Quotations about:
    likeability


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Usually the things you dislike in a person are his defenses against fear.

Lucy Freeman
Lucy Freeman (1916-2004) American journalist, author
Fight Against Fears, ch. 17 [John] (1951)
    (Source)

A comment she records from John, her psychoanalyst, but usually attributed to her.
 
Added on 6-Sep-22 | Last updated 6-Sep-22
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If by the age of forty a man is still disliked there is no hope for him.

[年四十而見惡焉、其終也已。]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 17, verse 26 (17.26) (6th C. BC – AD 3rd C.) [tr. Lau (1979)]
    (Source)

(Source (Chinese)). Alternate translations:

When a man at forty is the object of dislike, he will always continue what he is.
[tr. Legge (1861)]

When a man meets with odium at forty, he will do so to the end.
[tr. Jennings (1895)]

If a man after forty is an object of dislike to men, he will continue to be so to the end of his days.
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898)]

If a man reach forty and yet be disliked by his fellows, he will be so to the end.
[tr. Soothill (1910)]

Forty and disliked. He is at the end already; too late to alter.
[tr. Soothill (1910) - alternate 1]

At 40 a man's character is settled, and if he still be detested by his fellows, then here his end is reached.
[tr. Soothill (1910) - alternate 2]

If a man is hateful at forty he'll be so to the end.
[tr. Pound (1933)]

One who has reached the age of forty and is still disliked will be so till the end.
[tr. Waley (1938)]

If hateful things are seen in one at the age of forty, that is indeed how one will end up.
[tr. Dawson (1993)]

Whoever, by the age of forty, is still disliked, will remain so till the end.
[tr. Leys (1997)]

If one is still disliked at his forty years of age, one is going to the end.
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998), No. 466]

The person who at age forty still evokes the dislike of others is a hopeless case.
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998)]

If he is forty and is still hated, he will probably be so until the end.
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998), 17.24]

If you reach forty and find it all hateful, you'll be that way to the death.
[tr. Hinton (1998), 17.25]

If, having reached the age of forty, you still find yourself despised by others, you will remain despised until the end of your days.
[tr. Slingerland (2003)]

Forty and hated by others -- and he’ll be so the rest of his life.
[tr. Watson (2007)]

If a person has reached forty but is still an outcast, he will not have much hope for the rest of his life.
[tr. Li (2020)]

 
Added on 5-Sep-22 | Last updated 5-Sep-22
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Good manners — the longer I live the more convinced I am of it — are a priceless insurance against failure and loneliness. And anyone can have them.

Elsa Maxwell (1883-1963) American gossip columnist, author, songwriter, professional hostess
Elsa Maxwell’s Etiquette Book (1951)
 
Added on 12-Apr-18 | Last updated 12-Apr-18
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I bet you if I had met him and had a chat with him, I would have found him a very interesting and human fellow, for I never yet met a man that I dident like. When you meet people, no matter what opinion you might have formed about them beforehand, why, after you meet them and see their angle and their personality, why, you can see a lot of good in all of them.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
Saturday Evening Post (6 Nov 1926)

On regrets over not having met Leon Trotsky while visiting the Soviet Union. Earliest formulation of Rogers' motto found in print (the misspelling of "didn't" is in the original). The article, including this passage, was incorporated into a book Rogers published about the trip, There's Not a Bathing Suit in Russia & Other Bare Facts, ch. 4 (1927)

Another early reference, speaking at a Boston church (Jun 1930):

I’ve got my epitaph all worked out. When I’m tucked away in the old graveyard west of Oologah [Oklahoma], I hope they will cut this epitaph -- or whatever you call them signs they put over gravestones -- on it, ‘Here lies Will Rogers. He joked about every prominent man in his time, but he never met a man he didn’t like.

That reference was picked up in AP news stories, and Rogers used the phrase for the rest of his life.

More info: here, here, and here.
 
Added on 1-May-08 | Last updated 17-Mar-22
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A strange and vanity-devoured, detestable woman! I do not believe I could ever learn to like her except on a raft at sea with no other provisions in sight.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 3, 3 July 1908 (2010)
    (Source)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Tom Sawyer Abroad, ch. 11 “The Sand-Storm” (1905)
    (Source)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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He liked to like people, therefore people liked him.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, ch. 16 (1896)
    (Source)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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