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Ep #31: Being More Likable

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” ― Dita Von Teese

Most of us out there want to feel accepted, liked and loved. We want to feel like we belong. In response one of our listener’s requests, I decided to dedicate this episode to the topic of being more likable and what that really means. Does being likable mean that you work hard at trying to please other people, going out of your way, tending to their needs and buying them gifts? How important is it for YOU to like those people? Which qualities, actions, and moods attract others? Tune in to get answers to these questions and much, much more…

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What You will discover

  • How much of the feeling of belonging really depends on others.
  • Why you shouldn’t try to go out of your way to make people like you.
  • What other people are attracted to in others.
  • The real reason why you should want to change anything about yourself.
  • How liking others will help you be more likable.

Featured on the show

Get the Full Episode Transcript:

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now, your host: Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hey everyone, it's Thursday. Let's rock it out. What's going on? I am thrilled. I have been really busy working on an upcoming mastermind that I'm preparing for all of my beloved certified coaches that have gone through the Life Coach School and become certified. We are all going to gather together, about seventy of us, in the Four Seasons at Santa Barbra. This is the first time we've ever done it at the Four Seasons. I decided, hey, let's go for it. Let's take it up a notch. Why not the Four Seasons? I just got off the phone with the photographer that I'm hiring to come and take shots of all of us, and I'm working with a videographer, and I'm having some amazing guest speakers come. I'm just just thrilled that we were talking how to decorate the room and I said, "Let's party." I want it to look like a party, because that's how we're going to roll.

Anyway, I just got off the phone and I'm really on a buzz about that. Let's talk about what we're going to talk about today. We are going to talk about how to be more likable. One of my listeners, Peter, made this request. Wanted to have me talk about it. I think it's kind of cool. He didn't tell me specifically why he wanted me to talk about it but I'm going to rock it out. I'm going to talk about being more likable because this is something that I think a lot of people struggle with and some of us struggle with it without even thinking about it.

I actually had a couple comments on the podcast over at the LifeCoachSchool.com. If you haven't made a comment, what the heck, get over there, say hello. Some comments about this very thing, being likable, being accepted, feeling like we belong.

First, I'm going to talk to you a lot, Peter, because you requested it. I'm going to talk to you as if I'm coaching you. The first thing for those of you who want to be more likable is you need to ask yourself why. Why do you want to be more likable? It seems like an obvious question. The one you might easily skipped over and say, "Oh, it's obvious, doesn't everyone want to be liked?" I want you to really think about it. Really think about the answer. Why do you want to be more likable?

Remember all the stuff I've taught you so far is the reason why we want anything is because of a feeling we think we'll have. We want to be likable because then we will be liked and we believe if people like us then we will feel accepted. We will feel like we belong. We will feel loved. We will feel liked, right? So why do we want to feel those things and are you not feeling those things now?

A lot of the work that I do is about the stuff that we most want are the things we aren't giving to ourselves. I'm just saying, Peter, ask yourself, are you liking yourself enough or are you wanting other people to do that job for you? The reason I ask you that question is because of course that's exactly what I suffer with myself. All of us suffer with it, right? We all suffer with wanting other people to do our job. If you would love me, if you would accept me, if you would take care of me, then I wouldn't have to do any of that for myself. Not saying that's what you're doing but I just want you to ask yourself, why do you want to be likable? It's because of something you want to feel.

Then the question becomes, why aren't you feeling that now? Why are you relying on other people to create that feeling for you? Here's the bad news. When you rely on other people to create a feeling for you they always fail. Because it's impossible for people to create feelings for you. They can't like you enough to make up for you not liking you. They can't demonstrate their like enough to make you feel belonging when you don't feel belonging. I mean I've had groups of women, I mean many, many groups of women and men going through my courses and being coached on not feeling like they belong. We all love them and adore them and we're excited that they're there and are loving their contribution and it doesn't matter how much we like them they still don't feel like they belong.

It has nothing to do with us, it has everything to do with their thoughts about themselves. Really, really important. I've had students in classes that desperately want to belong and then create an environment where it's almost impossible to include them because they have so much resistance and they don't even recognize that they're the one that is creating the environment where they don't belong because they're so resistant to belonging because they think they don't belong. They think they're not liked so it's like they literally make themselves unlikable to prove that they don't belong. It's fascinating.

