10 Traits That Make You More Attractive To Other People

6 min
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There’s an age-old adage that claims “Beauty is only skin-deep.” And while we can all agree that a pleasing appearance is not necessarily an accurate guide to the character contained within, science continues to posit that “What Is Beautiful Is Good” – a stereotype that assumes attractive people are likely to possess more socially desirable personality traits, and are expected to lead better lives than their physically unattractive counterparts. 

But beauty runs so much deeper than a symmetrical face, strong jawline, defined cheekbones, long legs, or a tapered waist. And (thankfully) science backs that up, too, since research has suggested that the strength and likeability of your character can make you appear more attractive to a love interest, potential friend, or future employer. 

If you are familiar with the concept of the Law of Attraction – the science behind manifestation – then it could be easy to leave what, or whom, we attract to fate. After all, the logic behind that idea is that positive thinking begets positive action, so it can be tempting to think that we can will the right person or positions into our existence; but that’s not really a fool-proof approach. Whether you’re trying to attract the right romantic partner, better friends, or a more fulfilling job, a wiser idea would be to consider the law of attraction while also working on yourself, to become someone more likely to draw in the type of connections you’re seeking. 

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It’s true that superficial qualities such as looks are a factor that cannot be ignored or denied – and studies have shown that they do matter to an extent, particularly in the initial phases of attraction. However, for attraction that can go the distance, research has found that there are certain traits – above and beyond typical “characteristics of cool”, like being able to adeptly strum an acoustic guitar, or skillfully boss a sport – that you can cultivate to make you more attractive to other people. When it comes to the most globally sought-after traits of attractiveness, these are 10 that crop up almost every time. 

Have a Sense of Humor

A sense of humor has been shown to improve mental and physical health – laughter is the best medicine, after all – and having the ability to make somebody else laugh (or indeed being able to see the funny side of someone else’s jokes), is inherently more attractive than a reserved seriousness. You don’t even have to have great comedic timing, or have a repertoire of rib-ticklers at the ready; just take pleasure in the lighter side of situations, and maybe have a laugh at yourself now and again. 

Exude Confidence and Humility 

There’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness; or high self-esteem and narcissism. Whether you’re applying for a job or establishing your feelings for a “friend”, confidence is, most often, a self-fulfilling prophecy that’s usually an exceptionally attractive trait to your suitor. That doesn’t mean you always have to be in the highest possible spirits: even if you’re currently facing chronically low levels of confidence, or just experiencing a temporary dip, you can take control of the narrative by actively working on your belief and trust in yourself. For balance, it’s also important to be mindful of occasional humility: don’t make out like you’re infallible, and admit your mistakes. Doing so maintains a level of vulnerability that shows you have the confidence to learn and grow.

Be a Good Listener 

Sitting high on everyone’s wish list for a good partner, friend, or colleague is the ability to be a “good listener”. It’s a simple thing, but not so simple that it can be feigned. Being a good listener is more than just lending an ear; it’s about being interested – leaning in, smiling, nodding, maintaining appropriate eye-contact, and essentially, active constructive responding. When we feel genuinely listened to, we feel valued. Ultimately, being able to hear, interpret, and understand the meaning behind someone else’s words will build deeper connections, enable us to be more thoughtful and considerate towards others, and could even help evade potential conflict caused by missed communication, be it at the office or in the bedroom. 

Availability is Attractive 

Being available can mean different things in different circumstances. A romantic partner needs you to be physically and emotionally available; friends may hope to consume a little (or a lot) of your emotional availability; and an employer or client might look towards your intellectual bandwidth. Either way, if you don’t have scope to be receptive to someone else, they will likely not want to waste their time on you – and that indifference will surely keep you out of sight and out of mind. Conversely, the more readily available you are for a deeper connection, the more appealing and attractive you become. Remember, though, that this doesn’t mean forgetting your own needs – it is important to remain available to yourself too, which you can accomplish by setting some healthy boundaries

Authenticity Matters 

As the line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet goes, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”; and what that translates to in this case is that labeling genuineness as “authenticity” or “trustworthiness” doesn’t diminish how desirable a trait it is to hold. Whatever you prefer to call it, being as real and sincere as you can be (as opposed to fake or disingenuous) is an attractive quality. A genuine person not only radiates a sense of generosity, empathy, and transparency, but they’re also typically confident, emotionally agile, and excellent listeners. In fact, being genuine begets a number of other covetable attributes, enhancing your attractiveness essentially on a compounding scale.

