Trying too hard for others to like you? Think again!
Do you find yourself trying too hard to post the best pictures in your social media? Do you find yourself trying too hard to make a good impression and make others like you? Do you assess every word and move others make in the two dimensions scale “they like me/they don’t like me?” Maybe you do that in your personal life, or your professional life, or both. Maybe there’s this thought in your head that says, “Others must like me, no matter what.” If that’s true for you, chances are you are trying too hard to live up to the expectations and internal competition you have set up- to be liked by others, no matter what. Let me ask you this, though: do you like everyone you meet? Probably not! So trying too hard to make others like you it’s probably going to backfire. Here are the reasons:
It makes you look phony: People look for authenticity; they want original people around them, real flesh-and-bone, with strengths and weaknesses people that they can relate to. If you try too hard and give the impression of “perfection” you probably turn others off. And they still don’t like you, despite your efforts. Why not be your original, authentic self with them?
It may make you a social chameleon: You try in one situation using one persona and in a different situation with different requirements you show up as a totally different person. For one thing it’s hard changing hats like that and trying to assimilate in your social environment. One day you are defined by your love for opera and the next you die for hip-hop. This way you die a slow death of impersonations. Chances are they will figure it out or you will be caught in one of your lies. Both bad options, I may add.
It can turn you into a boaster or, even worse, a narcissist: trying too hard to impress others you end up being self-centered, revolving around yourself, your achievements, deeds, performance, goals and effort… And that’s simply tiresome! People want to be listened to, they don’t want to be in a conversation where the other person is a braggart and can’t even ask them a simple question about themselves (and listen to the answer too!).
It’s Emotionally Draining: When you try too hard that means you don’t allow your true self to come through, out of fear this may not be acceptable or likable. So you keep boosting your efforts to be someone you are not. Your goal is to make others like you, but in the process, you care little if you like yourself. That’s emotionally draining- trying too much and never being 100% satisfied.
It Makes it Hard to Say “No” When You Should: People who try too hard to be liked are known to be the “Yes sir/madam,” type, where they hardly ever refuse. They always try to do this one more thing, this one more favor, this one more little or big job, not because they find it meaningful or they want, but simply because they think that this is their ticket to be liked by the other person. Which may, or may not happen.
It takes away your uniqueness: If you think ahead of time what are the characteristics or behaviors you must exhibit to be liked socially or professionally, that means that you are making some serious assumptions, which they may or may not be true. The fact is that thinking this way prevents you from being the unique you, the person with the character, traits and quirks that makes the distinctive, unique you. You become more uniform and less original and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
You get too tired of it: Don’t you? Trying to please others? C’mon! What about pleasing yourself? Being yourself and seeing into what you need to thrive? Seriously, that’s among the most important characteristics that others notice about you- how true you are to yourself. And if you aren’t chances are that you are going to get tired of trying too hard. At the end of the day, you will have tried, successfully or not, but still you won’t have liked yourself. Because liking yourself means to allow a true, genuine expression of who you really are. And be sure that there are always people who are going to like and appreciate you and others who won’t. Just like you don’t like or appreciate everyone you meet.