Peter, ask yourself, why do you want to be likable? What does it mean when someone likes you? Think about it. What does it mean. Does it mean that you are likable if someone likes you? It's kind of a cool thing to think about. There's this really cool Pin on Pinterest about a peach. It says, "You can be the juiciest, most beautiful peach, but there's always going to be someone that doesn't like peaches." We don't blame the peach, right? If someone doesn't like a peach we don't say, "Ah, it's the peach's fault," right? We actually don't even blame the person. We don't hold it against them that they don't like peaches. It's okay that they don't like peaches. It doesn't say anything about the peach. It says something about you, what your preference is.

Think about that for yourself. If someone doesn't like you, maybe it doesn't mean anything about you. Maybe you're just not their flavor, right? Maybe you're just not their style, right? The peach doesn't get upset because someone doesn't like it, just keeps being a peach. So for you, Peter, if someone doesn't like you, what do you make it mean about you? You must be making it mean something painful because you want to be more likable. You want these people to like you. What if it just means that you're not their preference? And that's okay.

I tell my students all the time, "Give people permission not to like you." They have permission anyway, by the way, but it makes you feel more in control. You have permission. I'm not everybody's flavor. There's a lot of people out there in the inter-webs who don't like me. Totally fine. It really doesn't bother me at all. I'm totally cool with it, right? It's okay if they don't like peaches. They like apples, it's all good. Plenty of people that like peaches, I'm just going to keep on being a peach. Keep on being myself.

Here's my theory: if I show up as myself, and I am myself, the people that like me really like me. They don't like some version of myself that I'm creating in order to be more likable. Think about this, Peter, let's say you ask me, "How can I be more likable?" I say, "All right, this is what you should do, you should smile more." Right? Maybe that doesn't come naturally to you. You just go around and you smile more at people, right? Hey I'm not saying this is a bad idea, I think you should smile and laugh as much as you can but if you're faking it, if you're faking a smile all of the time and all of a sudden people start liking you, they're not liking you genuinely they're liking some version that you're pretending to be.

If you start people pleasing everyone and going around and doing everything for them and buying them gifts and taking care of them when you don't really want to and that's not coming from a genuine place, they're not really like you they're liking this pretend version of you.

First and foremost decide if you're willing to be yourself and are you willing to have people not like you. Can you make that mean something like, "That person just doesn't prefer peaches, and that's okay. That person doesn't like me and it has nothing to do with me it has to do with them and that's okay. I don't need to change so everyone can like me." I mean how much freedom, Peter, would you have if you thought about it that way?

Now what you might come back and say to me, "But, I'm with this group of people at work and they don't like me. I hate going to work every day." Well the reason you don't like going to work every day is not because the people aren't liking you it's because of what you're making it mean. What you're thinking about yourself. What you're thinking about is what creates your feelings. If you go to work and you're thinking about, all day long, about how people don't like you and what you're making that mean then you're going to have a bad day. If you go to work and you're just the peach that you are, you just show up as you, you work on your own thoughts and you create your own feelings, you're not going to be so worried about whether other people like you or not. I'm just going to say, I'm just going to go out on a limb here, that if you're trying to get people to like you, you might be coming off as creepy. Not saying you're doing that, I'm just saying that I've done that many times. I try to get people to like me and I start acting like a crazy person. I'm not even showing up as myself. I'm just creepy and needy. "Like me, please like me," and I can't imagine why they don't.

It's like I show up as this version of this needy and creepy person and I can't imagine why people don't like me. Just think about that. When I show up as myself and you can like me or leave me, that's attractive, right? I like me. People are like, "Whoa, she really likes herself, she must be on to something there, I'm going to see what's up with that." It's attractive. People that are happy, that are enjoying themselves, enjoying their own company, are fun to be around, right? We like to be around people that are enjoying themselves. Are you willing to be yourself and are you willing to be yourself in such a way that you allow other people not to like you? I think that's the most important piece first of all.

Second of all, I want you to think about what is it if people don't like you? I want you to imagine what it is they don't like about you? Have they told you what they don't like about you? Is that something you don't like about you? Right, I mean, do you have habits that are annoying to people? Do you talk about yourself all day and never give other people a chance to speak? Are you not a good listener? What is it, what are people saying? What do you notice? Are you willing to really hear it? Are you willing to really be in the space of evaluating, "Well, maybe that's something I want to really work on, that's something I want to change," or, "That has nothing to do with me, that's who I am and I'm going to keep showing up that way."

