5 Ways To Get People To Like You [The Right Way]
A man drives up to a house party with his music so loud that it shakes the neighborhood playing through his dual Sony 1500 watt 16" sub-woofers. He steps out of his silver metallic Porsche Carrera GT wearing his casual but classy suit & tie he purchased after seeing it in this month's issue of Gentlemen's Quarterly magazine. As he opens the door of the car, those standing outside of the party hear he is playing the hottest song that hasn't even been released on CD yet. He uses a remote to turn off his car. Walking into the house, he carries himself like he is a celebrity walking down the red carpet at his big movie premiere. Even through his suit & tie, it is obvious that he is well-built physically. When he speaks to women at the party whom he is interested in getting to know, he seems to know the exact words to say...
So, do people like this man? If you ask me, this story doesn't give us enough information to tell whether people liked him or not. First of all, we do not have any evidence of how others reacted to him at all. We just get somewhat of an image of him but nothing of those looking on him. Secondly, this man may have lots of money and be on top of all of the popular trends of the time; he may even know exactly what people "want" to hear... but... what about his motives? What about his attitude beyond his looks & trendiness? Sure, some may see this man and think, "Wow, what a great guy!" But if we escape our tendencies to be materialistic and shallow, we don't know enough about this man to know whether he is a friend worth having.
Most people are more visual than they are auditory, and next after visual, is kinesthetic. So, when we look at another person, the first thing we see is how they look visually. This does not mean we only see their physical looks, but we see a certain demeanor about the person that gives us cues as to his/her level of confidence level, his/her self-esteem, etc. From the story above, we miss out on a lot of that because we do not actually see the man for ourself. Kinesthetically speaking, we would notice the mannerisms, the way the person moves his/her body, to give us clues about the whole person. The last thing most people notice is "what you say." The man at the party may have been saying the exact things the women wanted to hear, but is that enough for a woman to like him? No way. We see much further than just appearance & material possessions, even though many times those things seem to help because there is a tendency for us as humans to be shallow and materialistic. But even though that is not the way we should judge each other, there is a reason those things are attractive. They are signs of stability, whether it be financial, mental, physical, emotional, social, etc. There is definitely balance to this, because we want people to see how secure & stable we are, but also to get a good picture at our character and heart. Many times we feel like the stick man in the picture above: "That doesn't look anything like me!" Others sometimes see a picture of us that we don't see.
So, what can we do to really get people to like us for the right reasons? I will give you 5 tips, ways that you may become more likable that will help to eliminate those superficial means to get people to like you. For example, here is what I believe to be the most important way to get people to like you [the right way]:
1. Be Genuine
The best thing you could ever do is to "be yourself." Of course we all have areas we desire to improve, and we certainly notice our own faults, but even in the midst of dealing with those areas of our lives, it is important we are not trying to be someone we are not. No one likes it when a person is superficial. They see through the auditory cues, and they see that the visual & kinesthetic cues do not line up with them. They realize they may not be getting any kind of a true image of who you are.
Imagine the man in the story of the house party behaving the way he did to "put on a show." People would notice immediately. Yes, some wouldn't care, maybe because the motives for what they were doing, were not so pure either. But, if the man lacked the confidence and genuine character to fit that celebrity-like role he put himself in, he would most likely just be laughed at and made fun of. Be yourself. Even if you win some people over with a superficial image of yourself, ultimately you will begin to set yourself up for more disappointment down the road.
2. Realize That The World Doesn't Revolve Around You
In addition to being genuine, another way to help people to like you [the right way], is to realize that the world does not revolve only around you. The man attending the house party may have had the confidence he needed and may have been genuine, but if who he was did not care about other people and only cared about himself (a genuine jerk, if you ask me), what would people think about him? Again, there are always a few who will like you for the show you put on, but ultimately people will realize, "This dude only cares about himself!" If you desire to really be a likable person, you must realize that the world doesn't revolve around you and that others desire just as much attention and care as you do. Without this realization, you might as well forget about having lots of friends... and the friends you do have will not last very long if you are so selfish and think everything revolves around you. That may be hard for some to hear, but believe me, it is much better for you to get a lil' upset about what I am saying and learn to become a better person than to be stubborn and still live the way you live. That would become an extremely lonely life to live. Everything that drew in any friends or companions in your life would soon die down. You'd realize I can't be young forever. You'd know that eventually your physical looks and money could only do so much to help it seem like the world does revolve around you.
Those of you who are thinking, "Well, what about Hugh Hefner?" I guarantee you, the fame will only last so long... then what will be left? I can't know exactly how all of the women with Hugh feel about him, but I know without the money and fame, they wouldn't be all over him the way they are... so what does that say? For me, if someone's motives to be with me are strictly for my fame and money, I do not want to be with them. So, be genuine, and realize the world doesn't revolve around you... and even if the material things and fame draw in people who claim to like you, it will not last forever.
