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Why You Should Be Critical, Not Likable

Why You Should Be Critical, Not Likable

Every individual has three bodies.

First is the physical body, second is the mental body and third is the causal body. The physical body is just a structure of flesh and bones and not an accurate representation of the individual. If someone is beautiful and attractive, we think that this is a good person. It is our individual imagination which derives a conclusion based on an observation, which may or may not be entirely true. Individual imagination is again very subjective and hence, the physical body is not an accurate representation of an individual.

The mental body is actually who you are. It is who you imagine yourself to be. The mental body is your personality to yourself and it is this mental body which propels your action, behavior and thoughts. It is the mental body which defines what is right, what is wrong, what makes one happy, what makes one sad.

The causal body is how others see you. Your causal body is different for different individuals since it is up to the onlooker and his imagination to perceive you as someone.

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When you shouldn’t worry about “Being Likable”

When we say You, we actually refer to the amalgamation of three bodies into one.

  • Physical body – how nature sees you.
  • Mental body – how you see yourself
  • Causal body – how others see you.

Human hunger and behavior is mostly a function of the mental and causal bodies. You imagine yourself to be someone but the world sees you as a different personality. Let’s take an example.

John runs a grocery store and is very fond of poetry and fiction. In his free time, he composes poems and actively participates with the literary community. John sees himself as a poet who runs a grocery store to make a living. However, his readers see him as a grocery store owner who writes poems for an avocation.

This is the mother of all behavioral conflicts that arise in our day to day lives. The difference between the mental and causal bodies of an individual.

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When someone cracks a joke at John – “The grocery store guy writes good poems”, John feels dis-empowered. John perceives himself as a poet but the world has a different perception about John.

John cannot go and change the world’s perception about him in one day. It shall take some time and it is possible that the perception may never change. What will be the outcome if John constantly worries about “Being Likable”?

John will suffer from a personality conflict. John is “Likable” as a grocery store guy and not as a poet. The causal body of John is that of a grocery store owner. This is how John is perceived in this world. This is John’s visible reality. If John wants to be “Likable”, he will have to behave the way the world sees him. He will have to open the grocery store in time, serve his customers with a smiling face and get everything sorted.

This behavior will not satiate John’s ambition. John’s mental body is that of a poet and in order to feel empowered and find meaning in life, he must act according to his mental body. He must devote more time in becoming a good poet, read books and improve his writing skills.

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John’s ambitions cannot afford to settle with “Likable John”. John’s ambitions demand him to be “Critical” and stay focused on his vision of becoming a poet.

If you are chasing a goal, you can’t afford to “Be Likable”

Nobody wants to be with you. Everybody wants to be with the person they perceive you to be.

You are “Likable” to your boss, so long you obey his commands and act exactly the way he wants you to act. You are “Likable” to your spouse, so long you stay loyal. You are “Likable” to your neighbors, so long you don’t cause nuisance. You are “Likable” to your relatives and friends, so long you give them your attention.

Everybody wants you to be exactly how they want you to be. The moment there is some aberration in your behavior, this “Likability” will disappear.

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The moment you start working on your own idea or company, your boss will see you as a threat to the organization. It doesn’t matter how loyally you have served the organization for years, the perception will change and the years of hard work you have put to become the “Likable guy” will evaporate.

The moment your partner gets a new job and falls for an attractive colleague, your “Likability” ceases to exist. This is just a difference of perception of the onlooker and there is nothing you can do about it.

So we see, there is always a condition attached with “Likability”.

If you are chasing a difficult goal, you cannot afford to become “Likable”. This is because you are a different person to each onlooker and it is impossible to gratify each onlooker’s expectations. Your pursuit of a goal will cause disruption and it is critical to be “Critical” in your pursuit and not “Likable”.

This doesn’t translate to one should be rude and smug about his endeavors. Just be who you are and pay attention to your mental body. In time, you will attract people and personalities in your life who will like you for who you are and not how “Likable” you are to them.

Featured photo credit: A young woman is sitting on a bench at sunset on an autumn day in the city via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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