Be Honest 

Often going hand-in-hand with trustworthiness is honesty and integrity. Studies have shown that regardless of gender, people who exhibit positive traits like honesty and helpfulness are perceived as better looking than those who exhibit negative traits such as unfairness and rudeness. It also stands to reason that perception of a person’s attractiveness may change over time due to their positive or negative traits: according to science, genuinely nice people don’t actually finish last, at least not when it comes to attraction. Honest people will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear, but in the long run, they’re the ones you trust, and the ones you want to surround yourself with. 

Spread Warmth and Kindness

We should all want to exhibit kindness – especially in a world that seems to be constantly at war with itself, a little drop of unprovoked sunshine can brighten a stranger’s day. Kindness makes each person in a relationship feel cared for, understood, and validated, and is one of the most important predictors of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Realizing that positive personality traits may contribute to judging facial attractiveness may only make us want to exude warmth and kindness even more! 

Generate and Express Gratitude 

It costs nothing to be thankful, yet the pay-it-forward reward of doing so could potentially produce a windfall of positive emotions and stronger connections, be they romantic or otherwise. Emanating or embracing feelings of gratitude does not mean feeling beholden to someone for the good things that have come your way; rather, it’s simply feeling thankful for what you have, and allowing that acknowledgement and appreciation to translate to positive feelings. Think of it as being the social glue that fortifies a connection between family, friends, romantic partnerships, and working relationships.

Take Care of Your Health and Hygiene

In romance, the attractiveness of good health may be tied to an animal instinct, by highlighting a partner’s vitality, viability, and virility (in males) as a potential mate. Good hygiene is likely a more recent accompaniment to these aspirations of attractiveness, with the advent of complementing fragrances. One could also argue that good hygiene is telling of one’s maturity or ability to successfully look after themselves, as well as being indicative of the esteem and self-respect that they hold for themselves, through some effort and a healthy dose of pride in their grooming habits. Good health and hygiene are often interlinked, and in modern times, they are also exceptionally attractive traits as they showcase one’s self-care, and self-respect, backed up by cognitive bias. Our overall impression of a person generally influences what we think of their character. Effectively, if someone takes good care of themselves and their appearance, they’ll conceivably be considered more attractive – mentally as well as physically. 

Exhibit Motivation and Resilience 

The drive and ambition to succeed, matched with a realistic level of optimism, is incredibly desirable. Most of us want to be romantically linked with, hang out with, and work with people who are either succeeding at what they’ve set out to achieve, are focused on improving their current standing (in a healthy way), and have a clear vision and strategy for their life path. But it’s crucial to also be resilient, as things might not always go exactly as planned. Being attached to a partner who isn’t able to support you when the chips are down – or someone who is indecisive or struggles to find strength during challenging times – can skew the balance of energy and responsibility in a relationship, and this can be a major turn off for the person left to shoulder the majority of the burdens. Exemplifying motivation, positivity, and a “can-do” attitude may also inspire others into action, and that ability to elevate others is unsurprisingly a distinctly attractive trait.

At the end of the day, what makes us attracted to others is a very individual and subjective thing, usually tied to whether or not they share the same values and life goals as us. However, the above traits are essentially universal qualities that can not only help us be more attractive to others, but help to make us better people who are also happier within ourselves. 

Start practicing gratitude today with this guided meditation to that will attract more happiness and positive relationships into your life.


All of the content on our website is thoroughly researched to ensure that the information shared is evidence-based. For more information, please visit the academic journals and other resources that influenced this article: Personality Traits Influence Perceived Attractiveness; Beautiful People Convey Personality Traits Better During First Impressions; The Effects of Attractiveness and Status on Personality Evaluation; You Are Honest, Therefore I Like You and Find You Attractive; Personality Manipulations: Do They Modulate Facial Attractiveness Ratings?; Production and Appreciation of Humor as Sexually Selected Traits; The Effect Of Nonphysical Traits On The Perception Of Physical Attractiveness: Three Naturalistic Studies.

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