Do you want to be liked by everyone in the world? Here’s what you need to do for each and every person you want to be friends with:
Approve of everything they do
Put their needs ahead of yours at all times
Feed to their ego
Follow their schedule
Listen to their stories
Admire their lives
Do what they want you to do
Stay in touch with them at the level that is comfortable for them.
Don’t need or demand anything from them – they can take care of their duties and responsibilities themselves.
As contrived as this list seems, we do tend to do these things at the beginning of a relationship, and quite naturally too. We want them to like us. We want to make them feel special and loved.
At the start of any kind of friendship or relationship, people tend to be on their best behaviour. Everything seems to flow easily, effortlessly and seamlessly. Oleg Torsunov describes this period of a relationship as commercial or a movie trailer/preview. This period is a “preview” or advertisement for what your relationship with this person COULD be like IF you both do all the self development work that you need to do to work on yourself to achieve personal growth.
Of course, people tend to slip back into old habits, and trying to make someone like you starts to get more tiresome, and then you end up with a relationship which is astonishingly different to how it was at the beginning. And you wonder…what happened?!
Under the assumption that you didn’t do anything drastic to really piss someone off, do you ever wonder why friendships can suddenly turn sour?
(I’m speaking more about friendships here, because when you are in a relationship, you tend to have more of an obligation to eachother, and since you will probably monitor your feelings for eachother on a day to day basis, it’s unlikely you will be too surprised)
The reason people start disliking you over time, is because you probably stop doing some of these things. This is the dark side of trying to make everyone like you.
There is a fine balance between being liked and being respected. Up to a certain point you can (and should) have both. But once you cross a certain threshold, it becomes an either/or scenario. They either like you or they respect you. The more you worry about making someone like you, the less they will respect you.
Does this mean I am suggesting to be respected by everybody and not put any emphasis on being liked? Nope!
But I do think it’s more important to work on yourself and become a likeable person, rather than a person who tries to be liked.
If you google “How to be a nice person” I’m sure you will get a plethora of information that will instruct you how to be “nice”. But y’all should know that instinctively already.
So here are some other points I think are equally important in making yourself a likable person:
Keep your conscience clear
Likeable people tend to want to keep a clear conscience, whereas people who want to be liked tend to feel like they need to self censor.
Your conscience is your own responsibility and yours alone. Similarly, it is not your responsibility to pass judgement on other people’s conscience. The only thing you have to do is try to keep your conscience clear. Do things with integrity and do the best you can. Know your strengths and limitations.
2 Examples of feelings that taint your conscience are:
1) The feeling that you should have done more.
2) The feeling that you did something intentionally to harm someone.
You can control these feelings by controlling your actions. You can control your actions by having a little bit of self-awareness through self-inquiry. Try to eliminate these feelings by
1) Doing what you should do. Fulfill your duties and responsibilities to that person completely. Make sure you know your strengths and limitations, and let them know it too. Let the other person know what you are capable of doing and what you are not capable of doing for them. If you have the feeling that you should have done more, the way to correct it is to do what you should have done. And if that is too late, open your heart, and ask the universe to give you another opportunity to redeem yourself. You will be given this opportunity in time.
2) To eliminate the feeling that you did something intentionally to harm someone you must correct your Karma. The first step is forgiveness. You should ask for forgiveness, although you may not be granted it by the person you have wronged. That’s okay. You need to ask the universe for forgiveness. By doing this the universe will give you opportunities to correct your Karma, through your life. You must work through what life will show you. It may not always be easy, but if you work through your Karma correctly, this feeling will fade away over time. (More on this in the next point) Other things that may help with this feeling, is taking the time to understand why you were motivated to intentionally cause suffering to another person. If you did not do it with the intention of making someone suffer, you need to ask someone how this resulted as a by-product.
And of course, to avoid this feeling, we need to try not to cause any deliberate harm to others.
