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9 Examples of Likeability

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Likability, also spelled likeability, is a personality trait that corresponds to being widely liked by others. This is one path to influence, leadership and generally enjoying a productive social life. Likeable people have diverse traits and there is no definitive set of attributes that make a person likable. The following are illustrative examples of likability.


Coolness is an ability to be confident in yourself such that you lead without obsessing about others. This allows an individual to escape behaviors that tend to be unlikable such as gossiping, complaining, arguing and dramatizing.

People Person

People are more apt to like people who like them. If you genuinely like most people you meet, they may tend to reciprocate.


People who are putting on an act have little chance of being likable. For example, a reckless politician who always speaks their mind freely may be more likable than a stable politician who is always trying to say the "correct" thing.


The ability to make people laugh and to enjoy humor yourself is a highly likable trait.


Charisma is a charming or fearsome personal presence that immediately signals that an individual is not to be taken lightly. Charismatic individuals are usually both widely liked and disliked. In other words, they tend to elicit an emotional response.

Cultural Capital

Generally speaking, it easier to be liked by people when you are well versed in their culture. This can include traditional culture, super culture, subculture and organizational culture. For example, a politician who has the same language, mannerisms and enthusiasms as the vast majority of the population may be more likable than a politician who is perceived as elitist.


Agreeableness is a personality trait described as kind, sympathetic, warm and cooperative. Generally speaking, this is highly likeable. This is not to say that highly disagreeable people who are combative, cold and unsympathetic can't be likeable. However, it is easier to be likable if you are agreeable.


Being indifferent to who likes you may be an advantage to likability because people are usually suspicious of those who try too hard to ingratiate themselves. This can be seen in social tropes such as a teacher's pet who tries hard to gain the favor of a teacher only to become unlikable to others in the class.


Virtues such as humility are often cited as being elements of likability. However, it is often the case that individuals who have many faults remain highly likable. It is possible that certain faults can be considered charming in a particular individual such that they add to likability.


Likability is the preferred spelling in the United States, likeability is the preferred spelling in most English speaking countries outside the United States.
Overview: Likeability
A personality trait that corresponds to being widely liked by others.
From the old English licwyrðe meaning agreeable. In its current form, the word likeable appears in sources as early as 1730.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about influencing.
Ambiguity Effect
Active Silence
Anecdotal Evidence
Agree To Disagree
Building Trust
Call To Action
Anticipating Objections
Creative Tension
Charismatic Authority
Cruel Wit
Charm Offensive
Cultural Capital
Choice Architecture
Devils Advocate
Dry Humor
Consensus Building
Expectation Setting
Constructive Criticism
Eye Contact
Heliotropic Effect
Loaded Language
Loaded Question
Door In The Face
Peak-End Rule
Plain Language
Ethos Pathos & Logos
Rhetorical Device
Social Influence
Social Perception
False Dilemma
Social Proof
Foot In The Door
Informal Authority
Weasel Words
Information Cascade
Inside Jokes
Intrinsic Reward
Logical Argument
Managing Up
Name Dropping
Paradox Of Choice
Political Capital
Red Herring
Rhetorical Question
Rule Of Three
Self Monitoring
Small Talk
Social Tension
Straw Man
Touching Base
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