Are you vanilla or marmite?

Someone just described me as Marmite!

Was I surprised? No.

Was I offended? No.



It cropped up because the person I was talking to had just said that he likes to be liked. He goes out of his way to get everyone to like him.

The result? He feels that people overlook him and that he has no real friends in business.

Me? I know there’s a whole bunch of people who don’t like me.

I’m opinionated, outspoken, irascible, quick to judge, sarcastic and sharp.

I dislike ritual, bureaucracy, hypocrisy, sycophants, received wisdom and the status quo.

Does it bother me that some people don’t like me?

Not a bit.

What I know is that that the people who do like me, really like me.

They see me as loyal, generous, smart, honest, reliable, egalitarian and funny (so I’m told).

I know I’ve got great friends in business.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 

Oscar Wilde knew that when we try to be liked by everyone we lose our authenticity. We lose sight of who we really are and what we stand for.

This causes enormous damage to our confidence and sense of self-worth.

It also has an impact on how other people relate to us.

When we are authentic and stand up for what we believe in we have a clear personal brand. We behave consistently and it is far easier to connect and build a long lasting relationship.

Ditch vanilla and embrace Marmite!

(I love vanilla ice cream and don’t like Marmite at all so don’t take this literally!)

When you collaborate and engage with someone, you need to trust them. You need to know that person won’t say one thing and do another.

When you stand out and stand up for your values, you’ll find that other people either immediately relate to you or they shy away.

It saves a lot of time and angst.

You don’t end up working with people you don’t like, and the people you do work with often become valued way beyond the business arena!

What do you stand for?

Are you prepared to be liked and disliked for it?

Ironically, by describing me as Marmite, the guy who had been asked for his opinion of me sat on the fence. He didn’t say whether he liked me or not.

I find that a bit funny and a bit sad.



2 replies
  1. Elaine
    Elaine says:

    Love this! Marmite people have respect for their values – whether you agree with their values or not.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] For more on being likable read “Be yourself, everybody else is taken.”  […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.