7 Reasons it is Super Important that People Like You

Do people like you? Do you care if they don’t? Regardless of how you answer these questions I am guessing that you do not want to come across as someone that craves affection. It feels a little desperate. We often look down on those that we feel “need” to be liked. Somehow we feel that we should be above this. There are those that are openly hostile to those that make obvious efforts to make friends and expand their influence. Read on to find out why this kind of cynicism is ridiculous:

1) Being liked is more important that being right – OK, before you get all worked up, let me explain myself. Take a good look at the leaders you admire, the people that get things done. They are the people that others respect, not because of their title, their money or the sheer weight of their power, but because they simply impress others. Do you see them running around trying to convince people they are right about every issue under the sun? Or are they more likely to stress relationship over debate wins? Almost without exception, the greatest leaders have you liking them before you even know their stand on different issues.

2) Being liked covers a multitude of sins when you are in a new environment – The best thing you can do for yourself when traveling is to get straight to work creating friendship networks. This is huge. You are going to make all kinds of newbie mistakes when you land on the ground. You get a lot more grace if you focus on friends first. So be shameless about it – put yourself out there, win friends, influence people, your life will be better as a result.

3) If you don’t have the emotional intelligence to see the importance of being liked you will have already lost big – The biggest critics of those that are concerned with being liked are typically the “unliked”. Don’t be part of this stodgy, clueless underclass. You know the type that I am talking about – never without a critical word. They always have a sneer ready for anyone they think may be stealing the spotlight. Don’t listen to these losers and don’t slip into this destructive behavior, you will miserable, lonely and friendless.

4) Being liked is about so much more than sheer emotion. – Being liked is not about having people just smile at you. It is a general orientation towards you that gives you access, advantage and encouragement that money and power simply cannot replicate. Being liked is very enviable for this reason. There is nothing wrong with wanting people to feel this way about you. You should make this a priority.

5) Being liked cannot be explained rationally.Being liked is like charisma – it is really hard to explain. It is almost magical. It draws others to you. How do you explain the fact that some people are always surrounded by others and some people are not?

6) Being liked cannot be faked - You can often force people to obey you. You can dominate them with power. You can make them fear you. You can pay them to behave a certain way. But you cannot make them like you no matter what kind of power you wield. Being liked trumps everything.

7) Being liked connects you with the game changers – The people that get jobs, the people that make friends and the people that draw the attention of the movers and shakers all tend to have strong likability ratings. Sure, there are some people that force themselves into positions and exclusive circles using brute force, but these are the outliers and can often be safely ignored. If you want to make a difference through savvy, global do-gooding, then work on being likeable. It is not manipulative, it is smart.

How do you feel about the above list? Do you agree? Or do you hate it? Tell me where I am right or wrong and add to the list by leaving a comment.

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Bjorn Karlman

2 thoughts on “7 Reasons it is Super Important that People Like You”

  1. Interesting post Bjorn. I wonder if I go out of my way to try to be liked by people. Is that going to be the follow up of this post:) how to get people to like you? I’m not sure if I’m consciously spending time wondering how to get people to like me – that I can’t control. I can control becoming a better person (a more caring, considerate and compassionate person) which I assume will be a person who is liked by more people.

    I work in politics as you know now so will have to reflect on this post to determine how political candidates go about this – are they regularly trying to be liked and what do they do to get liked.

    1. I’d actually be interested in your take on the likeability factor in politics… It is certainly generating a lot of buzz in the presidential election…

      I’m am absolutely with you on the fact that being likable comes from working on the most basic important things… It is not just glad handing. Having said that, I also think it is important to be strategic about forging the right alliances and being deliberate about crafting your image… But maybe that is just the professional fundraiser in me talking:)

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