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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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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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