If You Want People To Like You, Die

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After he died, everyone started to like him again. For years everyone would trash him. Then, about a year ago, our friend and ex-coworker suddenly died. The eulogies started spilling out onto the Internet. Everyone “learned how to live” from him. Or learned “everything I know about journalism” from him. One guy, “Rex” wrote the most glowing eulogy I had ever seen for anyone. The last time Rex and I actually spoke together about our dead mutual friend he had accused him of trying to molest him.

People are such liars.

But it makes me think: I always want people to like me more. Sometimes this is in a negative way (maybe I am using people as mirrors instead of just simply liking myself), sometimes this is in some societial, pseudo scientific way (people live longer when they have bigger support systems “studies show”), and sometimes this is in a positive way (I like being around and learning from good people).

10 Ways to Get People to Like you More

1) Die. If you die then certainly people will feel two things: A) they will feel bad. B) they should’ve learned more about the good side of you. C) it’s inappropriate to say anything bad about dead people so the only thing said will be positive things. Now, you might think its tongue-in-cheek that I suggest dying. I don’t really think you should die. But some of the later methods I mention are derived from this method. There are many ways to die. Death being only one of them.

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Oh, also, this doesn’t mean faking your death and showing up at your own funeral to see who shows up. That only happens in bad detective novels.

2) You Can Hate Them. I’ve largely stopped myself from falling into this trap. But if Person A hates me and Person B likes me I used to spend much more time trying to get Person A to like me than spending time with the actual person who likes me. (You can see this phenomena on Internet message boards every day).

This is a psychological trap that stems from lack of self-confidence. If someone hates you, then allow them to hate you. You have to catch yourself. It’s normally their problem. Nine times out of ten (and this is quantified based on my experience) they usually hate some aspect of their own lives and they have found you to be a convenient target. They were beaten as a kid and now James is a convenient target. Why a convenient target? I don’t know. I don’t care. You let yourself be. You follow the rules of “How to Deal With Crappy People”. which recommends the exact opposite of what most people end up doing.

3) You Can Ignore Them. There’s two reasons to do this. If you they don’t like you why are you paying attention to them anyway? Rule #1 in the Emotional side of the Daily Practice: Ignore the people who either don’t like you or give you a hard time.

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Meanwhile, nobody likes to be ignored. Ignorance is an invisible boundary you put between yourself and the other person. They feel it as soon as they cross that boundary. If they cross it and still choose to stay away, then fine – who needs them! If they cross it and want to still be near your infinitely cool presence, then they have to change the way they treat you.

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A lot of this requires confidence in who YOU are, as opposed to the other person. Maybe there’s one person you have in mind that you wished liked you better. That’s ok. But still, rule #1: ignore the people who don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Imagine a dying ancient wizard (SHAZAM!) who has chosen to give you all the magical secrets so you can be the new ancient wizard that would help the world. In our mind we think: “ok, he’s going to give me bee’s honey and bat’s excrement and I will mix them together and…” But the reality is the magic secrets are the way you transform yourself so that magic happens all around you automatically, without any say or control from you. This is rule #1.

Make yourself into magic.

4) You Can Find Something New Each Day. A human being is an archaeological dig. In an archaeological dig you don’t take a shovel and go right in and find the ancient city of Jerusalem, or wherever. Archaeologists have these tiny picks and they dig one millimeter at a time. Before they find the ancient city they were looking for they have to dig for years and years, one layer at a time. Humans are the same way.

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And not only that, there’s more then one type of layer: there’s the physical (always a pleasure to find something new). There’s the emotional (the years of happiness, sadness, abuse, abusing, the secrets dug away, the secrets she or he would be happy to share). There’s the mental: what do they know that you don’t? What can they teach you? And there’s the spiritual. Everyone realizes that their tiny bodies are not in control of the universe. So what do they believe separates them from whatever does control the beginning, middle, and end of everything. Maybe its purely scientific. Or maybe it’s a hodgepodge of ancient traditions. Or maybe its ideas that have worked for them that they have lived with in private for years.

Find out one small thing a day. One loveable thing. If you put in that effort, they will sense it on some level. If an archaeologist puts in the time, unravels the layers, ancient treasure is the ultimate dessert.

5) Give Them Credit. At work everyone wants credit. At home everyone wants credit. “I DID clean the dishes today,” my daughter might say. People tend to hoard credit. They are afraid that if others get credit for what they did then they might get diminished in some way. So do the opposite. Give credit/appreciation for everything, even work you did. Here’s a ratio: for every piece of credit you give out, it comes back tenfold. How will it come back? We don’t know.

That’s part of becoming an ancient wizard. The world bends to create magic for you. Because you’ve given credit to it’s citizens, the world itself will return the favor. And, on top of it, the people you help – by either appreciating them more or giving credit to them – will like you more.