Amiability as a Personality Dimension
What is amiability? It’s a dimension of personality reflecting someone’s likability. Amiable folks tend to be inherently good-natured. They generally possess placid temperaments. Naturally mellow, they are easy to relate to and talk to. They can also be kind, gracious, and accommodating. People naturally gravitate toward these kinds of folks. And without half-trying, they can be powerfully seductive, especially when bright and cheery. Sometimes, amiable folks can be too willing to accommodate or please. And this can sometimes cause uneasiness. But generally speaking, amiability carries with it powerful social appeal.
A Personality Dimension but Not a Character Trait
As a dimension of personality, any or all of the traits referenced above can contribute to a person’s amiability. But while amiable folks are inherently likable – even lovable, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll make a good partner. Amiability, you see, is not a character quality. And character is not the same as personality. It’s an aspect of personality to be sure. But it’s not the same. And integrity is a character trait. It’s the collection of a person’s traits that reflect how respect worthy they are. (See: pp. 23-26 in Character Disturbance.) And while honorable folks are often amiable too, being amiable doesn’t automatically make someone honorable.
What Generally Attracts
By its very nature, amiability is a powerfully attractive quality to have. Character, by contrast, doesn’t always carry the same appeal. You have to have grown quite a bit in character yourself to even appreciate the value of character. Moreover, sometimes, folks with mounds of integrity don’t have the greatest personal appeal. But they will inevitably make the best friends, bosses, co-workers or lifetime partners.
I’ve heard hundreds of stories of folks drawn to someone’s amiability. Some folks had to find out the hard way that likability and integrity simply aren’t the same thing. Moreover, many found themselves experiencing extreme gaslighting effects after learning this lesson. Why? Because amiability is an enduring and alluring personality dimension. Accordingly, even after all the horrible things he/she did, everyone still liked and wanted to be around their ex! This made them feel more a bit crazy.
What Really Matters
While someone’s amiability might be what attracts you, their integrity of character will largely determine whether your relationship is destined to last. I know of hundreds of instances where attraction between folks wasn’t intense at first. But it grew as the parties came to appreciate one another’s character. Just ask any couple who’ve been happily together for many years. They’ll readily tell you they’d pick integrity over amiability any time. And boy is it wonderful when the two go together!
And be sure to catch the latest Character Matters podcast Reverence for the Truth – Part 2