Resist the Need to be Liked

Stress Relief Tool – Resist The Need To Be Liked

If you’re too caught up in others’ perceptions of you in the workplace, over which you have limited control, you become stressed, and this will affect your work.

Nobody is universally liked, largely for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with them. You are going to be liked by some, loved by others, criticized by a handful, and disliked by a few, whatever you do with your life. Therefore, it makes the most sense to do what you want, regardless of how other people will respond.1

If you’re too caught up in others’ perceptions of you in the workplace, over which you have limited control, you become stressed, and this will affect your work. Ironically, once you shift your focus from others’ perception of your work to the work itself, you’re more likely to impress them.2

This has always been a hard one for me. Growing up in a severely dysfunctional family, I always wanted my dad’s approval. I didn’t feel like I received it until later in life when I earned my college degrees and landed high-quality jobs. As an employee, I would frequently get uptight if somebody wasn’t friendly to me. And as a professor, I would focus on the one negative student evaluation instead of the 40 highly positive ones I would receive at the end of the course.

Fortunately, I came to realize that I cannot please everyone – I’m not pizza. And with it, the burden and anxiety of not acting like myself went away. It was another important learning moment for me.

So if you get the sense that someone doesn’t like you, think about someone else in your life (friends, family, coworkers, pets, etc.) who does like you. That simple mind-shift will minimize the stressful temptation to waste time getting that other person to like you.

  1. Wiest, B. – 18 Things You Need To Give Up To Become A High-Achieving Person
  2. Goudreau, J. – 12 Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to take action and overcome their self-imposed barriers to success using clever yet simple tools and techniques.

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