There aren’t many entities in the universe that everyone likes. But most stubbornly want to be the one. Let’s find out why it doesn’t make sense for everyone to like you, whether it’s worth risking your health and psyche for the sake of universal adoration, and why it won’t help build a career.
The desire for social approval is inherent in nature and evolution: without it we could not survive in a harsh world with an unpredictable climate, large predators and the vagaries of unknown forces codenamed “gods”.
In the twenty-first century, the approval and support of a large number of people no longer guarantee survival, but they still bring great pleasure. Social networks take advantage of this: remember how you missed the likes when the no-network canceled them.
There are many ways to like someone. The easiest and most unreliable is to remain yourself, not to judge others and not to violate personal boundaries. The most popular and, in the opinion of many, effective is to smile, not to refuse requests, to say more compliments, to support and help in every way, and to avoid conflicts.
In the desire to be liked you can go too far. Psychologists even have a term – sociotropy, which means excessive involvement in interpersonal relationships, which is detrimental to their own interests.
At work, personal sympathies do a lot of good. It’s easier to get what you want from those who like you, for example:
- A raise.
- A hiring freeze.
- Dismissal on favorable terms.
- Paid time off, vacations at convenient dates, flexible schedules, and other perks.
- Assistance with projects and tasks.
- Support during disagreements, discussions, and any situations involving competition and backstabbing.
There is a difference between nice, selfless people – and soft-spoken, wordless ones. The former help, support, and agree for specific reasons, such as to feel good, return the favor, or earn a favor in return, that is, acting in their best interest. The latter make decisions out of fear of being judged, rejected, criticized.
The line between the desire to be nice and the habit of pleasing is thin, so it’s worth checking yourself off the checklist regularly:
- You pretend to agree on everything, even when you don’t.
- You feel responsible for what others think and feel, such as trying not to upset anyone unnecessarily.
- You often apologize and are ready to do it, even if it isn’t your fault.
- You find it difficult to say “no” in response to any request, and by saying no, you either cheat or make excuses.
- You feel uncomfortable when someone is angry at you, so you try to avoid conflict.
- You are in every way trying to earn praise.
- You do what you don’t like – as long as you don’t say no.
- You have little or no free time when you can chat with colleagues, play at https://treasureislandslot.com/, or simply eat your lunch because you are constantly busy doing requests and errands from others.
Behind a mask of a person that everyone likes, you forget what you really are. Over time, you even stop respecting yourself, convinced that you are not able to please people as you are, to earn their sympathy for nothing, on an even footing.
Why does it hurt your career? One day the boss or client won’t remember your name because it’s unnecessary to know it to make significant decisions: you always agree with everything.
You get used to giving in and prioritizing other people’s problems. Over time, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to make your own decisions, to distinguish personal opinions from the “public” and imposed on you. Self-esteem suffers greatly.
Why does it hurt your career? Even robots know how to make decisions nowadays, and the company doesn’t need employees who aren’t ready to take responsibility. The desire to be liked will lead to the fact that you won’t be promoted.
You do not have time to move toward their goals because you don’t have a break for sleep and rest please others. One day you will literally forget to be happy. And sometimes your behavior is in conflict with personal interests. For example, studies show that people-pleasers even risk their health and eat more if they think it will make others happier.
Why does it hurt your career? Running errands for a colleague, you don’t meet your own deadlines, and you are not called to join interesting projects at all: everyone knows how you have no time around the clock.
Trying to please and chief accountant, and janitor, and the client who demands a discount, you doom yourself to continuous failure.
Why does that hurt your career? Generally speaking, the “circle of blame” in any office loves it: you can always blame failures on them. But the willingness to take the blame for someone else, or at all costs to hush up the conflict won’t help you grow in the profession and will put an end to you as a leader.
The more you try to be liked, the worse you get. People sense falseness in your words and do not believe in your good intentions when you express your readiness to help. While you desperately try to make everyone like you with malleability and tact, you deprive yourself of the chance to please someone in spite of (or even because of) any shortcomings. That’s what friendship is built on: we know what a person is, and we’re still glad to have them around.
Why is this detrimental to one’s career? A friendly atmosphere in the team helps you love your work even in difficult times, but you are uncomfortable among colleagues. Paradoxically, but you cope harder with the problems than unfriendly colleagues who have no less unfriendly like-minded people.
What a pleasure it is to say what you think or to express with a gesture what you feel! But you do not have this luxury: what if the colleague at the next table thinks that the capricious client is not capricious, but demanding?
Why is it detrimental to your career? If you have a lot of work duties, you help others in every possible way out of a desire to please, in addition, you play a role and restrain emotions even in the most difficult situations – once the burnout comes, and then it won’t be up to the career.
Who, but enemies and ill-wishers, will tell you the truth? Striving to please, you involve others in their games: they become difficult to give you constructive criticism, to remind you of important agreements, to point out mistakes and gaps in knowledge.
Why is it bad for your career? Enemies help you grow professionally. You see your weaknesses and “growth areas,” develop skills, and then strengthen your self-esteem – when an enemy becomes a supporter or even a friend.
Noticing your tendency to answer “yes” to any request, people who are not too squeamish begin to take advantage of it. If you don’t take a draw position in conflicts, there’s a good chance that someone more confident will consider you part of their team.
Why is this detrimental to your career? Manipulators are determined to achieve their goals and indifferent to yours. A career breakthrough can happen if the person using you breaks through “to the top” and pulls you along. But it won’t get easier: there you will be entrusted with even more other people’s responsibility.