We all know someone who is a sheer delight to be around.
They radiate light, happiness, strength, and joy wherever they go. And guess what? It’s contagious and you can’t get enough of it. It’s like they have the ideal personality and are just so easy to be around.
But this charming gift that they have is actually down to a combination of character traits which give them a truly pleasant personality.
Maybe you are already one of those people, or perhaps you want to know what their secret is.
What are the qualities of a truly pleasing personality? Read on to find out.
Why a pleasant personality is important
Have you heard of “How to Win Friends and Influence People?”
The popular self-help book published back in the 1930s has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
In it, the author impresses upon his audience just how significant the ability to charm those around us have upon our entire lives.
As the old proverb goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar — aka it’s way more effective to be polite and flattering than to be hostile and demanding.
That’s why if you want to have an impact on the world or the people around you, having a pleasing personality holds a lot of sways.
Whether it’s attracting the ideal mate or securing that dream job, how others see us does matter.
People with pleasant personalities often find they get further in life, and doors almost effortlessly open for them. In comparison, disagreeable people always seem to struggle wherever they go.
Wondering what your dominant personality trait it?
To help you find the answer, I’ve created a fun quiz. Answer a few personal questions and I’ll reveal what your personality “superpower” is and how you can utilize it to live your very best life.
How do you get a pleasant personality?
Whilst some people tend to think of their character as a defined and fixed thing, anyone with a growth mindset will realize that we always have the ability to change.
Our overall personality is largely defined by both our attitude and our behaviour. These are things we do have control over.
In very general terms, a pleasant personality is created by a positive outlook in life — which impacts on not only on your own quality of life but those around you too.
That is one of the reasons people gravitate towards pleasant personalities.
So, creating a more pleasant personality should centre around reinforcing a positive attitude in favour of a negative one.
That doesn’t mean pretending that “bad things” never happen, or always feeling the pressure to be happy, even when you are sad. It’s never healthy to try and ignore perfectly normal human emotions.
It’s just about recognizing that positivity will ultimately self-motivate and support you through the inevitable challenges we all will face in life.
What are the qualities of a pleasing personality? 10 traits to strive for
1) Pleasant people are encouraging
We all know that life can be tough enough at times, without other people bringing us down too.
One of the simplest and most pleasing personality traits is to be encouraging towards others.
That doesn’t even necessarily mean laying it on thick with the praise. But it does mean enthusiastically believing in others and offering them your support where possible.
We all need cheerleaders in life, and we’re more excited to share our big dreams and plans with those who we know will be happy for us rather than negative or naysaying.
Encouraging people are quite frankly uplifting to be around. Compare that with those who critique or habitually pick apart your good ideas. It’s kind of a no-brainer over which you’d rather be, right?
Yet, so many of us unknowingly discourage friends, loved ones, or colleagues — and often with good intentions at heart.
We want to protect those we care about or point out the potential pitfalls we ourselves are fearful of. But the unintentional effect is often just a bit of a downer.
It’s important to realize that we can still offer guidance, but do it in an encouraging way.
2) Pleasant people are appreciative
Gratitude has the power to dramatically shift your mood, change your outlook in life, and even rewire your brain.
As we discussed in the introduction to this article, the most magnetic people in life tend to be those who we would generally consider to be positive.
Gratitude helps you to be more positive by focusing on what you already have.
That’s why pleasant personality types tend to spend a lot of time appreciating all their blessings in life. They often notice the little things that make a big difference.
They don‘t spend a lot of time grumbling and complaining, they choose to focus on what is going well. That gratitude also extends outside of their own life into an appreciation of others.
Pleasant people are polite people. They remember to say thank you when you do something for them. They don’t take things or people for granted in life.
3) Pleasant people are non-judgemental
To be fair, rather than being non-judgemental, this character trait would perhaps better be defined as reserving judgement and not expressing judgment.
That’s because, in reality, there is a little voice within each and every one of us who will always judge others. It doesn’t make you a bad person when this voice pops into your head.
It usually comes from that ego chatterbox in the mind that rarely shuts up, and always has something to say. It’s also largely a reflex that we aren’t necessarily in control of. What we are in control of though is what we choose will come out of our mouth.
Sometimes the best thing to do when we feel judgement arise is to simply notice it and label it as such, before letting it go.
One thing is for sure, criticizing or condemning is never the best way to win allies.
The most pleasant of people are open to new perspectives and resist the urge to impose what they feel and think onto others’ choices in life.
4) Pleasant people are good listeners
Who would have thought that truly listening to someone else when they speak could be quite so challenging, or is it just me?
It feels so easy to fall into the trap of simply waiting for your turn to speak or absent-mindedly half focus on what someone is telling you — whilst the other half of your brain is busy deciding what you will make for dinner.
