How likeable are you? It’s hard to answer that question for ourselves. Most of us know a likable person when we see one, he/she is someone whose company most people enjoy. Everyone likes being around likable people. In therapy, I always make a mental note of my client’s likability because I know that likable people will almost always fare better in life. If likability is low, it’s a much tougher road in many areas of life. Now you might say that likeable people are those who never do anything controversial, but that’s not the case. Some people try never to rock the boat but they still aren’t likeable.
I have spent quite a bit of time observing those most likeable because it’s a trait of great interest. What specific traits and behaviors do likeable people exhibit? Here are some of my observations and some easily recognizable examples.
- Sense of humor, mischievous-they don’t take themselves seriously and often make fun of themselves. Very often their eyes are ‘smiling.’ They easily amuse themselves. George Clooney comes to mind.
- Non-judgmental-you are not worried about saying or doing something stupid around this person because you won’t be judged anyway. Charlie Rose, PBS interview host and Oprah Winfrey are good examples.
- Kindness-these people do not build themselves up at the expense of others, typically very good listeners. They do and say nice things for people when no one is watching because they do it out of goodness of heart, not for accolades. Anthropologist Jane Goodall, whose work with wild chimpanzees is legendary. She oozes kindness to all living creatures.
- Authenticity-their words match their actions, generally direct communicators, often politically incorrect. The ‘what you see is what you get’ people. It’s an interesting characteristic because people feel comfortable around those with this trait, you know they won’t say something behind your back, they will say it to your face. Charles Barkley (former pro basketball player) is the poster child. “Sir Charles” can always be counted on to tell you what he thinks even if his opinion is in the minority, his sense of humor has no peer. Probably couldn’t care less if he is likeable.
More insight on likeability comes from extramadness.com
People Who Are Well Liked:
- Ask for Nothing
- Laugh at Themselves
- Listen with Interest
- Rarely Complain
- Inspire Others
Whether your aim is to be more likeable or not, these are all traits that make everyone’s life a little bit easier.