The Simple Law That Will Make You Extremely Likeable

You should care about being liked by others on the macro, not on the micro.

woman smiling Vladimir Sukhachev/ Shutterstock

There’s this running self-help advice out there that says you must not care about being liked by others. And that you should make decisions without worrying whether others validate them or not.

And to be honest, that makes sense.

However, I believe this is oversimplified advice that offers only a myopic perspective on the topic.

When you take a few steps back and try to look at the bigger picture, you might be encouraged to think differently.


Our desire to be liked by others is not borne out of thin air.

We’re hardwired to want to be liked by others because it gives us an evolutionary benefit. 

You see, in the stone age, if one of your ancestors wasn’t liked by the rest of the group, they wouldn’t bother trying too hard to save them from a wild animal. At that time, being likable could be the difference between life and death.


Of course, we’re not in the stone age anymore. Not being likable isn’t likely to kill us today. However, it can easily affect the quality and greatness of your life.

We live in an interdependent society. We’re at our best when we collaborate.

Collaboration is easier when there’s free-flowing communication of ideas and opportunities between two entities. And that’s only possible when two entities — individuals or communities — are fond of each other.

Being more likable could mean more support and opportunities for you. So should you care about being liked by others? Most definitely.

But there’s an important nuance to this ideology that needs to be talked about.


RELATED: 7 Unsexy Habits That Demolish Your Likeability

You should care about being liked by others on the macro, not on the micro

When you think about the micro, you shouldn’t care about being liked by others.

This would mean that: 

  • You shouldn't care about what people might think of a single decision of yours. If you truly believe what you’re doing is right for you and doesn’t harm others, do it even if people dislike you for it.
  • You shouldn’t care about what a single person thinks about you.

When people care about being liked on the micro, they do stupid things — like making decisions based on the opinions of one single individual they’re trying to please.


That said, when we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, the perspective begins to shift.

You should care about what people (many individuals) think of you overall.

If one person thinks you’re an a**hole, he or she may be wrong. However, if everyone thinks you’re an a**hole, you probably are.

This dichotomy leads the way for a highly nuanced state of mind. You must be okay with being disliked on the micro, but not on the macro. Here’s why.

Not caring about what people think of you on the micro allows you to take decisions that are anchored in authenticity. It also allows your emotional structure to be unshaken by the opinions of a single individual.


That said, being aware of what the general overall opinion people have of you allows you to take a look in the mirror and make changes in your life to be more likable. We’ve already discussed why being likable is important above.

Now that we’ve discussed why you should care about being likable, and what exactly that means, let’s discuss the two overarching factors affecting your likability.

The cross-table of likability

Likability is an enormous topic. And I could easily write about seven small things you can do to increase your likability. But I don’t want to do that. I want to help you understand what social likability is at its core — and what factors determine your likability.

In that context, I’ve come to realize that there are only two major, overarching factors that determine your likability.

  • Whether the person has reasons to be arrogant or not.
  • And whether he’s arrogant or not.

And when we put them on a cross-table, everything comes into perspective.

Let’s talk about these people one by one. When you read their descriptions, try to think of one example of each in your own life.

RELATED: The 12 Habits Of Extremely Likable People


Here are the four types of people: 

1. First is the person who has no reason to be arrogant 

They haven’t accomplished much in life and don't have gifted genetics. And they’re nice and humble. 

Of course, everybody likes such people — but they’re not truly significant. They’re just nice.

2. Second is the person who has no reason to be arrogant, but they’re still arrogant 

They’re just loudmouths. And these people are most often disliked or even hated by others.

It’s as if people are wondering, "What is he/she even arrogant about?"

3. Third is the person who has something to be arrogant about — and they’re overly arrogant about it

Imagine the shredded guy who talks as if others are inferior to him.


You expect such a person to be arrogant and they end up living up to your expectations.

Such people are attractive, but when you get close to them they become repulsive due to their evident egos.

4. Fourth is the person who has a solid reason to be arrogant — but is full of humility instead

A person like this is a nice surprise.

That’s because by looking at them from a distance or learning about their accomplishments, you would expect them to be arrogant. But when you talk to them, they display none of it.

These people are extremely likable.

So the law is pretty simple. Develop yourself. Become great. Maximize your potential. At the same time, be as humble as you can be.


Accumulate more and more reasons for your arrogance to shoot up — but let your humility shoot through the roof instead.

The best example that comes to mind of such a person is Andrew Huberman.

Andrew D. Huberman is a neuroscientist and tenured associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. On top of this, he also runs an extraordinary podcast by the name Huberman Lab where he discusses scientific insights for an extraordinary life.

However, if you’ve ever seen any of his podcasts, you’ll see that his words are clad by humility.

He has every reason in the world to be an arrogant prick, but he’s one of the most humble humans on the planet instead. That’s why, he’s also one of the most-liked people.


And so, while social likability is an enormous topic with thousands and millions of different nuances, this overarching law gives you a pretty decent understanding of how to be more likable. 

Gather many, and major reasons for arrogance — but be humble instead.

RELATED: Why Loners Are Actually More Likable Than Your Popular Friends

Believe that you are great — but not greater than anyone.

Many of us are on self-improvement journeys. We’re intentionally trying to become greater versions of ourselves. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s what all of us should do.


That said, we need to remember that arrogance is an instinctual byproduct of any kind of improvement you gather.

When you achieve something, arrogance will ensue. Hence, in addition to being intentional about growing our greatness, we also have to be intentional about chipping away at our arrogance and nurturing our humility instead.

A great way to do this is by remembering this sage advice that Justin Bieber (gasp!) gave to Billie Eilish after she began gathering extraordinary fame:

"Believe [that] you are great but not greater than anyone."

The advice is simply telling us to become great — but to let go of the need to compare our position in life to other people’s.


We must remember that different people have different beginnings, different aspirations, different timelines, and different demons.

That’s why, every human’s journey in life is so unique — and incapable of being compared.

And when you truly understand that, comparisons become meaningless and arrogance loses its place in your life.

So this is how you should go about life.

Focus on developing your own greatness. Chip away at the arrogance that ensues. Intentionally nurture your humility instead. Let that humility further boost your greatness. Repeat.

If you do this, you will feel much better about yourself.

And the world will love you. Your likeability will shoot through the roof.


RELATED: 17 Hacks That Make You Personable And Well-Liked

Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more.