Yet we all appreciate good listeners in our lives. They are sympathetic and attentive. They don’t interrupt or interject. They allow us to air our problems and find our own solutions, simply by offering an ear to us.
Because people with the most pleasing personalities tend to have a genuine interest in other people, they are present, ask questions and show us that we have their undivided attention.
5) Pleasant people look on the bright side
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that research has found that the people who tend to feel happiest are usually the most optimistic too.
Although, you may be a little more surprised to hear that according to neurologist Tali Sharot, who wrote the book Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain, about 80% of the human population is inherently optimistic — many of us just don’t know that we are.
Optimism is simply about expecting more positive things to happen to us than negative.
Neurologically speaking, we get in life what we focus on. That’s why the simple act of being a half glass full type, as opposed to half-empty, brings our attention onto the bright side of life.
Constant negativity is a real drain to be around, so it makes sense that our favorite people in life have this ability to look for the silver lining.
6) Pleasant people are sincere
You can seemingly be the “nicest” person in the world on the outside, always try to do and say the “right” things, and still just come across as a bit of a creep.
At the sheer core of every pleasant person is sincerity and you just can’t fake it. If your pleasantry is just a front, eventually it always comes shining through.
The most pleasant of personalities aren’t just “pleasant” — they are heartfelt and genuine.
7) Pleasant people are reliable
Reliability isn’t on first glance the sexiest or most thrilling of personality traits. But it’s exactly one of those grounded and stable characteristics that lets people know that we can be trusted.
Whilst we may be tolerant to a certain extent with “flaky” personalities, ultimately it can get very tiresome.
If you are known for always backing out of plans last minute, or never doing what you promised you would — eventually people are going to stop asking you.
Most of us love to spend time with people who we know where we stand with. We can depend on them in the good times and the bad.
8) Pleasant people are dignified
When it comes to having a pleasant personality, it’s not just how you treat others, it really matters how you treat yourself too.
That’s because how you treat yourself is the firm foundation on which all your other positive personality traits rest upon.
Others are less likely to think we’re the bees knees without a healthy dose of self-esteem.
Dignity is less about always acting seriously or appearing noble, and more about giving off the signals that you are worthy of respect.
When we are dignified, we don’t feel the need to show off or grasp for others’ attention and praise — which consequently has the effect of attracting people towards us.
Behaving with dignity relies on knowing deep down within that you are worthy and that you deserve an inherent sense of esteem.
When you believe these truths, then you will find that you attract the same into your life. You don’t settle for people treating you with less than the energy you give out to others.
9) Pleasant people have integrity
They may sound similar but in reality, there’s a very important difference between a pleasant personality and a pleasing personality.
If you are solely driven to please and seek approval from other people you may find yourself having to compromise important values. Or you may notice that rather than love being around you, which is the desired effect you were hoping for — instead people walk all over you.
That’s why you often find that pleasant personalities aren’t necessarily “yes people”.
They won’t jump on the bandwagon just to go along with the crowd, nor will they lie to your face because they think that’s what you want to hear.
Being honest and true to your own underlying principles is important, and when we go about it in the right way, it’s something we highly respect in others.
10) Pleasant people are generous
When we talk about a generous person, maybe the first thing that comes to mind is someone who always pays for things and picks up the tab.
Of course, shouting someone dinner or buying them a drink is indeed very nice. But generosity certainly doesn’t have to be about money.
In fact, it can be even more powerful in other forms. We can be generous with our time, with our talents, and with our energy too.
For example, helping a friend who tells you they are “hopeless with computers” to complete an online task.
Or, despite being busy yourself, still making the effort to ring a loved one who you know has been going through a hard time.
Whenever possible, giving yourself away to others in little ways makes a big difference.
What is the ideal personality?
Even though we’ve just discussed 10 solid traits of a pleasant personality, it’s also important to realize that there really is no “ideal personality”.
Sure, we all want to be the best version of ourselves — which may mean actively working to be kinder, more considerate, and respectful towards one another to create a better world.
But here’s the thing, we are all very different too. That is one of the wonderful things about us, every single one of us is unique and has different personality traits.
We will always have so-called “flaws”. We’re all only human and we all make mistakes.
Learning to understand and accept both our strengths and weaknesses in life is an important part of self-love.
Putting yourself first
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever your goals are, there’s a hidden trap in how you set them.
The trap is this:
You’ll only experience genuine life satisfaction when your goals are aligned with your values.
Because when values and goals are aligned, you enjoy the journey much more. And this makes achieving your goals much more likely.
If you find it hard to articulate your deeper life values, I suggest downloading the free values exercise by career coach Jeanette Brown.
It takes only a couple of minutes and will reveal a number of powerful insights about your underlying values.