When I was in radio, I had a friend who was liked by everyone that knew her. No one had a negative thing to say about her. If you needed someone to emcee an event, you knew you could go to her. I would also emcee events but was never as busy as she was. The difference, though, was that I was paid when I worked and she wasn’t. One day, she asked me how I was able to get people to pay for my time. I told her it was simple….I told them that there was a fee. She immediately was taken aback. “I could never tell them that. What if they don’t like me anymore?” And that was the underlying problem. There is a difference between liking someone and respecting them. She had decided her worth was in how many people liked her versus how many people respected what she had to offer.
Of course, we all want to be liked, but when being liked is the top priority, we often compromise ourselves. How many times have you found yourself wanting to speak your mind, but then held back for fear of what someone might think of you? Do you find yourself saying yes to things even when they are unreasonable? Do you often go along with what everyone else wants or says to not rock the boat? If any of these apply to you, then it’s possible you might be more concerned about being liked than respected.
The late Margaret Thatcher once said, “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”
As women, we are social creatures and want to be liked, but even if we aren’t, we can still be respected. Start by trying some of these tips:
- Stay true to who you are. Know who you are and what your worth is. With that knowledge comes strength. Don’t allow others to dictate who you are.
- Make your word mean something. If you agree to something, then plan on doing it. Don’t say yes to just say yes. It’s ok to say you need some time to think about it.
- Stand your ground. If you believe in something, then don’t let someone try to convince you otherwise. I’m not suggesting you ignore advice, but understand that everyone has different opinions. That doesn’t mean yours is wrong.
- Set boundaries. It is OK to say no or to tell people what your boundaries are. In my story of charging for my time, I set what my boundaries were up front.
- Finally, stop giving a damn about what others think. If you are respected, then people will grow to like you. Being liked doesn’t mean you will become respected.
Choosing to be respected is a lifestyle change. Start with one of the tips until you master it and move on to the next. Remember – to be respected, you must respect yourself first.