Being Liked

In the play, “Death of a Salesman,” Willie Lohman claims that the most important thing in life is to be “liked.” This statement is a significant oversimplification. There are a lot of other important things to successful living, too. However, being liked is undoubtedly important. Moreover, some time back, I ran across some rules for being liked that I thought I’d pass along to you:

The Rules For Being Liked:

1) Imply the superiority of another person.
It’s only human nature to like those people who see, or at least seem to see, superiority in us. So, it works the same way when we see superiority in others. This is not easy, because the natural tendency of a person is to talk about himself. Next time you’re talking with someone, count the number of times he or she uses the personal pronoun, “I.” We are the center of our own universe, and it’s quite a trick to keep the conversation aimed at the person to whom you’re talking. However, if you can, you’ll be liked for it.


2) Impute knowledge and judgment to others.
By this, I mean that people like to think you need and respect their advice. It doesn’t mean to run around asking questions all the time but show you admire and respect people by asking their opinion on a knotty problem. People love to advise because it inflates their ego.

When you swell someone’s ego, he or she likes you for it.


3) Give direct compliments.
Oscar Wilde said, “An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is sure to develop into a real friendship.” Mark Twain once commented, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” However, the secret of complimenting a person is to be intelligently moderate and completely sincere. Making up compliments can only result in sounding phony. There is something about everyone you can find to compliment genuinely.


4) Show a genuine interest in another person.
Be an excellent listener. This means more than just sitting quietly when the other person is talking; good listening is an active process. Listen with genuine interest as though you’re hearing about something in which you have a personal interest. The man or woman, husband or wife, who won’t let their partner finish a story without interjecting something like, “You have it all wrong,” or, “No, it didn’t happen that way at all,” is asking to be disliked. Keep this up for long enough, and you’ll find yourself looking for a new friend.

Listen, a relationship is more important than how a story goes


5) Protect the self-esteem of the other person.
When you get into a discussion in which you don’t agree. Do not slam the door – leave the other person a loophole for escape if he finds you’re right.


6) Try sincerely to understand the other person’s point of view.
The finest compliment that anyone can pay you is to say, “You know, you understand me.” A wonderful way to keep a friend.

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