Being Likeable in 2016
Now more than ever, being likeable is probably one of the more important things to your career and social status.
I for one blame Facebook and Instagram. A little bit.
People don't really care what you're about, but if they like you or they relate to you on some level, they'll rock with you and be loyal to you. Crazy, right?
Certain individuals are naturally likeable. They don't have to do much, and people just like them. Certain celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, Selena Gomez, Hugh Jackman, Dave Chappelle, Jennifer Aniston, Chris Pratt, Will Smith, Denzel Washington or even Steph Curry are all liked and can seemingly do no wrong in the court of public opinion.
One thing all these celebrities have in common: some kind of relatable authenticity. These people often lack the pretense that comes with their job or status. Whether their behavior is real or fake, they pull it off well.
Being likeable is an important factor in our society. It can affect our relationships, our jobs, politics and have an impact on our overall lives. Here are a few areas where being likeable has a considerable effect on our day-to-day.
Everybody wants to be liked.
No matter what bad things they do on a regular basis, people still want to be viewed as good people. It's the most insane thing ever. Because, as most people rationalize, doing bad things does not ultimately make you a bad person.
Bruh, even Ted Bundy, one of America's most notorious serial killers, claimed that he wasn't a bad guy after he was arrested and convicted of killing 30 women.
30 women, bro!
To be liked, people will lie more than they take regular breaths in order to seduce you and avoid wearing that "Disliked" label. They want you to like them because it makes them feel better about themselves.
Being liked elevates our social status, it draws peoples to us and it can lead to bigger and better things like a long-lasting, loving relationship or a better job.
We do these things to get love, sex and more of that good stuff.
You can even end up in a long-lasting relationship if you're kind of an asshole. You most likely had to pretend to be someone more decent in order to be in one, but, hey, we all do that shit.
At work, you have to play the part.
You have to take part in the small talk no one cares about, you have to pretend to care about your coworkers lives, you have to laugh at the crappy jokes that people tell and pretend to be happy at times when you literally thought of ending your life for half a split second before coming to your senses …
Maybe that's just me. Moving on.
Remember that Chappelle's Show skit called "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" when they're in the conference meeting?
If you've never seen it, it's a simple everyday situation: a young black man (played by Dave Chappelle) sits at a conference meeting when his boss congratulates him in a slightly derogatory manner by asking him to "Slap him some skin".
The young black man then has a choice to make:
- Pretend to be okay with the derogatory term and move on with his day.
- Keep it real and call his boss on his bullshit to set the tone for the future.
As the title of the skit explains, he chooses option #2, things go wrong and he ends up losing his job for something that could've easily be ignored and avoided.
The moral of the story was that it's not always worth it to keep it real. If you work in an office environment, you know as well as I do that you have to show selective authenticity. There are times when being yourself pays off, and there are times when being fake as fuck pays off too.
When it comes to your boss, you pretty much have to smile, agree and do your job. You basically have to be as likeable as you can, stay in their good graces and off their shit list to get ahead in your career.
You'd think your qualifications and hard work should matter, but they don't really. As long as you're not a threat to the company's bottom line, being likeable will get you further than most. At work, people like coworkers who make their lives easier and agree to everything they say.
If you "keep it real", say "no" to most things, or tell people the truth about everything, you won't last. So, you have to fake it most of the time.
It sucks and, unless you have a boss who's down to earth, shows empathy and has no tolerance for fake shit, you kind of have to go through the usual office politics where being fake is damn near a job requirement.
Or you can always start your own business and become your own boss.
Look at Barack Obama's demeanor.
Obama's the current president of the United States and a career politician, therefore, he's a professional liar. Probably one of the smoothest liars you'll ever see, but people like him regardless. Americans may hate his policies, but they'll sure as shit go have a beer or play golf with him because he's just that likeable. The way he is and the things he does allows people to connect with him, which makes him incredibly popular.
On the other hand, look at Donald Trump. He's probably the most polarizing presidential candidate the U.S. has ever seen, but he was elected because, to his supporters, he is incredibly likeable. They loved the way he spoke off the cuff and the 8th-grade vocabulary worked wonders with the uneducated masses.
Speaking of Trump, Hillary Clinton was unlikeable and came off so phony, that it cost her the election. Hillary supporters wanted to believe she was going to make good on her campaign promises, but, deep down, I bet they were skeptical that she would because she lacked authenticity.
Voters like politicians who not only have everyone's best interest at heart, but seem to be true public servants who have to go through the same struggles they do. If Bernie Sanders was able to bypass the DNC's corruption, I'm certain he would be the president elect right now.
Bernie was that dude.
You asked him a question and Sanders gave you a genuine, smart, no-nonsense answer. Someone who doesn't talk shit is of high value in my esteem.
9 SIMPLE WAYS TO BEING MORE LIKEABLE
Given that being likeable is important in today's society, here are a few ways to be perceived in a better light.
Politeness and courtesy are extremely underrated in today's world. Say "please" and "Thank you" whenever it's needed.
Offer to help people when you can without expecting anything in return.
Be as Authentic as Possible
Sometimes you have to lie or be fake because your honesty will hurt and/or offend others, which is not polite or kind. So try to be as authentic as you can. Be you, limit the fake shit, but be mindful of the context and circumstances you're in.
Don't simply wait for your turn to speak. Listen to people without interrupting them and make sure to ask a few coherent questions. People love talking about themselves, so they'll end up liking you for letting them do just that.
Nobody likes a loud, oblivious person who has yet to learn how to use their indoor voice. Just be cool.
Don't Try Too Hard
Don't laugh too hard at things that aren't funny, don't smile too much or overdo anything on this list. You'll come off as either crazy, fake, desperate or annoying.
Keep Negative and Offensive Thoughts to Yourself
Think before you speak.
I mean if that's what in your heart, then this advice won't help you. This is for the people who can be insensitive at times even when they mean no ill will.
Don't Judge or Criticize
Nobody likes to be judged or criticized and the people who tend to do those two things are often insecure people who put people down to make themselves feel better … that or they're your parents and they can't help it.
People who chew gum look cooler.
Check out this publicity stunt by Beldent, a chewing gum company, where they put identical twins one next to the other. One of the twins holds a neutral facial expression and the other is chewing a piece of gum. The twin chewing the gum just looks cooler.
**There is no psychological or scientific explanation for this. It's just good marketing.
***Do not chew gum with your mouth open or smack your tongue as you chew. That's not rude, it's just disgusting and annoying.
A long time ago, an old man I used to work with told me that being liked isn't everything. It's overrated. It makes you live your life at the mercy of others … He was a bitter dude who'd been through a lot.
As I got older, I realized that being liked can be insignificant at times since you remember the things you like as quickly as you forget them. "Like" is based on a fickle feeling that can change based on your mood. You can like doughnuts one day and not care for them the next. Okay, bad example. Everybody fucking loves doughnuts.
Being liked can help in certain situations to help you move along life a little more smoothly. It helps you at work and in your everyday interactions with others and when it comes to making simpler decisions.
However, I honestly believe that you should strive for love and respect.
People don't have to like you, but when they respect you, they'll treat you fairly.
As far as love is concerned, love is much stronger than like. Your family doesn't like you, they love you even when they can barely stand you and that love lasts a lifetime.
I also believe that if you follow 8 of the 9 steps I've outlined above, it may lead to people to liking you, respecting you, loving you or all three. Who knows?
I may be trying to trick people into being more decent human beings.
How you like me now?
written by Joe Renegade