master it are often seen as incredibly likeable individuals.

Why? When you actively and deeply listen to someone, you make them feel truly valued and heard. You know, like they’re really seen.

In fact, research has found that active listening, particularly in early interactions with people, boosts the other person’s perception of feeling understood compared with other kinds of responses.

Actively listening can look like being fully present when someone is talking, actively engaging in the conversation by asking questions, and showing real interest. 

For example, when a friend is discussing their newfound hobby, you ask tailored follow-up questions to learn more about it.

Listening builds bonds. By listening attentively, you create a space for meaningful conversations.

I once attended a careers workshop a few years back. Instead of the instructor delivering the same old spiel, he encouraged participants to share their real thoughts and experiences. 

What struck me was his ability to listen intently to each person, asking follow-up questions that showed genuine interest.

It made me, and the other attendees, feel valued and respected that afternoon. 

For this reason, the workshop felt less like a lecture and more like a conversation among friends, thanks to the instructor’s exceptional listening skills. 

He was one likeable guy — I’ll never forget him!

4) You regularly and enthusiastically express gratitude

If you regularly show your gratitude for those around you, you’re probably a likeable person.

Taking the time to say “thank you” and show gratitude can go a long way in building positive relationships.

If you’re able to express gratitude regularly and enthusiastically, you not only acknowledge the contributions of others but also uplift their spirits. 

By offering thanks, you also create a positive feedback loop of appreciation — and people are naturally drawn to those who value them.

In this sense, people feel motivated to continue their positive actions, deepening the bond between you.

5) You’re able to be your authentic self

Authenticity is a trait that resonates deeply with other people. But what exactly does it mean to be authentic?

A study in the Journal of Research in Personality defines it as the “stable tendency to act on the outside the way one feels on the inside, without regard for proximal personal or social consequences.”

Essentially, pretending to be someone you’re not can put walls up in relationships, while authenticity breaks them right down.

When you are your unfettered self, people can relate to you better on a human level. 

It fosters a sense of trust and openness that is essential for creating likeable and meaningful connections.

I once attended a 30th birthday party where I met a woman. She didn’t bother trying to impress anyone or put on a façade.

Instead, she openly shared her passions, hilarious quirks, and even her vulnerabilities. Her ability to be herself was refreshing and encouraged others to go ahead and let their guards down.

As the evening unfolded, the group engaged in deep conversations and formed bonds that went beyond the usual superficial stuff. 

Her ability to be her authentic self created a comfortable, free-thinking atmosphere at the party.

6) You’re generous with your time and support

Generosity goes a long way in making you more likeable

Just remember, it’s not about the grand gestures but the small, consistent acts of kindness that define this trait. 

Whether it’s volunteering your time to a cause you’re passionate about or offering support to friends and family in times of need, being generous builds a sense of connection and goodwill.

People are always drawn to those who actively support and uplift others.

7) You show up on time

Okay… hear me out on this one. Punctuality may seem like a bit of a boring trait, but this simple act of respect can make you more appealing to those around you. 

Punctuality, or the habit of being on time, of course may not be as glamorous as charisma or as captivating as a magnetic personality, but it holds a hidden power. 

It’s a trait that goes beyond the ticking of the clock, it speaks volumes about your character and your concern for others.

Being on time demonstrates a solid respect for others and their commitments. 

Showing up on time sends a clear and direct message that you value other people’s time and efforts. 

8) You know how to navigate conflicts with respect

Like it or not, conflict is an inevitable part of human interaction— and how you handle them says a lot about your likeability

Those who are able to navigate conflicts with respect and maturity often find themselves to be highly regarded by others. 

Conflict resolution fosters understanding. By approaching conflict with respect, you pave the path for mutual understanding and growth. 

People appreciate those who can resolve disputes while maintaining dignity and respect

I once witnessed a remarkable display of conflict resolution skills by a close friend. 

During a heated debate at a dinner party, tensions ran high, and it honestly seemed like friendships were on the line. 

Yet my friend stepped in with a calm and empathetic approach. He listened to each person’s perspective, acknowledged their feelings, and facilitated a productive conversation. 

It was astonishing how his respectful handling of the situation not only diffused the tension but also strengthened our bonds.

His ability to navigate conflict with respect elevated his likeability among us all. 


To sum things up, in a world often defined by fast-paced interactions and fleeting connections, likeability is rooted in timeless qualities including generosity, punctuality, and respect.

These traits are not confined to the realm of charisma — they are accessible to all of us.

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