How To Make People Like You for DUMMIES

I woke up this morning thinking about a time my hubby and I visited a couple in their 60’s who were members of our little country church. We hadn’t been there (pastoring this church) very long and we were young with 3 little kids….so, we still had a lot to learn about loving people right where they were.

The visit was so awkward. The lady had just had a series of surgeries to remove all her teeth in order to prepare for a special bridge. She was long into her recuperation but we were there to show love and encouragement for the seriousness of her situation. I mean, all your teeth? Surgically removed? Ouch!

The small talk was almost painful. I tried everything to be pleasant and even likable. Afterall, isn’t that what ministry families are supposed to be? Likable? The interaction wasn’t hostile but it certainly wasn’t warm and fuzzy either. I remember thinking in my head, “I have to do something to make these people like us!”

I can’t tell you how stressed I felt by the time I got in the car to leave. Why did I do that to myself? Why did I feel like I had to make this couple like me? Insecurity? Maybe. Everyone wants to be liked, right? Sure they do. For me, ministry was more than just a job. It was who we were and I didn’t want to be a fake or a failure.

That visit was a long time ago (maybe 16 years or so) but I can still feel the pressure of the moment as if it were yesterday. I can still hear the odd silence in the room and the fumbling conversation. It was that painful. What I’ve learned in 16+ years is that I CAN’T FORCE OR MAKE ANYONE LIKE ME and neither can you.

People are either going to love you (or me) or hate you (or me). We don’t get to choose.

a friend

No one, not me…not you can decide what someone else feels in their heart and mind.

So, to my younger me:

Stop conforming to something that you feel other people want in you. Be yourself. You’re really awesome just the way you are! Love and laugh the way you want and be the silly person you are. Stop holding back because you think people expect you to behave a certain way. You are marvelous!

You’re going to be so much happier now.

Love, your older me.

When you feel tempted to be something you’re not in order to make someone you don’t really need to impress like you, DON’T! You’re never going to feel right about it and you’re never going to convince them to dig you. Be yourself. You’re a rockstar just as you are!

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