We all want to be liked. The desire for approval, appreciation, and acceptance by others is a normal part of being human. Can you imagine in caveman days if you weren’t liked by your tribe and were isolated? You’d be in great danger of either being killed by predators or starving to death.
Although some people may care less than others about the opinions of their peers, on some level everyone wants to be liked. Unfortunately, there will always be people who just don’t like you very much, and you need to be able to be okay with it, and not let it affect your confidence..
There is a distinct difference, however, between wanting to be liked and needing to be liked.
When you need to be liked you might end up:
- Agreeing to do things you really don’t want to, just to please others
- Feeling anxious and stressed that you might have upset someone
- Overthinking and ruminating on situations about what you said and did
- Feeling angry with yourself for not speaking up about what you want
The reason most people need to be liked is because they have picked up messages in their early years that being themselves isn’t good enough. As a result they have low self-esteem and confidence, which makes life a difficult and exhausting experience.
Gemma, is a previous client of mine and she had a strong need to be liked and a huge fear of upsetting others. She told me that what she needed was some tips on how to start saying No.
We discussed assertiveness and how she could use it to speak up for herself without leading to confrontation. However, knowing the words to use isn’t enough on it’s own for her to recover from the need to be liked.
It’s only when you truly accept that it’s okay for others not to like you and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or you need to change yourself that the people pleasing will stop.
Imagine having a meeting with a new colleague who gives off a cold vibe towards you. If the rapport isn’t there and you can’t seem to connect is that your fault? Are the consequences really terrible?
You can still work. with people who aren’t your greatest fan and you will get much more respect for accepting this rather than bending over backwards to try and be friends.
Gemma is now a recovered people pleaser and tells me her career has now taken off. She feels confident and truly likes herself, which has resulted in increased recognition at work.
If you’d like to stop feeling the need to be liked then book a free call with me at www.speakwithjo.com