Do you try to make people like you? By doing favors, or making up compliments, or not saying something they’d object to? Do you say, ‘yes,’ instead of your heartfelt, ‘no,’ because you don’t want to make anybody mad or disappointed in you?
Why? Why do you do that?
I’m not talking about good manners. Good manners are meant to make life easier, not harder.
I’m not talking about going out of your way to share love out of a sense of common humanity in – well, everybody.
I’m talking about faking it. Out of fear.
What are you afraid of? Most of us have a hard-wired fear of being too alone. We’re social animals whose survival depended – quite literally, once upon a time – on our being a part of a group who had our back.
You may think that people won’t help you unless you help them, that they won’t admire you unless you admire them, that it’s all about racking up a bigger balance in your emotional bank accounts.
But that old self help model of doing for others so they’ll do for you is manipulative, controlling, and just plain flawed. It’s based on a scarcity mentality that there’s not ever enough goodwill to go around.
Plus, if you’re trying too hard to make people like you, then you’ll end up with friends who don’t really know you.
Ask yourself what your motives are. If you’re motivated by a desire to make yourself into someone else’s image of ‘likeable,’ then get clear. And stop that.
To the people who are meant to be ‘your’ people, you are inherently likeable, already.
Give them a chance to recognize you when they see you.