Do you want to be liked?

[really_simple_share]You probably do want to be liked. Most of us do. Being likeable helps fulfill an instinctual need to “belong”. We all know there’s safety in numbers, and the ability to get along with a group—to be liked, kept individuals from being separated from the tribe or community and left to “go it alone” in the wilderness.

The typical pattern for developing “likeableness” is to show others our worthiness.  One way we tend to do that is by talking about ourselves and the reasons why the group should like us.  We want to tell people – either directly or indirectly – how special we are, how much we should be valued, and thus liked. But there’s another position you can attain that will have a deeper and more lasting impact: you can be respected.

Being respected provides the same instinctual satisfaction as being liked, but is vastly more valuable.

Developing respect can provide you with opportunities to show your value that being liked just doesn’t deliver. While being liked translates to ‘belonging,’ being respected translates into opportunities for leadership.  And the most effective way to develop respect is to listen.

When you actively listen to the other person, you’re gathering information about that person’s needs. Then you can ask questions that show you really care. And listening more can help you find ways to use your own resources, your skills, your talents, and your abilities that prove you know what you’re doing, not just to say that you do.

At the core, the need to be liked is part of human nature. You’re not going to change that; you’re still going to want to fit in with the group. But you can change the way you go about it—to be more than just liked for what you say, but deeply respected because your contributions have a much bigger impact than popularity alone.

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