Sometimes we're unaware of things that we do that turn people off, right? I think that feedback is worth looking at and evaluating and exploring. I think awareness added to any situation is a brilliant, good thing. I do not think you should change anything you don't want to change in order to make people like you more. But if there's something you want to change that you don't like it about yourself, it's a habit you don't like.

For example, if a client came to me and said, "I'm having problems in my relationships because I'm lying all the time," or, "I'm having problems in my relationships because, you know, I exaggerate the truth," or, "I'm always late," or, "I interrupt everybody, I'm always thinking about what I want to say and I'm not listening to other people." Now I would ask the person, "Okay, is that something you want to change, and why?" Now if they want to change it because they want to be more likable to somebody else I would reel them back in and say, "Well, is that something that you don't like about yourself, that's a reason to change but if you like it and someone else doesn't I don't think that is a reason to change." If you don't like it and you want to change that about yourself, then yes, let's go and work on that. Being aware of why people aren't liking you and making sure that you agree with that reason and then making changes I think is a really positive, wonderful thing, okay? I think any way that you can evolve into a better version of yourself and the by-product, the strategic by-product, is that you are more likable to yourself and therefore other people. I'm all in. And you should be too.

If it's something about you that you really like about you, let me give you an example. I am really loud. I go out with my friends and I'm loud. Some friends aren't as loud as me and they tell me to be quiet and some friends are louder than me and they love how loud I am. I have a really loud laugh. I laugh at a lot of things. People think I laugh on purpose. They're right. I really just do, I love laughing. I think everything's pretty much funny. I think most people are hilarious and I think most of what they say is hilarious and I'm not going to stifle in a laugh. It's ridiculous. Why in the world would anyone do that, right? That's just how I roll.

If somebody comes over to me and says, "I think you're being too loud, I don't really like how loud you are, I think you're obnoxious." I would say, "Not your flavor, I'm not your peach, and that's okay, I'm not going to change I love that about myself." If someone came over and said, "You're not really being respectful because you're using foul language and I have children here," that’s a very different thing. That's a very different thing to me. It's important to me. I don't want to do that, I don't want to be disrespectful when there's children around. When there's adults around it's totally fine, right? When there's children around I don't necessarily want to be in a space where I'm so unconscious about my surroundings that I'm being disrespectful. Okay, you see the difference there?

Those are the kind of things you need to differentiate. One of the things that I have found that is really important, and I've done a lot of work on myself around this, is when I'm trying to be likable it's usually because I'm not liking myself. Also, I have noticed that when I don't like someone, like when I ask myself, "Do I like this person," and the answer is no, I'm even more determined to get them to like me.

I have this example where I used to live in this house and the neighbor next door did not like us. We had put up a fence between our two properties and they were legally required to pay for half of that fence and they did not want to pay for half of it. They wanted us to pay for all of all of it and we told them that they had to pay legally and they hated us and that's fine. They didn't like us, but I didn't like him either. I didn't like the way he talked to his wife. I didn't like the way he treated his wife. I didn't like the way he talked to me, I didn't like the way he talked to my husband. I didn't enjoy his company. That was a choice. I chose not to like him which made me feel negative, made me feel icky. Then I went to work trying to get him to like me in a really creepy way. It was so fascinating. I started really paying attention to this and noticing that it's important for me to ask myself, "Do I like this person that I'm trying to get to like me?" Maybe my work isn't to be more likable, maybe my work is to like them more.

Now I did not like this answer. I did not want to like this person. I wanted them to like me because I felt like, wait a minute, I'm very likable, I've been very polite, I've been very nice through this whole process, you should like me. That was not working. Folks, let me just tell you, it was not working. When I decided to do my own work on liking that person all of that needy and creepy desire to get them to like me went away. I found a way to like them. I focused on the likable parts of them and I felt tremendously better. Now, I'm not suggesting that you have to like everyone but notice if you're trying to get someone to like you, do you even like them? Usually the answer is no. Have you made an effort to like them? Right?

