If Everybody Likes You, You are Doing it Wrong

doing it wrong

I recently came across and article over at the Huffington Post about the concept of people liking us and why we are afraid that they won’t. I’ve touched on the topic of accepting that not everyone will like me before (you can read that post here), but I received so many comments and e-mails regarding it that I figured I would cover the topic again from a different angle.

In this particular article, Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist who regularly blogs for the Huffington Post, focuses on how we as a society are so fearful that people won’t like us, that we miss out on a lot. We turn down opportunities in fear we won’t be good enough, we don’t post that blog post for fear that it will offend someone, or we keep our true emotions hidden in fear that people will think we are stupid/crazy/bitchy/insert negative adjective here.

Let’s be real here; everyone has an innate desire to be liked. We want our boyfriend’s parents to think we are perfect for their son, we want our bosses to think we are worthy of a raise, and we want our peers to like our personalities. So we could say that, in general, we want everyone to like us. No nasty blog comments, no vague tweets tearing us down, no eye rolls from that stranger across the room- life would be great without all of those things, right?

Or is it better for no one to like us? This way, we don’t have to worry about meeting everyone’s expectations. We can royally screw up, say whatever we want and be ourselves 100% and not worry about people liking us.

Ben says neither of us is correct or realistic. He instead suggests that we should abide by the “85% rule”. This rule says, “If about 85 percent of the people you meet like you, you are probably doing something right. If it’s much less than that, you probably not doing enough to get along with others. Β In contrast, if much more than 85 percent of the people you meet like you, you are probably doing too much to get along.”

I cannot agree with Ben more. In general, I think I am a well-liked person. I get along with pretty much everyone, have lots of friends and bond with strangers (not in a creepy way, though!) But there will always be a handful (around 15% if we’re speaking in terms of this rule) of people who just don’t like me for whatever reason. Think about it- we all come from different backgrounds, have different religious and political beliefs, have different personalities, etc. It’s impossibleΒ for everyone to like us, no matter how awesome we really are (and you are!)

He ends the article was a great quote. “Those who truly love you will support you no matter what. Those who don’t, are not worth changing for anyway.” I am printing this quote out and hanging it somewhere to remind myself daily that I am better than that 15% who don’t like me. I am who I am. I’m a brutally-honest, sarcastic, petite young woman. I won’t sugar-coat things for the sake of others, I won’t change my appearance to please someone, and I certainly won’t apologize for being who I am. And I hope you all can follow in my footsteps and do the same.

What do you think of this 85% concept?Β 


  1. I really like this quote. I’ve really been thinking oabout this recently. I think it’s important we stay true to ourselves and our character and know in the end we did our best. Then, people can choose to accept that, or not.

  2. I completely agree, I know that I do not like every single person that I meet so, I do expect that not everyone will like me as well. As long as you are respectful towards others and you are mature about it (I mean not catty) I think it’s ok.

  3. Amazing post! I recently was talking about this with someone. Growing up, I had such a desire for everyone to like me, and I was such a people pleaser. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s ok if not everyone likes me, and I don’t need to please every single person I come in contact with. Love his quote, too.

  4. I totally agree. You can’t please everyone… and you shouldn’t. Those closest to you will love you no matter what, and in the end, that’s all that really matters! πŸ™‚

  5. Love this Rachel. And it is SO true. I have learned to accept why certain people don’t like me, but I still struggle with trying to win others back over. It is such a waste of time and of your ability to use that energy towards something good or for the people you really love! I like the idea of 85% πŸ™‚

    1. I’m always trying to “win” people over. A lot of mutual friends don’t like me based on another girl’s opinion. IT’s tough and it stinks that certain people don’t like me based on a stupid assumption or lie, but like you said, I can’t waste all my time making others like me. People who know the real me like me for me! πŸ™‚

  6. this is a great concept. if you try to make everyone happy, you will fail miserably and they be unhappy yourself. i used to care so much about what other people thought and wanted everyone to like me, but now i ask myself if i really like other people and want to spend my time with them first before worrying if they like me! πŸ™‚ great insightful post, rachel!

  7. This concept has been such a long-time struggle for me, but I really feel like you’ve hit the nail on the head. There’s something about accepting that not everyone has to like you that feels very much like growing up…

  8. Being “liked” has never been that important to me. I mean, yes we all *want* to be liked, but I’ve always had a group of friends and they’re who matter. Not some other person who wants to hate on everyone because they’re miserable, you know? I think as long as we’re confident with ourselves, that reflects outwardly.

  9. that is so true! you cant really please everyone or you will end up a basket case. I don’t try to change myself so I can please everyone i change so i can be a better person. And not expect everyone to like me. As long as i dont hurt or harm anyone im good.

  10. I definitely always want everyone to like me – and then feel bad about myself if they don’t…which sucks. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s just a fact and I think it’s easier to deal with if you can just shrug it off and say who cares πŸ™‚

  11. I’m so glad you posted this. This is so true but I feel like it’s so hard to come to terms with. I’m a people pleaser and I often get yelled at for putting everyone else before me. I’m not dumb- I know everyone won’t like me, but it’s a hard habit to break!

  12. This is such a great piece of advice! I always want people to like me… and I know I bend over backwards for others sometimes. I need to keep this in mind next time I’m quick to please people.

  13. I love this article. It’s a great reminder: not everyone is going to like you, agree with everything you do, or support all your choices… but that’s okay. You don’t have to impress anyone but yourself, and you certainly don’t need the approval of anyone but yourself. F the haters! I am not always this rational and am often hurt by the little things, but you sound like you’ve accepted this 85/15% rule quicker than I have. More power to ya! Some day, I hope I’m there too.

    1. haha I get hurt my little things too (even though I know I shouldn’t), and I think that’s part of being human. Honestly, I still struggle with it sometimes, like when someone doesn’t like me just because their friend has a problem with me. But I’m getting better as I get older πŸ™‚

  14. Exactly! I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to make people like me (only if they don’t like me for a stupid reason!), and I’ve learned to just stop

  15. I couldn’t agree more! We all want to be liked but there will always be people that for some reason or another just don’t mesh well. I love his quote, it’s such a good daily reminder!

  16. I think this is so true. People shouldn’t spend their lives trying to please everyone because it will just never happen. It’s all about accepting who you are and being happy knowing that not everyone will like that.

  17. I {like everyone else} completely agree. I know I struggle with this and I think it sucks up too much of my energy and time. It’s best to find the people who like you and stick to them {and say adios to those who don’t!}


  18. I think it’s so interesting he put a number in it. it kinda makes people not liking me easier, like oh, they are just part of the 15 percent and then it doesn’t seem so sad.

  19. I love this and i couldn’t agree more!! I feel like I get along with most people but I definitely won’t change who I am just so that someone likes me.

  20. While I agree that not everyone should like you I’m not sure about the 85% either. Maybe 70-80%. I can see that those percentages working. Its just like people who seem to be losing all the time people are always there on their side. Successful people seem to always have people who dislike for well being successful. There are a lot of jerks but even in the online world people will find a reason not to like you if they think you are too different.

  21. I love this post, I think 85% is a good amount. It’s not worth it to sacrifice yourself to be liked by the other 15% (who probably won’t like you anyway!). Love reading honest posts like this!

  22. I love the idea of the 85% rule.. I’m definitely going to keep that in mind! Great read Rachel πŸ™‚

  23. Printing the quote out for myself as well. I think you should write a post about how to be more likeable for those of us who may fall under the 85% marker, or you could just tutor me 1 on 1 :). I loved this post.

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