Group of friends putting hands on top of each others hands

Who doesn’t want to be liked? Most people do, and it does not matter if we are an adult or a child, although naturally I think children think about it more. They want to be liked, they want to feel part of a friendship group and feel accepted. They don’t want others to think that they have undesirable traits and are not nice to be around. So, what makes others like them?

Likeability in children can stem from various factors, including kindness, empathy and a sense of humour. Children who are warm, polite, loyal, and include others, tend to attract friends into their friendship circle easily. Some children adopt a people-pleasing demeanour, striving to make others happy at the expense of their own authenticity. While this may temporarily boost their likability, it can lead to feelings of resentment over time. Encourage your child not to do this! Parents, you can take steps to help your child to be liked.

Encouraging Likeable Traits

If your child feels that nobody likes them, it can make them feel lonely and inadequate. If your child feels this way, as a parent you can help them build their self-confidence. Encourage them to focus on their strengths and interests so that they start to see that they have lots to offer other people, and that they are a nice person. If they like themselves, then others should start to like them too.

Help your child to do a bit of self-reflection to check they are not exhibiting annoying behaviours, such as constant interrupting or being selfish. This won’t help others like them. Instead, encourage self-awareness and empathy, and teach them effective communication.

As adults, we presume that most people like us, and we hope that our children feel the same way. Not everyone will like them but they can hope to change their mind by being a good person and a good friend. Realistically, not everyone will like them and that’s okay! It’s just something they need to learn to be comfortable with and not pursue. We can’t be friends with everyone.

For more on friendships see my friendship ebook.