The Psychology of Being Liked

Life is just easier when you’re liked isn’t it? Working with people who you get along with, having clients that like you, and having meaningful relationships with people are all brilliant ideals that a lot of us hold.

So what are some ways to help yourself become more liked?

Self-Disclose.

I’ve always been told people will gravitate towards those they know, like and trust. These three traits don’t happen all at once, in my experience each one leads to the other. In order to be trusted you must be liked, and to be liked someone must know you.

So how do you get people to know you? It’s quite simple really, you self-disclose.

Self-disclosure is:

“The process by which one person lets his or her inner being, thoughts, and emotions be known to another.”

Sometimes it’s easy to be swept up in the idea that being a professional means putting your “Game Face” on and being the very picture of what it means to be a calculating, impartial individual. But do you know what? It’s hard to like that person! So drop the act! Don’t be afraid to let some of your personality show, share your stories and what you do with your life and your passions.

But why does Self-Disclosure work?

Collins and Miller (1994) came to the conclusion that there are three main effects of self-disclosure on being liked:

  • People who disclose intimate things about themselves are more liked than those who don’t
  • When people are liked they disclose more
  • People have a preference to those they have self-disclosed to

With these three things in mind it’s easy to see how this becomes a bit of a cycle. I self-disclose something and you self-disclose back, we start to like each other which then leads to more self-disclosure and next thing you know we’ve developed a preference for each other.

To wrap everything up and put everything as simply as I can, I would say this: Let people in. Don’t let the fear of “What if I say this and the other person doesn’t like me” get in the way, because that’s exactly why they don’t like you in the first place.

So for some practice, give some self-disclosure a go yourself in the comments or by letting people know that you like the article. It’ll help you be liked!