Imagine you could just click your fingers and immediately stop wanting everybody to like you. Would you do it?
If you’re subconsciously wanting everybody to like you, you’re definitely not alone. So many of us go through life subconsciously altering our behaviour to try to fit in with other people’s opinions.
Often, it isn’t even their real opinion but one we’ve imagined that they have!
So we’re adapting our behaviour to fit an imaginary idea. How crazy is that?
Constantly seeking external validation or approval from those around us.
I know, because I’ve spent my whole life unknowingly restricting my freedom and progress because of a sublime but strong people-please syndrome that I carried around in my daily life.
In some ways, I was the opposite, and that’s precisely why I didn’t recognise it in myself. Only when I became free did I see the extent that it had affected my life.
We do it partly because as a species we crave to belong; we’re group animals and we want to fit in with our herd.
But problems arise because we apply the same approach to virtually everyone we meet: we want them all to like us. We may not even be aware of this tendency to try and please.
But there are telltale signs that you can check to see whether you’re allowing this to be a part of your life.
For me, it showed up as indecision, as passing over responsibility to others and as a tendency to always answer ‘I don’t mind’ when faced with a group decision.
And these habits are just some of the ways we give away our power to other people without realising it.
And the true price of this behaviour can be way higher than we might expect.
So, what exactly is the cost of wanting everybody to like us? And what can we do to change it?
In this article, we’ll dive into these questions so that you can start to create the life you truly want without looking for external approval from those around you.
We’ll look at the true impact of wanting to be liked and why it can have the contrary effect, plus 17 actionable ways to start changing your behaviour to get happier results.
Because your true path only needs to be right for you, not for anybody else.
And you can have everything you want, you just need to take one step forward from where you are today and as time goes by those little steps create the bigger picture and become your great journey.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What’s the True Impact of Wanting to Be Liked By Everybody?
When we want everybody to like us, we forget to listen to our intuition and we allow ourselves to be guided by other people’s (often imagined) opinions and decisions.
This means that a lot of our basic needs get ignored and that can result in increasing our feelings of deep insecurity and low self-esteem, both in frequency and in potency.
And those feelings can then fuel us to try harder to please others and compound the problem, creating a self-fulfilling cycle.
Furthermore, when we want everybody to like us, we can override our own wishes and act in a contrary manner to our true feelings, setting up friction and contradiction within us.
The desire to get it right even affects the words that come out of our mouths and the message we share with the world.
As an example, can you think of anybody you know who says one thing to one person and the opposite to the next? They may not directly lie to you but they tell two very different stories depending on whom they’re speaking to.
And this can have the opposite effect of what they want – instead of creating likeability, it’s more likely to create a loss of respect when the people recognise the variable within the story shared.
Another issue with tying to get everybody to like us is that we lose our own sense of what we truly believe or want or represent. We become a leaf in the wind.
Maybe somebody’s asked you what you’d like to do and you’ve answered, ‘I’m easy, whatever you prefer’.
While this answer is disguised as being easygoing, if it’s used frequently, it’s likely to be masking uncertainty beneath it.
So how can we check ourselves out and discover whether we’re subconsciouly trying to people-please?
Here are 17 points to work on to try and transform yourself into more self-autonomy and self-security.
If you’re not sure whether you’re behaving as a people pleaser or not, take a look at the article on 21 sings you’re a people pleaser and then come back to these actionable steps.
Recognising Why You Want Everybody to Like You
Essential to making changes in our subconscious mind is recognising our motivation for our behaviour and when it comes to wanting to get everybody to like you, there are several common reasons why we may start this behaviour in the first place.
Here are a few but not all, of the possible reasons for subconsciously seeking to please everybody.
- Empathy – we may feel so much empathy for other people that we don’t want to see them suffer (in our perception of what suffering is). This can lead to telling half-truths rather than risk offending or upsetting the other person.
- Low self-esteem – having low self-esteem can mean that we feel ‘less’ than other people and that can lead to prioritising them above ourselves. This can also manifest itself as a result of a negative perception of our own body image. Learning to love and accept our bodies can often be part of the puzzle to raising our self-esteem.
