The Four Elements of Likeability

Now it’s time to put likeability to work for you. The best way to start is by looking at its basic components.

Friendliness is the first element we consider when we meet someone new. It’s the threshold of likeability. Friendly means “expressing a liking for another person” or “communicating welcome” or “expressing a generally positive feeling”. If you perceive that someone likes you, you’re more willing to like them back. A friendship becomes possible.

You need to know how important the other person will be in your life. Your mind is making the transition from seeking safety to seeking significance. Even when people are friendly, you have little reason to care about them if they have little bearing on your life. Someone must be relevant to your life if your relationship is to pass through the next stoplight. Relevance is the extent to which the other person connects to your life’s interests, wants, and needs.



Once you’ve decided that another person is friendly and relevant, you begin to wonder, consciously or unconsciously, if that person understands you. According to renowned psychologist Carl Rogers, empathy is the ability to perceive another person’s internal frame of reference with accuracy.
The author adds that empathy is the ability to imagine one’s self in the place of another and, from that vantage point to understand his or her feelings, desires, ideas, and/or actions, good or bad. When someone takes the time to find out, and talk through, exactly how you feel, your self-esteem rises. You feel not only appreciated but validated and less alone. There’s a sense of connection.



A real person is someone who is genuine, true, and authentic. Real people know their roots, their heritage, and their history. They remember where they came from and who brought them to the dance. And they retain that knowledge. They know their values, and they behave accordingly. Realness is something you simply feel when you’re in its presence.