We don't like people just because they're likable, right? We like people when we make a choice to like them. That really changed it for me. Peter, think about the people in your life that you want to be more likable to. Do you even like them? Tell yourself the truth, do you really like them? Because that'll change everything. People want to be loved. Every single one of us wants to be loved no matter how mean we are. No matter how obnoxious we are. No matter what we say, we all just want to be loved. We all want to be liked. Nobody is going to turn away a genuine like, right? Now, we'll turn away creepy and needy and stalkerness for sure, but someone genuinely liking us from a place of abundance that doesn't want anything in return, that's a beautiful thing. That's what we all desire. Okay. So think about it, Peter, do you even like them? Have you made an effort to like them? How do you know that you've made that effort?

I'm not talking about stuff you've done for them or to them, I'm talking about how you feel when you think about them. Because it sounds like when you think about them now you're in a place of lack. My suggestion is, take a look, do you even like yourself? Are you liking yourself? Are you making an effort to like them? One of the ways I have been able to like other people is by being interested and fascinated in them instead of trying to be interesting to them. Okay, I'm going to repeat it. One of the ways I find it easier to like people is to be interested in them instead of trying to be interesting to them. Okay? Even when someone acts in a way that I don't like, I don't like the way this guy talks to his wife, I don't like the way he talks to my husband, I don't like the way he talks to me. If I can all the sudden be fascinated with him and wonder, like, "I wonder why he talks like that, I wonder where he's coming from, I wonder if he's really insecure and challenged and trying to be really strong, I know that he just got fired from his job, maybe he's really struggling with that, I'm going to be fascinated with him." It changes everything because all of a sudden he becomes more interesting to me and I become more interested in him instead of trying to be interesting to someone.

When you try to be interesting to someone you act crazy, I'm telling you, I have done this. You guys know what I'm talking about. I know you have all done this, you're like, "What the hell did I just do?" You leave a party and you're like, "Who was that? Oh, that was me. Oh my gosh, what was I doing?" Right? Be interested instead of trying to be interesting.

Most of all clean up your thinking. Notice your thoughts. Notice how you think about other people. Notice how you think about yourself. Notice why it's so important for you to feel like you're liked. That's the most important piece, right? Then, if someone doesn't like you, and maybe they tell you, "I don't like you." How can you be in a space where that doesn't affect you? Where you are like peach and you know it doesn't have anything to do with you, or maybe it does have something to do with you and that's okay.

You're going to go through your whole life, the more you show up in your life, the more you're going to have people that hate on you. The more you create a legacy, make a contribution, put your work out into the world, the more people are not going to like you. Your ability to be okay with that will determine how far you take your work. How far you take yourself when it comes to evolving into the best version of yourself. It's okay. Not everybody has to like carrots. You don't blame the carrot when someone doesn't like it, right? Don't blame yourself when someone doesn't like you. Give people permission not to like you. Be okay with it.

Finally, and this is the best part, this is like the secret ninja weapon. Just because someone doesn't like you doesn't mean you have to not like them. You can like people that don't like you. It's really an amazing thing. Just because someone doesn't like you doesn't mean you don't have to like them. Because typically that's what feels terrible, right? I want to like you, so if you like me then I can like you. It's like we're in third grade. The truth is you can like whoever you want. Even if they don't like you, right? Even if they don't want to be with you, you can still love them. You can still like them. That will feel so much better to you.

If you want to be liked, you have to like yourself. If you want to feel like, then like as many people as you can. Put the effort in. Being likable is overrated. Liking other people is where the real secret sauce is. All right, Peter, I can't wait to see you in the comments. I want to hear more about your experience, what you've learned from this podcast, and what you're going to apply to your life. Anybody else who struggles with this please meet me there, the LifeCoachSchool.com/31. Let's talk about being likable and liking other people. Until next week, I'll talk to you all later. Peace.

Thank you for listening to the Life Coach School Podcast. It would be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on iTunes. For any questions, comments, or coaching issues you would like to hear on the show, please visit us at www.TheLifeCoachSchool.com.

14 Comments

  1. THANKS! Brooke you are doing a wonderful job. I look forward to having your podcasts every Thursday!!! It´s scheduled for me, no other chance.
    They are awesome and I feel COMPLETE because I learn a lot.

    I´m a Learning Facilitator – Spanish/English and would like to become a coach, before Heavens, of course.

    I´ve tried to contact the assistant in the School to register for the Coach Training and I couldn´t.
    I´m in Montevideo, Uruguay – South America and probably that´s the reason why I can´t connect.
    If you can contact me, It would be great.

