Many of us worry about whether others like us or not. This is a natural human desire, as we are social creatures who crave connection, acceptance and belonging. Additionally, some people have genuine difficulty getting others to like them, while others find it almost effortless. However, worrying too much about others liking us - and their opinions - can be unhealthy, often lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
There are a number of reasons why we might worry about being liked. Some people have low self-esteem and don't believe they are worthy of love and respect. Others may have had negative experiences in the past, such as being bullied or rejected, that have made them feel excluded and fearful of being disliked. Still others may simply be perfectionists who crave attention and want to be liked by everyone they meet.
We all have the potential to be well liked right there within ourselves. It is a matter of finding it and acting upon it, which is not that easy to do. However, there are four key ways of getting others to like and appreciate us more, and they start with the key one, self-love.
1. SELF-LOVE: We cannot expect others to like what we dislike or reject, so we have to start liking ourselves first before anyone else can like us. If we think we are awful, ugly, bad, sad, or whatever, why should anyone else think differently? We are the ones who set the standard, the value and the baseline for who we are. If we value ourselves very little, or dislike ourselves a lot, that just makes us unattractive. There is no way anyone else is going to place us at a higher value, or like us any more, than we do. Our thoughts, attitude and actions will match the negative way we feel and will encourage others to avoid us, too.
So if you are wondering why you might not be attracting as many friends as you should, or you lose friends equally quickly, it could be related to how you feel about yourself which affects the way others react to you in turn. So stop finding fault with you, and start loving, appreciating and valuing who you are. Give thanks for being you because, if you don't give the lead to how youwish to be treated, no one else will follow! Love yourself, accept yourself and value yourself and others reciprocate, too.
2. BEING YOURSELF: One of the biggest myths about friendship is that you have to please others to get them to like you. But that is only a small part of the picture. The best way to get others to like you is to be yourself. There is no need to try to impress anyone, to be like anyone else, to go overboard to seek approval, or to be constantly wondering how you should behave in the company of others. Those are signs of insecurity in yourself. When you worry about what others think and their feelings about you, and constantly seek their approval for them to like you, that points to low self-esteem and a lack of pride and self-belief in who you are.
Furthermore, when you are too fawning or too pleasing, others will find it hard to respect you because they will not be quite sure of the real you. It is also likely to make them feel uncomfortable in your presence. Being yourself, especially through positivity, being confident and independent are the most attractive ways to draw people to you. What is likely to happen is that those who like you exactly as you are will want to get closer to you and share your company, and those who don't will continue on their way, which will give you less hassle all round. If you are a positive, caring, cheerful, fun person, don't worry about those who don't like you because there will be many, many more who do.
3. ATTITUDE: People respond most to a positive attitude and this comes from positive thoughts. Pointless thinking negative thoughts all day, or constantly whingeing, judging and criticising, then expecting others to find your company uplifting and enjoyable. People tend to gravitate towards others who make them feel good, who inspire them to greater things, who are role models or just fun to be with. If your attitude is a constantly negative one which doesn't really do much for others, you won't be liked. You might attract a few people out of fear, but real friends will avoid you because you are not doing anything for them emotionally.
A great attitude is revealed through positive actions (like giving compliments), your facial expression (a smile works wonders!), your sense of humour (how quickly you are to laugh than to frown), your personal contentment and happiness (are you always complaining?) and your empathy for others (are you quick to help or to judge them?). Your attitude to life, whether positive or negative, will either draw people to you or repel them for good.
4. PUT OTHERS FIRST: At the heart of any kind of friendship is reciprocity, give and take. If you are just a taker, you will not have many friends because no one likes a selfish person. People tend to like those who are considerate of them, who are helpful, who don't seek to take advantage and who will protect their interests. Otherwise they will feel vulnerable to you and when that happens, they tend to retreat into themselves. People who think only of themselves tend to be avoided because the essence of friendship is sharing and mutual appreciation. Both people must benefit from a friendship, and reap some reward from it, for it to be maintained. Otherwise it won't be long before one person becomes resentful, loses interest and vote with their feet. Benefits can either be physical (material things), emotional (mutual affirmation and support) and/or intellectual (stimulating conversations and exchanging ideas). It all depends on what the other person is seeking for their personal fulfilment in liking you.
So, if you strive to be yourself, to like yourself first before expecting others to like you, to nurture a very pleasant and positive attitude, one with a ready smile, and to put others first before yourself, you have the key ingredients for not only being very popular in your circle, but to be liked for the right reasons too!
However, regardless of the reasons mentioned, it is important to remember that you cannot control whether or not everyone likes you. There will always be some people who don't like you, and that's okay. It is also important to remember that you are not responsible for other people's happiness. You can only control your own actions and how you react to others. If you find yourself worrying too much about being liked, try to focus on your own self-worth.
Remind yourself that you are a valuable person, regardless of what others think. Challenge your negative thoughts, too. When you catch yourself thinking that someone you like doesn't like you, and feeling bad about it, ask yourself if there is any evidence to support that thought. It is likely that there isn't. Finally, try to surround yourself with positive people who support you and make you feel good about yourself, which helps to take the focus off you.
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About the Creator
British Podcaster/Empowerment coach/DEI Consultant. Author: 7 Steps To Finding And Keeping 'The One'! and The New Theory of Confidence. Graduate/Doctor of Open Univ; Postgrad of Cambridge Univ. Keen on relationships, motivation and books.