“Unforgettable, that’s what you are.” The late Nat King Cole may not have sung his sweet, sweet tune about you in particular, but psychology shows that there are seven traits that make an individual memorable to those around them. You probably possess at least one of them, right?
Throughout the course of his lengthy career, George Everly Jr., PhD, has observed that a few distinct attributes earn someone a reputation worth remembering, he tells Psychology Today. These are the sort of qualities that make one a regular Oprah Winfrey, if you will. They’re also the traits that potential employers, friends, and romantic partners value in a person. Cross your fingers and see how many of these magnetic characteristics you can claim as your own.
7 personality traits that make people more memorable
- Reliability and Trustworthiness: People like people who live and die by their word. “They do what they say they are going to do,” writes Dr. Everly. “They take responsibility for their actions, especially their mistakes.”
- Optimism: Because negativity is default mode for so many Homo sapiens, someone with innate positivity is more often memorable.
- Tenacity: Determination is a hallmark quality in unforgettable folks. “For most endeavors in life, tenacity is the single best predictor of success. Success in athletics, business, and even academics is predicated upon tenacity,” says the psychologist. We love when the underdog we’re rooting for suddenly becomes a blockbuster success.
- Resilience: You know the old cliché: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Characters like Mulan, Katniss Everdeen, and Forest Gump embody it through-and-through. It’s part of why their memory endures. (I mean, obviously. I remembered these three enough to reference them just now.)
- Connectivity: People who invest time in all their many relationships really, really impress us.
- Self-confidence: It’s been well-established that confidence is a sought-after trait. I mean, just look at the unshakeable confidence of pop icons like Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.
- Respectfulness: “Harvard professor William James once said the deepest craving of human nature is the desire to be respected and appreciated,” Dr. Everly writes. We all want to know that we’re being valued, so people that treat us with dignity automatically get an IRL “like.”
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