Really want someone you work with or go to school with to like you, and not sure where to start? How to get someone to like you back?
Editor and lead writer Andrea Blundell explores.
The big truth about how to get someone to like you back
No matter how many internet articles or Youtube videos have told you otherwise, you cannot make someone like you back if they don’t want to. You are simply not in charge of another person’s decisions.
Sure, if you follow the advice of some ‘dating gurus’, you can manipulate and trick someone into temporarily liking you. But this means you are pretending to be someone you aren’t to gain someone else’s attention.
So not only will the other person one day realise, no matter if it’s in a few weeks or a few years, that you manipulated them, are dishonest, and are someone entirely different?
But with each step you take to create a false persona that will be ‘liked’, you are losing sight of yourself more and more. This can lead to loss of self-respect and, eventually, even an identity crisis.
In the end you can be left asking not how to get someone else to like you back, but how to get your own self to like you.
So are there better ways to get someone to like you back? Without all the antics? Absolutely.
How to get someone to like you back in a HEALTHY way
Here are ideas inspired by psychotherapy and coaching on how to get someone to like you back.
1. Stop constantly asking yourself, “Why don’t they like me?”.
It leads to months (or in some cases, years) of anxiety, paranoia, and an extended game of guesswork. In cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) such guesswork thinking is considered a cognitive distortion — thoughts that are not based on reality– and is called ‘fortune telling’.
You can’t read someone’s mind. If you are curious about what the issue is, then learn how to communicate without upsetting someone, and how to ask good questions. Gather up your courage and have a calm, open conversation with the person where you ask for feedback.
2. Or just ask them out.
Or, if it’s a romantic interest, get some support for possible fallout then ask them out.
Seems a crazy idea? No more ‘crazy’ than spending months or years of your life wasting time and energy focussed on someone who might never be interested.
If you can’t seem to ask them out, and if this is a pattern in your life? Always liking people who don’t notice you? It might not be about that person at all but about a limiting belief that you are unworthy of love. By chasing the unavailable you are unconsciously seeking to ‘prove’ this belief.
3. Drop the sob story.
“Nobody likes me and there is nothing I can do about it”. “Everyone rejects me and that’s a fact”.
Is it? Because these sound like very strong assumptions, unless you happen to know all the billions of people walking the earth personally. And assumptions like these are part of a deeply entrenched victim mindset.
You can either shout about being called a victim and dig the victim trench that bit deeper. Or you can take a deep breath, and ask yourself, “Is it possibly true? Has my childhood left me with limiting beliefs that I need to question? And are there repressed difficult childhood experiences I’ve got a lot of rage and pain about that it’s time to face and process, so that I can stop being a victim and start being my real self?”
4. Try out the ‘C’ word.
The old advice is, ‘just love yourself and others will love you back!’. But it’s (highly) unrealistic.We all have doubts and moments of being annoyed with ourselves.
There is, however, truth in the idea that if we are always obsessing on others liking us, there is often, hidden beneath, self-hatred coupled with low self-esteem.
A newer therapy called ‘compassion-based therapy’ suggests that the best way to start regaining a sense of worth is to with a bit of simple letting ourselves off the hook.
Recognise you are trying your best. Give yourself credit for what you do right. Notice how you talk to friends, and then try talking to yourself in the same way.
The more we show compassion to ourselves, the more, by default, we become comfortable showing compassion to others. And the more we have natural compassion for others, instead of fake niceness designed to win attention? The more they relax around us, and, well… like us.
5. Stop faking out.
Pretending to be someone you aren’t — doing things you don’t usually do, feigning interests and hobbies that aren’t yours, dressing in ways you wouldn’t otherwise, being mean to women because an online course says it works to make them like you?
Unless you have narcissistic personality disorder, (and if you are reading this article it’s unlikely, here’s why), this sort of ‘acting’ comes across as fake to others. Yes, no matter how well you think you are pulling it off.
And fakeness is a big turnoff. The other person might not even be sure why they don’t quite like you. They just get a wary feeling. And they back off.
6. Let it be messy.
So why are you faking out? Usually it’s because you’ve deemed your real self as not good enough. Not pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, rich enough, too messed up.
So be messy, then.
A genuine mess is more attractive to most people than fake perfection. We all feel imperfect inside. When others are not pretending otherwise we can empathise and connect.
And if you are never being your messy self, then you are cutting off any chance of meeting someone who likes you as you are. How can they, when you keep it so well hidden?
7. Stop running after people who aren’t worth it.
If the other person really does seem to want fake perfection, then why are you even running after them in the first place? Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I think this person actually offers me?
- What do I think they have that I don’t?
Is it true that I can’t be those things or find those things within?
- Do I really need this other person’s attentions to find those things?
- Am I making this person responsible for how I feel about myself? Is that fair?
- What values does this person seem to have?
- Are these really the values I want for my own life?
- What do I stand to lose by chasing after this person? And what do I stand to gain if I stop trying to make them like me?
But what if people never seem to like you?
Then it might be time to look at bigger reasons. Go read our article, ‘Why Don’t People Like Me’, which will show you what those reasons might be. Sometimes it can even be that you have a personality disorder, meaning you see the world differently than others, and need a hand to understand how to relate.
Tired of always getting rejected? Time to learn to be yourself and relate to others in ways that attract, instead of turn away, the love that you long for? Our therapists can help. We connect you with top central London counsellors and psychotherapists. Or use our booking site to find affordable UK-wide registered therapists and online counsellors.
Still have a question about ‘how to get someone to like you back’? Or want to share your experience with other readers? Comment below. We monitor comments and do not allow harassment, derogatory content, or advertising.
Andrea Blundell is the editor and lead writer of this blog. With training in person-centred counselling and group coaching, her favourite topics are relationships, trauma, and ADHD.