What’s the difference between being liked vs. being respected?

Not gonna lie, guys. I’ve been crazy into Donald Trump lately.

Not because of any political affiliation, but because he’s been more in the news recently, I’ve been dedicating myself to learning more about him (mostly because I had been so judgmental of him before, if I’m being completely honest with you).

And in his book, Think Big, he said something that’s a big part of the philosophy here at Instantly Irresistible, which is: “It’s better to be respected, than to be liked.”

In fact, it was exactly what I wrote about here about 2 friends I had in high school, and what the difference was in their social skill. One focused on being liked. One focused on respect. The difference is results is significant in how people respond and interact with you.

But this is very controversial

Dale Carnegie told us: “Smile!” …and that will cure everything.
Nearly every book about social skills ever known: “How to Get People to Like You!”

In fact, all of what we hear, especially in the media, is based on us GETTING someone to like us or love us. “Do this and get a girlfriend.” “Say that and get their number.”

I mean, fine. We all want to be liked, there’s no denying that. And, it is important.

It’s just not THE most important thing.

Because just think…

…if your only goal is to be LIKED..how does that affect your behavior? Ah, let us count the ways:

  1. If our only goal is being LIKED…we’ll say ‘It’s fine!’ when in fact, what someone just said, the plans they proposed, or what they asked you to do is NOT fine
  2. If our only goal is being LIKED…we’ll keep wondering why people don’t return our calls, or invite us to go out, or reciprocate and then try to get them to like us MORE…instead of understanding that A) This is life, people, and it’s not always about you or B) That perhaps there’s a deeper reason why this is happening and the problem is with YOU
  3. If our only goal is being LIKED…we’ll constantly mold our personalities, beliefs, and behavior to what we think other people want to hear, their needs, and their wants, without any concern for ourselves

The list goes on, and it is depressing. How do I know? As a former people pleaser, this is life for us. We get our kicks when people say: “Omg, you’re amazing!” when you do the exact thing for them that you hate doing, or worse, you sacrifice your deeper values in order to not ‘rock the boat’ and ‘keep everyone happy’. This is the worst way to live, period, because you’ll always feel awful about yourself no matter what you do.

But let’s look at the other side of this. What if our intention is to be RESPECTED? Let us count the ways this helps us:

  1. If our intention is to be RESPECTED…we’ll come up with elegant ways to say ‘no’ to people and ask for what we want instead so it’s a win-win for everyone. Or, maybe it’s just a win for you, because you can’t please everyone, and it’s OKAY to have win-lose situations sometimes. Again, this is how things ‘actually’ work and you will hurt someone’s feelings along the way.
  2. If our intention is to be RESPECTED…we don’t freak out if people don’t get back to us or assume the worst. And if we really do need to say something, you employ curiosity “Where’ve you been lately? I miss you! Let’s get drinks on Friday” vs. passive aggression “Guess I’m just not that important”
  3. If our intention is to be RESPECTED…we’ll be unapologetic about who we are, while keeping a flexible, open mind. This means standing your ground instead of back peddling on what you believe. It also means admitting you could be wrong, and listening to the other side

And this is just a small fraction of the difference between being liked and respected, and how depending on what your goal is, it affects EVERY area of your life!

And how about a juicier question? Like, what does this look like, in terms of body language and how you present yourself?

If you’re just wanting to be liked and entertain people…what does your body language and how you present yourself look like vs. being respected and valuing yourself?

It is a secret joy of mine to read people like an FBI agent. You know the kinds of things I see? Your eye twitching. A nostril flare. A seemingly imperceptible change in your voice tone that indicates the dynamic has changed. A fake smile vs. a real one. Your pupil dilating when you’re angry. I see it because I trained myself to. And I believe learning how to read people is a skill that cannot be underestimated. It is one of THE most important skills to have.

So today, I have a fun exercise for you.

What’s the difference between Cara Delevingne’s and Ivanka Trump’s body language?

These are two of my favorite women to listen to and study, and I’ll tell you why. I love Cara because she’s excited, alive, and free and she expresses herself so unselfconsciously. Then, I love Ivanka because she’s a goddamn badass. Crazy smart and ambitious.

I admire both of them because they have qualities that I look to cultivate. In fact, I think a trifecta of power would be being able to cultivate qualities they BOTH have and use them to their advantage.

But one thing is for sure: when you watch Cara and you watch Ivanka, there is a HUGE difference in how they come off. But why?

Here’s your fun exercise for today:

  1. Watch this clip of Cara, then watch this clip of Ivanka
  2.  Then tell me: who do you think comes off as well-liked, and who do you think comes off as respected AND liked? WHY? What did you notice? [Hint: Look at their eyes, their hands, and how they nod. Listen to how they talk about themselves and how they answer questions.]
  3. Then, comment below and tell me ONE thing you’re going to try out after watching each of them to present yourself in the best way possible.

Can’t wait to hear,



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