Correct and work through your Karma
Likeable people tend to correct and work through their karma, whereas people who want to be liked need immediate harmony.
Everybody has their own Karma. It is wise to begin to correct, clear and work through your own karma, while you maintain friendships. If you ignore your Karma, then you enter a friendship with a person who also has their own Karma, and you can get confused about what is yours and what is theirs, and what you need to do to become “clean”. It’s best to start working on yourself first.
Karma is very easy to spot, because it’s what you are going through in your life right now. There is good Karma and bad Karma, but they too are just labels that we put on it to make sense of it. When something happens that causes us pleasure we call it “good karma” and when something bad happens that causes us suffering to work through it, we call it “bad Karma”. But in the universe there isn’t any “good” or “bad”, there is just cause and effect.
Look at all the “sore spots” in your life right now. When you work through your Karma correctly, the soreness will fade away.
To be a likeable person, we should be in charge of our karma, the good at the bad. We should have an idea of where it is in our lives, and how we are planning to work through it.
Fulfill your duties and responsibilities excellently.
Likeable people tend to fulfill their duties due to a strong sense of purpose and responsibility, whereas people who want to be liked only do the things that will result in them being liked.
We all have duties and responsibilities. If you think you the world owes you something, you are wrong. The world doesn’t “owe” you anything. In order to be a likeable person, we need to make sure we are fulfilling our duties. When we don’t fulfill our duties, we generate more Karma to work through, and people start to grow suspicious of us.
People are drawn to people who have a sense of responsibility and purpose in this world. Finding your life’s purpose begins by accomplishing all your existing responsibilities and duties right now.
Examples of duties are: Your responsibilities as a student, a parent, a worker, a friend, an artist, a teacher, a healer etc…
Serve your community.
Likeable people tend to want to create a good life for their community, whereas people who want to be liked feel that their community owes them a good life.
Likeable people tend to exist in places outside of their own little head space. Give back to your community in whatever way you can. Reserve part of your time and energy to contribute to something of a larger scale than your own needs or just the needs of your closest family.
Do things that add value to your life, and to peoples lives.
Likeable people are valuable people, whereas people who want to be liked need to be liked by people who can bring value to them.
Likable people are valuable people. People just want to be liked don’t tend to bring much value. Likeable people are valuable to themselves, to the people around them, and to society. You become a valuable person by adding things of value in these different levels of your life. Go through the three levels and ask yourself:
How can I make myself a more valuable person?
Educating yourself? Pursuing hobbies and interests? Developing your body? Becoming a better parent? What qualities do I need to train myself to have to engage in personal growth?
How can I make myself more valuable to my friends and family?
How can I help my friends and family without taking away their independence? How can I live my life as an example? How can I become a better daughter/son/friend/sister/brother?
How can I make myself more valuable to society?
What new ideas can I bring to my community? What can I offer my community? How can I make my community a better place? How can I be a better worker at my job? What skills do I have? What can I teach?
Be a calm person.
Likeable people tend to develop their calmness, whereas people who want to be liked tend to develop their appeal.
As I mentioned in a previous post, something I really want to work on is an inner wealth of calm and peace. Likeable people tend to develop their calmness, whereas people who want to be liked tend to develop their appeal (beauty, sex, sense of humour, zesty personality – And while these are okay to develop, a solid sense of calmness and peace must first be established. Beauty, sex, confidence, humour, zest are all very subjective and depend on a time and a place. Sometimes it is appropriate, sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is tasteful, sometimes it is vulgar. Sometimes it is appreciated, and sometimes not.)
At the end of the day, not everybody is going to like you. This is a hard lesson for me to learn, but I am slowly becoming more and more comfortable with it. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It’s easy to get caught up in the need to be liked. When this happens, I just have to check myself. I have to ask myself – is it more important to be respected or liked right now? Am I focusing so much on being liked that have I neglected being likeable?
Hm….I don’t know how to end this post eloquently so….bye!