The Secret of Making People Like You

Posted by in Career Success, Personal Development | 4 comments

There are a few people I interact with on a regular basis who inadvertently seem to drive others away in some way.

Te atreves...Creative Commons License Fernando Valenzuela via Compfight

In one case the person seems to want to have friends and relationships but has great difficulty navigating the sometimes delicate intricacies of maintaining a friendship.

Another person has lost significant connections to business contacts and forfeited potentially thousands of dollars of income as a result.

In my own life I have said and done things I know have cost me in different ways.

On the flip side, I’ve witnessed people consistently handle relationships and stressful situations with grace and poise.

So what was the difference between these successful people and the others?

It may be several factors, but one I continually notice is the high level of self-awareness the successful people appear to have.

In order to be successful in your career it will eventually come down to how you handle your relationships with those you interact with.

Self-awareness is essential to navigating those relationships successfully.

Here are six ways to become a more self-aware person:

1. Self monitoring. Ask yourself what impact your behavior has on the people you interact with.

2. Getting Feedback. It can be scary, but asking for feedback from friends and family about how they see you show up in certain situations can be invaluable. We all have blind spots and there is just no way we’ll know the full impact we have on others unless we ask them.

3. Reading. You can learn how to be more self-aware by reading books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” or “The Magic of Thinking Big”. These books act as a road map to provide principles you can apply to every situation.

4. Put yourself in others’ shoes. Empathy comes more naturally for certain personality types but having the ability to switch your viewpoint to how others may think is the secret sauce of self-awareness. Equivalent to writing upside down, if you can envision how someone else may be perceiving your actions and speech you will be able to self-monitor accordingly.

5. Observing others. Find a role model to pattern your behavior after, or maybe a combination of role models. It helps to be able to watch a self-aware person in action. Just look for someone in your life who seem to have the respect of everyone you know and who treats everyone graciously and with kindness.

6. Get a mentor. This is easier said than done, but if you can find someone to help guide you through your life and career you will achieve more than you thought you could. Preferably someone with great wisdom and tact who has led a successful life thus far.

Becoming self-aware is a gradual process, and not necessarily an easy one, but it will reward you abundantly in all areas of your life if you strive for continual improvement in this discipline.

Question: Have you noticed others who are self-aware? What impact does it have on their careers and lives?


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  • I think if you observe others you can find those who are self-aware and those who are not. I think a important aspect in connecting and relating with others is to have and develop emotional intelligence. I recently wrote about how developing EI can help a leader lead better. Here is the post if anyone wants to read it,

    Great post!

    • Yes, Dan emotional intelligence is absolutely key to becoming more self-aware. Those who can empathize and relate to the emotions of others are better able to influence them in a positive way. Your blog post was great!

  • Josh

    Adam, I am someone that struggles with friendships. I do not throw out the word friendship lightly and that could be why I really do not have many. If I am to consider someone a friend there must be a mutual relationship. A friend is more to me than just someone who shows up once a month or whatever. Anyway, at one point in my life I was always monitoring what I said and what I did to make sure others around me felt comfortable and had all of their needs met. After living life that way for awhile I noticed that MOST of the people I was with (no matter what I do) had no interest in putting themselves in my shoes. I feel that in my life there has been a constant expectation of me to adjust to all of their needs, but a refusal to meet me where I need to be met.

    I have been ditched, lied to, manipulated, abused so many times I can hardly keep track. In my experience MOST people are so unaware and so into themselves that there is no possible way they could see something from my perspective.

    I know that my personality type is WAAAAAY more emotional than most others and I continue to work on my reactions to things, but it seems that I am rarely allowed the grace I need to get through something without being criticized, mocked or ignored.

    Jaded? Heck yeah. Totally.

    The victim? Yep, I am that too. Really good at this one actually.

    However, I am incredibly aware of myself and those around me. Sometimes it makes relationships really hard. SOMETIMES I wish I was ignorant to what is actually going on around me. I might have more friends, but alas they would probably be shallow and pointless.

    • Josh,
      I think all of us can identify with your experience. Anyone who has engaged in a relationship with another human being will be disappointed and/or hurt at one point or another. We are imperfect and as such our relationships are imperfect. However, I had a mentor of mine once say that it’s interesting how we are most hurt by other people, yet we are also greatly healed by other people. Unfortunately we have to sometimes experience the former on the way to the latter. What we focus on tends to get larger, so I hope you have opportunities to focus on the healing relationships in your life. Thanks for your heartfelt comment Josh.