Likable People: What Makes Them the Way They Are?

Some people are liked by everyone. It's because of their attitudes, skills, and certain qualities. We tell you what features make them unique.
Likable People: What Makes Them the Way They Are?
Elena Sanz

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

They say there’s no accounting for taste. Indeed, someone who appears wonderful, intelligent, and funny to some of us may not arouse any type of interest in others. In fact, they may even generate feelings of rejection. However, there are those who manage to effortlessly win over everyone (at least the majority) from the very first meeting. What is it about these likable people that makes them so special?

You probably know a few people like this. Everyone has only good things to say about them and they manage to maintain those favorable first impressions. No matter who likable people are relating to and how much they have in common or not, they know how to make them feel comfortable, safe, and welcomed. So what exactly does this gift consist of?

They’re open and sociable

Undoubtedly, likable people possess charisma and have high levels of social skills. They’re open, extroverted, and know how to handle both verbal and non-verbal language. Furthermore, they smile frequently (and genuinely), adopt a relaxed and informal posture, and show interest in whoever they’re talking to.

We all like to be heard, and likable people are no different. Nevertheless, they don’t try to monopolize the conversation or impose themselves on others. Rather, they actively listen and allow them to express themselves. They also know how to modulate their voice and make good use of physical contact to generate feelings of closeness and trust.

women talking

They’re happy, optimistic, and positive

These are undoubtedly some of their most distinctive features. Indeed, likable people spread their joy and good humor to everyone. They don’t complain or criticize. On the contrary, they naturally focus on the positive aspects of each situation and are flexible and optimistic.

With this attitude, they manage to arouse positive emotions in the people with whom they interact. In fact, they end up associating their company with tranquility, happiness, and comfort.

They like everyone too

Their optimistic attitude makes them see the kinder side of each person. This means they’re tolerant, empathetic, and open. In each individual they meet, they find something positive and they focus on it when judging them.

In short, everyone likes them. However, at the same time they also tend to feel sympathy for most people. Perhaps it’s this attitude that makes it easier for them to connect. After all, we all like to feel that whoever we’re talking to understands us.

They possess self-esteem and humility

Self-confidence is one of the most attractive traits. Those who feel and appear secure tend to arouse more sympathy in others. That said, it must be healthy and true self-esteem. If we’re only talking about an artificially inflated ego, that seeks to speak only of itself or to stand out above the rest, it has the opposite effect.

Likable people are self-confident and worthwhile. They’re also simple and humble. They receive compliments with pleasure and gratitude but don’t show off or seek to put others down.

They’re authentic and genuine

The final touch of magic is their authenticity. After all, we’ve all met people who are kind, smiling, and apparently nice, but who give us a certain feeling of insecurity and generate suspicion. We can usually perceive whether their intentions and attitudes are genuine or false.

However, what makes likable people so different is their spontaneity and ability to show themselves as they are without trying to pretend or hide behind a mask of perfection. They really open up to the world, and the world thanks them for it.

coworkers talking

They’re born and made

There are many psychologists who emphasize how harmful it is to try to please everyone. They claim it distorts our identity. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that connecting with others makes our lives easier and improves our sense of satisfaction and well-being.

Social relationships are beneficial for our physical and emotional health and we must cultivate them. That said, what can you do if you’re not one of those people whom everyone likes?

Certainly, some of those who possess this kind of charisma and its associated qualities will have been this way since their childhood. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t develop them as well. Indeed, adopting a more open, optimistic, and tolerant attitude, improving your social skills, and boosting your self-esteem is all down to you. You can even ask for professional help if you want. However you do it, you’ll find that your relationships with others will take a leap in quality.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Carnegie, D., & Cole, B. (2011). How to win friends and influence people in the digital age. Simon and Schuster.
  • Pease, A. (2010). Comunicación no verbal. El Lenguaje del Cuerpo. Barcelona, España: Amat.
  • Umberson, D., & Karas Montez, J. (2010). Social relationships and health: A flashpoint for health policy. Journal of health and social behavior51(1_suppl), S54-S66.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.