EXACTLY: Why Being ‘Likable’ Never Works

Trying to be liked will never work and will never benefit you, here’s why.

by Steve Tobak, Entrepreneur

With all the hype over personal branding, employee engagement, and social networking, it’s not surprising that the pursuit of likability is top of mind for many of you. And that is unfortunate.

When you try to get people to like you, it never works because it’s disingenuous. In all likelihood you’ll be perceived as desperate, selfish, and manipulative. And that can definitely backfire.

Moreover, if you try to get people to like you – on an individual basis or en masse – it will come across as desperate, disingenuous, and selfish because that’s exactly what it is. When you attempt to manipulate how others feel about you, that’s called controlling and narcissistic behavior. And sooner or later, it will backfire.

Social networks are no different. Relationships have a natural course. They start out superficial and deepen as the number and quality of interactions increase. That’s what determines how we feel about one another. Until you really get to know someone, the question of whether you like him or not has no real relevance.

Instead of trying to be liked or likable, strive to build successful relationships. The best way to do that is to know yourself, be yourself, and genuinely seek to understand others for some mutual benefit. That’s all there is to it. Everything else will be determined over the natural course of each relationship.

Read more: Entrepreneur

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