Can You Change How People Think Of You?

Yes you can and at the same time only kind of.

There are many books about how to influence people (one of my favourite’s is the 1930s classic “How to make friends and Influence people”) or how to become an effective networker. Everyone wants to be liked. There is no exception. Everyone wants to be liked and accepted for who they are. Even people that pretend they don’t. Especially people that pretend they don’t. There is no people in the history of human kind if being asked: Would you rather people liked you or didn’t like you, that they would pick the latter. In other words, no one wants to be disliked.

No matter how much we want to be liked, sometimes people just don’t like us. Most of the time we have very little influence over it. Because a lot of the reasons why people don’t like us has nothing to do with us. We can remind them of a person or a situation in their lives that doesn’t invoke positive sentiments. Or they are going through a stressful time or are unhappy about their lives. It can be because they are envious of you because they think you are just that amazing. There can be so many reasons why someone might not take a liking to you. It makes us feel so powerless. You know that feeling no matter how hard you try, you feel like someone just doesn’t like you?

Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you feel like everyone likes you and if that is so – good for you. Keep it that way. All in all it doesn’t matter the least how people perceive you but all in how you feel about yourself. Most people like people that are at peace with themselves, which is best done when you don’t let the world and it’s useless nonsense get to you. But some people really just don’t like that fact about others if they are far away from this journey themselves. You can decide not to care, but sometimes these people (who are not your biggest fan) are in a position, for example at your workplace or in your personal life, to have a impactful effect on your life. So how can you impact them?

You can’t make them like you, but you can make them think more positively of you if that is what you want. Find out what is important to them, for example if it’s arriving on time or eating lunch in a group, if it’s something that is in line with what you believe and within your capabilities then do it. If it’s valuable to them and you show you share the same values, it gives you something positive to bond on. Don’t change yourself. People not being true to who they are are unlikable. If you don’t like yourself to be yourself, then why should anyone like you? And also, don’t push it. Don’t force this person to like you. Give them distance, show you have similar values when the occasion arises and know that if you like yourself, none of it will or can matter that much.

Like yourself in order to be liked by others.

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