Are you getting ready for a new beginning? I know many who are:
- Joe finished college and is starting his new career. Yea!
- Abby, Julia, and Andrew have completed high school and are ready for college. Yea!
- Alaina will be a freshman in high school this fall. Awesome!
- Sally and Jeff are starting new jobs following a period of unemployment. Hallelujah!
New beginnings are fun yet full of anxiety. One thing that makes us anxious is our need to be liked.
We are wired to bond with others—it’s how we create community. When we are liked, we feel valued and connected to those who like us.
And there’s nothing wrong with our desire to be liked! It’s natural.
Occasionally you will hear someone say, “I don’t need to be liked.” Really?
Having known a few people who have said that, I don’t think they cared about being liked because they weren’t liked very much. They were usually selfish, insensitive to others, egocentric, or ultra-competitive.
There is a danger, however, in wanting to be liked too much. If you put too much emphasis on being liked—feeling valued and fitting in—you’ll fill yourself with internal conflicts.
- Afraid of rejection, you don’t say what you really think
- You’ll say “yes” when you wanted to say “no”
- Your feedback for others will always be “nice,” but you won’t be saying anything of real value
And being “nice” won’t guarantee you’ll actually be embraced by the group.
I think it’s best to focus on being likable: Someone pleasant who others enjoy being around.
Those people are easy to like. They can even be completely honest—people are always open to hearing what they have to say.
In fact, they’re hard to be mad at!
How can you be more likable? Here are five tips.
1. Lose your ego
It’s not about you. Do not use the word “I” all the time in sentences, e.g., “I did…”, “so then I had to…”, “it was really important so I…”
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself.
2. Be sensitive to others
Make it about others. Ask good questions of others so you can get to know them. Also, learn what’s important to them and ask them about their family.
It’s more important for you to get to know them than it is to tell them everything about you.
3. Listen well
My wife laughed at this because I’m a “work in progress” when it comes to listening! What I do know is it’s essential to listen and give others a chance to talk.
People want to be heard. When I listen well, I demonstrate how much I value them.
4. Smile & laugh
We want to be around people who are fun—who smile and laugh often. Your smile is the easiest way to get someone else to smile back.
When we smile and laugh, everyone around us feels better.
5. Tell stories
Who doesn’t like to hear a good story? Likable people draw others into their lives with stories about themselves, about what happened at work, or whatever.
Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:5-6 (MSG)