Don’t Be Liked…Be Likeable!

Don’t Be Liked…Be Likeable!

“Some persons are likeable in spite of their unswerving integrity.”

–         Don Marquis

“What’s wrong with being liked?” you ask. Well, there’s nothing inherently bad about being liked but in this age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and on and on…striving to be “liked” has become an unhealthy social obsession.

We post something online – e.g., a photo, a video, some blog entry, etc. – and then we immediately start checking to see how many “likes” our post is getting…BAM! Instant shot of adrenaline/ego boost when we see those numbers increment!

I’ve been guilty of this myself when posting on LinkedIn so I’m not throwing any rocks at others that I’m not willing to aim at myself! These days, though, I simply post my article on LinkedIn – and on my company blog – and then I move on. No more checking to see how many views and/or likes I have. That said, I am very grateful to those who like/comment on my articles not so much for the like/comment itself but for the fact that the person took the time to do so at all.

Striving to be “liked” is an extrinsic motivation while striving to be “likeable” is an intrinsic motivation and even though we need both types of motivation to accomplish our goals in life, psychologists have recognized that intrinsic motivation tends to sustain us over the long haul…they can often keep us moving forward when we are tempted to give up on those goals.

In 1985, Sally Field won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in “Places in the Heart” where she subsequently gave a now oft-quoted acceptance speech in which she said: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me! YOU LIKE ME!

Winning an Oscar is no small achievement and probably one of the biggest adrenaline hits/ego boosts that anyone can get in their lives so I’m not knocking Sally’s response to winning it but I would prefer to think about this incredibly talented lady’s more recent quote where she said: “I was raised to sense what someone wanted me to be and be that kind of person. It took me a long time NOT to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” This really is the essential difference between being liked and being likeable.

Bottom line: When you work on yourself and build habits that make you a more likeable person – regardless of who notices these changes in you – you will, ultimately, find yourself more “liked.”

When Danny is NOT busy “watching ‘Gidget’ reruns”, he’s also leading a technology consulting company. Hit him on Twitter or Facebook.

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