How often do you alter your inner state to please the external?
It may be more than you think.
Do you hide when you feel ashamed?
Do you act politely to get a job?
Do you act nicely so that others will like you?
All these are subtle ways we distance ourselves from the truth of our being. Which in turn promotes further insecurity and lack of self-trust.
The answer you are looking for is not to get others to like you. But it's also not to rebel against the external.
The answer is to be you, honestly, and in all its wholeness.
How do you do that?
It starts with recognizing your habit to please.
Next time you interact with another notice your habits of smiling, being polite and trying to say the right thing. Instead, sink deeper into your body and become aware of the emotions and sensations that are actually there. Let go of the need to be liked and simply exist in yourself with that other person. That place of simplicity is where your wisdom lives. That place of just being is where you are the most alive.
I know it's terrifying, but it will get easier with practice. Just take a deep breath a say, "You are safe, you have nothing to prove".
It's about letting go.
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche says enlightenment is like heartbreak but without pain.
I say, stop performing and start living.
Here is an exercise you can practice: https://vimeo.com/726848313