Too many people are taking things personally in the business and professional world because they’re placing too much emphasis on being liked rather than being respected. This is an issue that comes up quite frequently in during my one to one personal branding consultations. Being liked can get you followers and even fame, but respect makes you money and maintains your credibility. Likeability is great but it doesn’t necessarily translate into sustainable benefits UNLESS you’re strategic, it’s part of your personal brand or you have a “Lorraine Kelly” style focus with your career. Being respected means that no matter how much people try to overlook you, they can’t deny your greatness EVEN if they don’t like you personally. So what is more important to you? Being liked or being respected?
Your goal should be to maintain your integrity and authenticity, worrying about whether people like you is a distraction. The “hard work” narrative might also be part of this wanting to be liked perspective too. Working harder to prove yourself to those who you seek validation from because you want them to like you but you can’t always get them to respect you and they take advantage of you. And I’m not saying don’t work hard. I’m saying work smarter and maintain respect for yourself. You owe it to yourself to do the work and do it well BUT seek discernment in all things. Don’t be used by people just because you want them to like you, respect is more valuable. By the way being respected doesn’t mean that you have to be a terrible person or mean for no reason, make sure that you develop self awareness so that you understand this. There will be people who like you but don’t respect you and people who respect you but don’t like you. It’s great if you can have both but if you have to choose one choose respect, it lasts longer.