3. Realize That Not Everyone Is Going To Like You
What? How can realizing not everyone is going to like me be a way to get people to like me? Doesn't that go against people liking me? ... No... Actually, those people who realize this concept become okay with the fact that you can never get everyone to like you, and they free themselves to be more genuine, which helps them to be more likable.
Back to the man attending the house party, my first question after seeing this guy pull up to the house is, "Who is this guy trying to please?" And the answer is: everyone. Maybe he genuinely likes all of those material things he has, the sound system in his car, the car, the suit & tie, the unreleased CD he got his hands on, etc, but what are the motives for playing his music so loudly pulling up to the house in his incredibly amazing sports car? It seems he may be desperate for attention or has a strong desire to be liked by everyone to the point that he has to use those material things to prove himself worthy of being liked. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love playing my music loud with a lot of loud bass, I would love a sports car like that, I enjoy nice suits & ties, and I love being right on top of today's hottest music trends... but if the man really wants people to like him, he should not draw so much attention at how much "better" he may think he is for having all of those things, especially going to a simple house party acting like it is a movie premiere. Realize not everyone is going to like you, and use that knowledge to be as true to yourself as you can be, not worrying about those who will not like you. The more you do this, the more you will be liked by many people. I have worked on this concept in my own life having recently moved to a new state, and it has proven to help me make lots of new, incredible friends. But if I had tried too hard, I probably would have drawn more negative attention than positive.
4. Make Sure Your Words Match Your Actions
Back to the introduction where I mentioned our auditory perception versus our visual and kinesthetic perceptions of others, it is important that our actions line up with what we speak. When our words match our actions, we establish credibility, a positive reputation, and become trustworthy in the eyes of others. This means your words can be taken seriously because your actions agree with them.
On the other hand, if they do not match, your reputation and credibility may be built upon lies, which in turn causes others to see you as "not trustworthy." Unfortunately, I have witnessed this concept in my life where I believed my word was valid and reliable, but I chose actions that went against my word. The consequences of such actions can be tremendous. You may lose many friends. You may lose a job. You may not be given another chance to make things better. You may spend the rest of your life wondering how you let a few actions go against your word that you believed in. It is as very serious matter, but thankfully, God is the author of mercy and grace, and no matter what your past looks like, He always give you another chance.
By choosing to match your words with your actions, you choose to live in integrity and have a character that is solid. No one likes taking a bite out of something they expect to taste good and realize it is artificial & just plain disgusting. Build your character & integrity by living up to your word.
5. Destroy All Forms of Bitterness From Your Past
God is always willing to give us another chance. But what about when we allow our past to hold us in a place of bitterness? Sometimes this bitterness can even be toward yourself for your own past actions, and sometimes it is something concerning another individual who has hurt you. Either way, this bitterness stunts your growth, and whether you see it or not, this bitterness absolutely affects whether those you come in contact with will like you or not. People see through words and will see the bitterness holding you back. It may scare some away, it may prevent people from getting too close to you, etc. Some people even use this feeling to lead them down a path where they do not care at all whether they are pleasing to others. Yes, we should be more concerned about being pleasing to God than pleasing to others, but if we allow bitterness and unforgiveness to abide in our life, it does not please God either. And God wants us to be pleasing to His children as well, so they can continue to grow closer to Him as well through our example. Some people may claim they are pleasing God, but they show no love to God's children. They live in a way that is so separated from others that they put themselves on a higher level than others. It is important we realize we are all on the same level. No one is lesser than us in the eyes of God. We can be more pleasing to God at times, but He loves us all the same. A good parent will love a child and encourage them no matter what their past looks like.
By forgiving those you still need to forgive from your past and present, you allow God to forgive you. Bitterness is a sign of unforgiveness, so when you get in a place where you can forgive all those who have wronged you, the bitterness dissolves. You may say, "How can I destroy this bitterness and forgive those people? You don't know how bad they wronged me!" Well, I am not saying it is easy, but what helps me is looking at my own faults and realizing how much wrong I have done to myself and to others... it helps me put things in perspective to know that we all need forgiveness. No one is perfect. The Bible says that we all fall short of the glory of God. There is no one other than Jesus Christ himself who as a human has not sinned, so why should I hold in bitterness against someone who is not perfect? I, myself, am not perfect, so I must realize this and forgive those in my life who have wronged me so I may be forgiven. By doing this, others will see the freedom that you live in, and they will be attracted to you as someone they'd like to be a part of their lives.
If you really want people to like you for the right reasons, be genuine, realize that the world doesn't only revolve around you, realize that not everyone is going to like you no matter what you do or say, do your best to line your actions up with what you say (& vice versa), and forgive those you need to forgive, so that you may live in freedom from bitterness. You will be amazed at how much better your life becomes, and you will see the fruits of your labor. In those areas of your life you need improvement, work to trim those dead branches off so that you will continue to grow stronger and be more likable in the process.
P.S. If you are interested in some MORE tips to get people to like you [the right way], check out my hub, "MORE Ways To Get People To Like You [The Right Way]" :)