Am I Likable? Take The Likable Person Test + 7 Key Traits To Look For
Likability is a subjective concept, with each of us having our own ideas on what makes a person likable and what types of people we like to be around. That said, there does seem to be some general overlap, with a few quintessential qualities that often deem someone likable.
Here's what we know about what constitutes "likable qualities," according to research and experts, plus a likable person test to gauge your own likability.
What it means to be a likable person.
"Likable" is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "pleasant, friendly, and easy to like," and that's what you're going to get with a likable person. According to psychotherapist Babita Spinelli, L.P., likable people are also multifaceted individuals with open minds and a well of empathy.
"They tend to be individuals who are open-minded and create a space where people feel comfortable to be themselves. They have an ability to create a no-judgment experience," she explains. And licensed marriage and family therapist Shane Birkel, LMFT, echoes this point as well, noting that likable people have high emotional intelligence and know how to interact well with others, thus inviting others in.
And while we all may have personal preferences in what we like in people, these foundational aspects are what we typically associate with likability.
The likable person test:
7 traits of a likable person:
According to both Birkel and Spinelli, likable people exude a certain positivity that makes others feel warm. And we're not talking about toxic positivity here; we mean a genuine positive attitude and outlook. Likable people are good at finding ways to keep things lighthearted, humorous, and rosy, with Birkel noting that they're excellent at breaking the ice and Spinelli adding they are also fun and can laugh at themselves.
Being open and nonjudgmental is another strong quality of a likable person. As Birkel tells mbg, "They really allow others to be themselves and don't make anyone feel judged." This includes, and is particularly relevant, when engaging with someone who has different beliefs, perspectives, or interests than them.
Likable people are, of course, friendly. Even if they are a more reserved person, again, it's that warm quality that lets people know, "This person is safe." As Spinelli puts it, likable people are "a well-balanced combination of energy and spirit without overpowering others. They share interesting anecdotes or information, but are also heart-centered in their approach with others or situations."
And speaking of well balanced, Birkel and Spinelli both note that likable people have a very balanced way of engaging with others. As Birkel explains, you wouldn't particularly want to engage with someone who doesn't let you get a word in, but you also don't want to have to carry the conversation. A likable person, he says, is able to strike the balance between the two, so there's appropriate give and take.
Confidence is a prime example of the Goldilocks principle—too much and you could be seen as arrogant, too little and you could be seen as insecure. But when you have just enough, Birkel says, it invites people in because they can sense that you're self-assured and stable. When you "love yourself from the inside out," he says, people will find you more likable, but when you appear to be not taking care of yourself, it can send others the wrong message.
Authenticity is invaluable in a world of filters and questionable motivations. When people can sense that you're authentic, according to Birkel, they'll not only trust you more but will find you more likable. And this includes things like keeping your word, which Spinelli adds is important, too. "People find [likable people] to be trustworthy and reliable, whether it is their consistent behavior or sticking to their commitments," she tells mbg.
And lastly, likable people care. "They are empathic listeners and show a genuine interest about what someone else is sharing," Spinelli notes. Whether it's lending a hand to help a friend, asking others questions, or reaching out to connect with someone, likable people aren't afraid to show they care.
How do you know if you're a likable person?
You'll know you're likable if people gravitate toward you at gatherings or events, they want to talk to you, and they want to keep the conversation going, according to Spinelli.
"You will notice you bring smiles and laughter in a room—people probably light up when they see you," she says, noting that trust from others is another good sign you're well liked.
"If you find people share things you have said in a positive way, or compliment you or your qualities to others, it is also an indicator of being likable," she adds.
What are likable traits?
There are a range of positive qualities that combine to make someone likable. To name a few, think friendly, caring, generous, warm, compassionate, authentic, light-hearted, reliable, trustworthy, self-assured, open, nonjudgmental, and humorous.
What is the most likable type of person?
The answer to this question varies based on an individual's preferences, and there is no one "type" of person who is the most likable. However, people who display a large number of likable traits (such as friendliness, compassion, humor, and trustworthiness) will often be well liked by most people, generally speaking.
Maybe you've always been super likable, or maybe you took this quiz and realized you have a little work to do. Or, of course, there's always the chance that being likable isn't your biggest priority in life—which is totally your prerogative. But if you do want to become more likable, the good news is understanding what makes someone well liked and making a few thoughtful behavioral tweaks can go a long, long way.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.