Ok, so here is my own interpretation of the situation when it comes to likeability:
I’ve come to the conclusion that, whoever you are, you need to bring something to the table when it comes to social interaction, and in particular, the likeability factor. Simply being the nice guy, going through all the motions, and throwing yourself at the mercy of others, is not going to cut it.
What can you bring to the table? I’m not sure; I suppose it’s different for everyone. One thing I have noticed is that when I am in an insecure frame of mind, people don’t naturally warm up to me. They tend to have a standoffish attitude. Even if I make an effort to initiate conversation, I still get a luke-warm response.
On the other hand, if I’m feeling more confident, people just seem to treat me better. I can feel the respect and likeability factor skyrocket. Why is that? Is it just my imagination? Very unlikely, because I’ve seen it happen too many times.
In fact, I’m guilty of the same behavior myself. I find traits like confidence more appealing than insecurity. I admire people that are confident and sure of themselves. I will even overlook other less desirable traits (cocky, loud, aggressive) because I am mysteriously drawn to their personalities.
There is one thing I am sure of: Being a nice guy will never earn me respect or increase my likeability factor. I’m sure that some would disagree with this, and again, I’m speaking for myself only. So why am I so nice? Am I worried about disappointing others. Am I worried about losing the respect of people for having a different opinion? Why do I feel this need to have everyone like me, even if it means that I have to suppress much of my own personality in the process?
Here is a question I ask myself at times: Will a person respond more favorably to a compliment from a wishy-washy nice guy, or from a confident, secure individual? My guess is that the confident person will garner more credibility and respect. Their compliment simply carries more weight.
Will people be drawn to someone who confidently speaks their mind, or to someone that is afraid to speak at all? Personally, even though I am extremely shy, I am drawn to and admire those more confident individuals. Besides, the conversation is easier when there are no awkward pauses. – they just never seem to be at a loss for words.
Obviously, I’m not doing myself any favors by continuing on with my “nice-guy” charade. And it really is a charade. I’m not nearly that nice. It’s all a bit hypocritical.
As the saying goes: “Get real, man.”