    My best regards
    Teresa

    1. I’ve just recently started listening to your podcasts and listen to them every morning on my way to work! I have a teenage son that has high functioning autism and he struggles to make friends. When I heard this episode I thought of him. I asked him to listen to the podcast and later asked him what he thought of it. He said “I’m a peach, mom and I all I need to do is like myself “. He was very upbeat after hearing it. Thank you so much!

  2. Brooke, thank you so very much for answering my question. I was really surprised you chose to answer my question! Thank you.

    I listened to this podcast at least twice because you put the effort in to answer my question (I’m sure others may wonder of this question or at least be interested so not just me but anywho). I just wanted to take this time to reflect upon what I’ve learned.

    One of the more salient pieces that stuck out to me was the story of being a peach. I can still be myself, and not have to conform to others’ version of how I should act. This grants me the freedom to be myself. Next, just because someone does not like me I can still like them. This takes away the frame that if someone does not like me, I have to treat them a certain way, perhaps bad. I can still like other people while being the best I can be.

    To succinctly summarize what I will do to rectify the problem, be the best I can be and stop trying to constantly change myself to everyone.

    I loved your analogy of the peach by the way.

    Many thanks. This episode helped me a ton, and I’m positive it will do the same for others listening. Thank you for this amazing episode.

  3. Brooke thank you for this podcast. I am one of your weight school participants and I have found that you are helping me tremendously with my mind set. I realize that one of the reasons I eat is that I am lonesome – I have few friends. So I decided that I need to work on this and I turned to this podcast on being more likable. The point I take away today is that I can’t rely on other people to like me if I don’t like myself – the core of my problem is that I need to like myself. I struggle with this – it is a long story so I won’t get into it on here, but thank you for all the insight that you provide to me about myself. You are a blessing indeed. Jacqueline

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Thank you so much for commenting here.

      You are likable. Just because you are here and you are you.

      When you like yourself, you will find that others follow suit.

      Brooke

  4. Brooke –
    I happened to listen to this podcast when my circumstance was that I was not invited to a gathering with neighbors – the thought I had was that I had been replaced and was no longer liked – which triggered the feeling of hurt and feeling left out with a pinch of desperation. My action was to listen to one of your podcasts and I found this one, which did help lessen my hurt. I am just not the preference right now. My struggle with this is hard because I was once liked and invited to participate with the neighbors but slowly that started changing. Now I wonder if I was somehow behaving in a way that would make me unlikeable as you mentioned?
    Being likeable is something I struggle with – I seem to associate friendships with self worth (crazy, I know!) I am a work in progress – thank you for the additional tools

  5. My aunt recommended this podcast to me and it’s the first one I’ve listened to. I have one thoughts and two questions. This type of attitude works well for an adult, but may not work for a child.

    My first question is “What do you when you’re forced to be with a group of people (school) in which no one chooses to like you?” This happened to me when I was 9 and switched schools. Not a single person would be my friend. I was smart enough to realize pretty quickly that I couldn’t make people like me, but I still had the social needs of a typical 9 year old and was completely rejected by my entire class. I did decide in my mind that there was nothing wrong with me, but my heart was wounded and believed that there must be something wrong with me if nobody liked me. At that age, I would not have had the skills to implement what you suggest.

    My second question is to do with close relationship. What do you do when members of your own family (parents, spouse, in-laws, siblings) pressure you to conform to certain standards in order to belong? When you do, you’ll feel as if you’re loved/liked. It isn’t as if I’m not interested in them, or that I don’t like them. It’s not like I can change my family and I certainly don’t want to cut myself off from them. What do you recommend in such a situation

    1. Hi Sara, Thank you for your question. Brooke will be responding to questions in an upcoming Questions and Answers episode. Stay tuned! –Rebekah

  6. This podcast is wonderful. I love all your work but this one is a just. Wow.

    I think I’m confident mostly and am fine with someone not liking me. But I do get weird and creepy as you say when I’m around folk that I feel might not. I talk too much and wind up saying completely the wrong thing. I’m going to put all this into practice. It’s certainly something I don’t like about Myself and am not doing it to make other like me. I think I do it even with my long term relationships. Wanting to be the most
    interesting or funniest when in a group. but I
    mostly end up just wishing I had kept
    My mouth shut at times. Like I don’t have a filter. I don’t even need to as these people wouldn’t be
    My friends for so long if they didn’t already like me.
    Thank you yet again brooke formyou wisdom

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