4 Simple Ways to Quiet a Need to Be Liked
Enjoy it, but don’t need to be liked.
You live life at the whim of others when you need to be liked.
You can’t succeed as a leader when your need to be liked exceeds your drive for results.
4 simple ways to quiet a need to be liked:
#1. Enjoy being liked by the ‘right’ people.
- Be liked by team members. It’s possible to perform at high levels with people who don’t like you, but not over the long-term and not without manipulating them.
- Enjoy being liked by people you work to serve.
- People who share your values matter more.
When you value generosity, don’t worry if greedy people don’t like you.
#2. Enjoy being disliked by the ‘right’ people.
A young politician once told me he was disappointed that the Republicans tried to make the Democrats look bad and the Democrats did the same to the Republicans. In the process the best interest of the community is left behind.
Don’t worry when a competitor doesn’t like you. Worry about serving your customers.
#3. Enjoy being liked by people who benefit from your service.
People who are well liked are also disliked intensely. Think of Ronald Regan, Jesus of Nazareth, or Nelson Mandela.
Not everyone values your service.
On occasion I receive messages from critics. Sometimes their observations are useful. Often they want me to be like them.
- Always learn.
- Adapt occasionally.
- Stay focused on delivering value.
Criticism drives you crazy when you need to be liked.
#4. Worry more about liking than being liked.
Accept that you can be great at something and be disliked at the same time.
Being disliked means you stand for something. Think of Abraham Lincoln.
“Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.” Norman Vincent Peale
Focus on liking the people you serve.
How can leaders enjoy being liked without needing to be liked?
How to be a Badass Without Becoming a Jerk-hole
How to be a Leader People Like – Without being Needy
Wanting to Be Liked vs. Needing to be Liked
#5. Be yourself (especially in the workplace) – Shortest path to determining how you’re perceived, and how your experience of others impacts you. Like or Like-Not will quickly emerge.
Thanks Greg. Wonderful insight. It’s more fulfilling to show up for work being yourself than trying to be someone you’re not.
Don’t allow “being liked” to make you feel like a 10, and don’t allow “being disliked” make you feel like a 0. Start by liking yourself for doing the right thing.
Take action that aligns with your core beliefs and values. When you do things to be liked, your values and principles move to the back seat.
As they say–being respected is more important than being liked.
Thanks Paul. Love the idea of not judging yourself by the opinion of others. I confess that I feel better about myself when I feel liked by people I respect. It’s not my best quality, but it’s a reality.
Your insight about beliefs and values is so important. When the need to be liked gets strong enough we’ll do anything to be liked.
Sadly, the harder we work to be liked the more we feel insecure.
If someone else’s attitude, behavior, emotions, etc. cause you to act a certain way… Who is really leading? I love #4. Great reminder that even if we aren’t “liked” we still have a responsibility to show kindness, respect, and “like” them.
Thanks Luke. The person you can’t confront or contradict controls you. When this happens, we lose some of ourselves. I appreciate your insight.
I think some of it is breaking out of the mindset that you need to be like to avoid a good kicking by the local bullies and missing links on the rugby team. It’s a habit formed in childhood (usually at school) to get through life without too much unnecessary pain. At work you’re less likely to get sucker-punched or have your lunch money stolen, but hey, old habits die hard. That said, many workplaces do still contain cliques upon whose good opinion progress and the like hang.
So true Mitch. We enjoy being liked from the moment of birth. I’m not free from people-pleasing even now. But at least I see it and remind myself to show up as my best self and let the chips fall where they may.
The timing of this article is immpeccable. We have someone at work who if the CCO says “Oh great work” she mimics him. This is in meetings and in “comments” during the meetings. It is particulary evident, but to each his own. I am a firm believer in “like” and “dislike” you have to have boundaries or people will walk all over you and you will become the “catch all” for any work others just do not want to tackle even if it is different departments and not associated with compliance in any way, shape or form. I had an excellent Director at one time who would speak up and say “Why is compliance being asked to handle this task?” “This is a finance project and nothing to do with compliance so please see that this is reassigned to your own department” I applaud being upfront, personal and to the point.
The whole idea of someone being put in a high level role, but not knowing the basics of the position is not a compliance issue, but rather a lack of knowlege issue. To say “Oh, we need to be there to guide them and support them in learning” their job?
Thank you for hearing me out.
Thanks Jules. You share a powerful illustration that we end up doing things we shouldn’t do when we need to be liked.
Experience shows that tough honesty, when done with kindness, makes us more likeable. Dishonest and fear are unattractive.
A big problem on social media is that people are being hated when they are real, and being loved when they are fake.