- Fear of rejection – a fear of rejection might manifest as us always trying to agree with the other person in an attempt to stay on their ‘good side’ and not experience their rejection.
- Avoidance – sometimes we have so much turmoil hidden within us which we don’t want to face or let out into the open so instead we allow ourselves to try to please others in a roundabout way of pleasing ourselves.
- Conditional love – if we experience conditional love when we’re growing up we may translate that as having to behave in a specific way before we will receive love.
- Conflict trauma – many of us bury our trauma in our subconscious mind and hope that it will stay put there where we don’t have to see it. In the case of trauma around conflict, this can surface as trying to please everyone in order to keep the peace.
- Indecision – if we struggle with making decisions ourselves it can be easier to pass the responsibility over to others and let them make all the decisions, which eventually looks like people-pleasing. Alternatively, it may be that we’re seeking validation for a decision we’ve made.
These are just a few examples and yours may be completely different. Just know that trying to please people doesn’t serve us in the best way and can lead to ultimate personal crisis as we realise that we depend on those around us for our own identity.
But once we’ve recognised our tendency, we can take steps to transform it for a more empowered behavioual pattern.
So without further ado, let’s look at the 17 actionable steps you can take to start transforming your inner beliefs and stop wanting everybody to like you.
17 Ways to Stop Wanting Everybody to Like You
Here are some of the ways which I’ve found useful in my life to help me to become more secure in my own wishes and not dependent on what everybody around me thinks.
Some of these are a lifetime’s work while others are more of an instant fix by nature.
- Dive into your subconscious beliefs during self-hypnosis sessions. (I talk about how I practise self-hypnosis in my article on how to meditate on a question & connect with your intuition.
- Use daily meditation to connect with your inner energy and higher self.
- Question your likes and dislikes so you get more familiar with what you really desire.
- Remember to be vulnerable and to show the real you to your friends. There’s no point in them liking a facade and it’s better to have a few true friends than hundreds of superficial ones who don’t know the real person we are because we keep hidden behind our ‘Yes, of course I will‘ smile.
- Remind yourself: you don’t need to be perfect.
- It’s a fact that people will always judge and gossip about us so it may as well be for something we’re proud of. Ask yourself, What does it matter if someone thinks something bad of you?
- There will always be opposing tribes, millions of people ‘who don’t like us’. And that’s ok.
- Recognise the freedom of not needing to be liked. Letting go of the need to be liked is one of the most liberating things I’ve done.
- Take time out in your day for doing things just for you.
- Dedicate yourself to a hobby that fills your heart – yoga, art, reading, hiking, for example.
- Each evening, scan over your day and recognise if/when/how often you did or said something just to please somebody.
- Becoming aware of our behaviour is powerful and can be the first step of our inner transformation.
- Work with a coach who resonates with you. Coaching can help peel away the layers of limiting beliefs which have provided the foundation for wanting everybody to like us. Related post: What is mindset coaching?
- Practise self-love and appreciation by including positive mantras, meditations and thought awareness in your daily life.
- Recognise your uniqueness – we are all beautiful as individuals when we stand in our own light.
- Do you love yourself enough? Is that the underlying cause for seeking external validation? You can check these 30 signs you don’t love yourself enough.
- Writing a gratitude journal can help us to build more conviction in our own strength.
Conclusion on 17 Ways to Stop Wanting Everybody to Like You
Remember, if you’ve fallen into the habit of wanting everybody to like you, chances are you may be lacking in self-esteem and self-love.
Self-love is about respecting our own boundaries first and then we can honour others more deeply and create wonderful lasting relationships.
And when starting work on transforming our unwanted behaviour it’s crucial that we’re gentle and forgiving to ourselves for our own actions.
We transform by altering our beliefs, not by criticising or blaming ourselves.
Can you imagine how free you’ll feel when you can say a gentle but firm ‘no’ to somebody without worrying about what they’re thinking of you?
If you want to transform an area of your life, feel free to contact me today for a free consultation chat.