“I’m just sick and tired of being so well-liked!”…..Said no one ever.
I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to our relationships with others, we all want to be liked. There is a deep part of us that longs for acceptance, love, and companionship with other human beings. Wanting to be liked is part of being alive.
Not only is this true in my own life, but I get emails from people all the time wondering what the key is–to being liked. Questions such as, How can I get people to like me? or Why don’t I seem to be liked? invade my inbox time and time again.
When it comes to being liked, we have a tendency to depend on certain things like physical appearance, personality traits, and sense of humor to help us get the job done. But buried in scripture is a tiny little verse that holds some serious enlightenment as to the keys of being well liked. It’s a verse that completely obliterates our Sunday school answers and causes us to take a second look at how likeable we really are.
It’s a verse we’ve all heard before, and have probably even memorized– but one that we rarely put into practice. Here are the 3 things it says:
1. Listen More (Be quick to listen): When it comes to listening, we all get a failing grade. In fact, research suggests that we only actually remember 25-50% of what we hear. That’s pretty frightening when you think of how important listening is to the equation of a healthy relationship. Scripture reminds us of this truth and encourages us to be quick to listen as we are engaging with others. It’s one of the best things you can do for your relationships, because it takes the focus off of you and puts it onto the other person.
Not only does good listening require active listening skills, but it also requires humility. It forces you to say no to your self, put aside your ego, and to put others first. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a recipe for likeability to me. Consider your listening skills – what do they tell the world about you?
2. Talk Less (Be Slow to Speak): We’re given a lot of warning in the book of James about how to use our words, but the best warning is this one: use less! I think social media has impacted our ability to be “slow to speak” in that it’s given us the invitation to speak freely in our online worlds. We can tweet, post, and pin every passing thought- whether asked for or not. Many times, this lack of inhibition seeps through into our real life- and we find ourselves talking far more than we’re listening, and far better than we’re living.
As much as I hate to admit it, this is one area of my life that I’m really striving to change. I want to be a person who is known less for what I say, and more for how I live. Talk is cheap, because it costs us far more to live it out. Let’s choose to be people who strive for the latter.
3. Don’t Take Everything so Personally (Be Slow to Become Angry): I used to quickly dismiss this part of the verse because it really takes a lot to get me angry. I’m pretty good at controlling this side of my emotional life, and anger is not something I give into very easily. But you know what I do give into? Hurt. I can easily read into things, distort things, or make things up in my head and convince myself that someone was ill-intentioned. But the roads to hurt and anger both come from the same place: SELF. They are emotions that are fixated on ME. My hurts, my injustice, my discomfort, my needs, my feelings. But here we challenged to completely let go of ourselves.
Don’t get mad easily, and don’t get hurt often, by learning not to take things so personally. Don’t make everything about you–because most of the time…it’s not. We are called to be slow to become angry in that we are invited to take a step back, away from ourselves, and look at the big picture. We are called to see others as Jesus would see them, and strive toward understanding, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
We all want to be liked. This list might help you get there.
But whether or not people like you for these things is on them…because as for you: far more important than being liked this coming year, is learning to be more LIKE Christ.
Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry- and allow God to take you one step farther from you- and one step closer on Him.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life. You may also recognize her voice from her 100+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!
1. Are you ready for Love? Take my FREE Quiz right now to find out!
2. Want to learn how to date in a healthy way that will help you find and keep love? Check out my book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life! Plus, read the Top 25 Dating Questions of All-Time answered in Section 4!!
3. The #1 Mistake singles reported making last year was not taking a risk to start a relationship! Why do Christians tend to be so passive when it comes to relationships? Join hundreds of other singles and take a course that will teach you the top lessons I’ve learned in my career as a Relationship Counselor, and totally change your love-life in 21 Days! Learn more: 21-Day Program to Jump Start Your Love-Life!