The Benefits of Being Likeable vs. the Cons for Being Unlikeable

canstockphoto21350525 copyLikeability is one social skill that can be addressed by Recreation Therapists.


Recreation therapists who provide services for people (children, teens, and adults) with behavioral health needs may encounter clients who lack interpersonal skills needed to get along with others, to make healthy relationships and connections, and to keep those relationships.


Rec therapists can provide education:


  • People who have unlikeable characteristics are more likely to be rejected, ignored, and left to fend for themselves. Think about it for yourself. How likely are you to reach out and help someone who has been rude and disrespectful towards you? It would be difficult to do.


  • People with likeable characteristics are more likely to get help, support, care, and things they want from others. Think about it for yourself.  How likely are you to reach out and help someone who has been helpful, kind, and just amazing towards you? You might feel inkling to help out that person.


Education alone won’t cause change. In example: cigarettes have educational warnings on the packages that let people know how dangerous they are and yet people still smoke.


            Real authentic changes have to be intrinsic and self-motivated. Outside change (like nagging) and (pestering) won’t do much to encourage a person to change.


Here are two rhetorical questions recreation therapists can propose as the start of a session to get a client (or clients in a group setting) to start contemplating (improving interpersonal skills).


Do you like winning?


Do you like getting what you want?


The two questions (listed above) might get people’s attention.


Most people are tuned into Wii FM, which stands for (What’s In It For Me?)



I then suggest: You might want to consider developing interpersonal skills to become more likeable.

Ask this question: 


Which one wins most of the time? Being likeable or unlikeable?


Write this formula on the dry erase board for the day:

Being Likeable is Greater Than > Being Unlikeable



Example of How Being Likeable Wins

 Share this famous story: 

Two politicians in England were running for Prime Minster. Both men wanted to “win” the position of becoming England’s next Prime Minster. One woman was arranged to have dinner with each of them on two consecutive nights. Here is what she had to say about each of them.

  • When I left the dining room after sitting next to Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England.
  • But when I sat next to Disraeli, I left feeling that I was the cleverest woman.

Disraeli won the election that year and became the next Prime Minster. 

The same is true in most elections. Unlikeable candidates often lose elections to those people who are likeable (charismatic). Think about it for yourself? Who would you want to pick as the winner: a person you like or a person you don’t really care for? I imagine you’ll go with the person you like.

The same is true for anything that requires picking people. Most people pick the person like the over the person who they detest.

Here are some rhetorical questions for group members to consider:

  • Would you choose to go to a grocery store where you like the staff or would you go to the grocery store with people you detest?
  • Would you choose a dentist that you like compared to one who you dislike?
  • Would you give a loan to a friend who you like compared to a person you can’t stand?

People with “likeable” traits are probably more  likely to get chosen and selected.

The question to ask yourself: do you have “likeable traits?” Do you want to know the secret sauce for being more likeable and winning?

What was Disraeli’s secret sauce to winning the election?

It’s simple: 

Disraeli was more likeable.

He made people around him to feel important, valued, and even “clever” when they were with him. Whereas, Gladstone did not pay attention towards other people. Gladstone was more focused on himself and his own accomplishments.

So, how can you be likeable? Dale Carngie in his classic, best-selling self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence Others, said: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other peopleinterested in you.”

The Secret to being Likeable is very easy: be interested in other people.

Discussion Questions About Listening and Paying Attention

  1. How can you tell if a person is not listening to you and not paying attention to you and just not interested in you?


  1. How do you feel when a person doesn’t listen to you?



  1. How can you tell if a person is definitely listening to you and paying attention to you?


  1. How does that make you feel when a person is listening and paying attention to you?



  1. How do you imagine other people will “feel” around you if you don’t listen to them?


  1. How do you imagine other people will “feel” around you if you do show interest in them?



The Take-Home Message

  • Radical acceptance: we can’t change other people.
  • 100% personal responsibility: you can change yourself!

You can start practicing (being interested in other people) so that YOU become more likeable. So, you’ll start to make more positive relationships and keep those positive relationships!

 Attention Rec Therapist: Do you want to learn more about people skills? 

Sign-up for Interpersonal Success Secrets (self-study course). It is worth 5 clock hours of continuing education. Session content is CE pre-approved by NCTRC.

The course requires reading a book. We also include some helpful resources in the membership area for this course.

Go here now:


Danny Pettry’s personal goals

canstockphoto12712884Spoiler alert: In the end… we all die.

Death and dying was a subject that was covered while I was pursing my undergraduate and graduate degree in Recreational Therapy.

I had real life experience with this while completing practicum experience at Woodlands Retirement Community in the early 2000s and volunteer work at Heartland of Beckley in the late 90s.

I’ve lost loved ones in life. You’ve lost loved ones too.

Past great, well-known leaders have lived their full lives and passed, like Lincoln.

Today, it is 2018.

In 100 years it will be 2118. That year even sounds odd to say.

Most people reading this blog entry today won’t be alive in 2118. I’d be turning 138-years-old, which is probably not likely.

The truth is: we only have a limited time here on Earth.

Existentialism is my favorite philosophy. It has to do with big life questions like:

  • Who are we?
  • Why are we here?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What is the grand purpose of everything?
  • What consists of a good, decent life?

I don’t have the answers.

Dr. Raymond Moody interviewed people who were “pronounced dead” and then came back to life. He published his research in his book, Life After Life. Moody summed up two questions that people often reported having during their time away.

  • How did you love other people?
  • What did you learn?

Those two questions resonate with me.

Here is a video I created with my own personal Definiteness of Purpose statement – which is very congruent with the two questions Dr. Moody found people with near death experiences.

On learning:

  • I regret to say that I’m not certain what I should learn. Currently, I learn what I enjoy learning about and keep an open mind to learning more.

On loving: 

  • Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages describes five ways to express love. These include: words of affirmation, [healthy] physical touch, chores/ helping, giving gifts, and quality time. Chapman had written this book for couples. He later wrote a version for loving children. I believe his five love languages can be used for expressing love for strangers too.

On dying:

I’ve heard that many people on the death bed don’t regret the things they did with their lives. They often report regretting those things they didn’t do.

On living:

And if you want more inspiration — Listen to Lee Ann Womack’s song, I hope you dance.

Announcing: Danny Pettry’s February/ March 2018 webinar series

canstockphoto42469153 copyDanny Pettry has five upcoming webinars.

Four out of five of these sessions will FREE!

Sessions are limited to 100 people only, so you’ll want to sign-up fast when registration opens to the public.

Registration dates will be open soon.

Here are the upcoming sessions:

  • 001TeachLeisure_logoFeb. 7, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m. Danny Pettry presents: Leisure Education and Counseling Certificate Course. You’ll earn one clock hour of continuing education for this webinar. Plus you’ll get access to 50 leisure education books that you can use to teach leisure skills. Session cost is: $47 per person. Group discounts available upon request. Registration will be open soon.
  • DP-CEUsecrets-eBook-1-256Feb. 21st, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m. Danny Pettry presents: CEU Secrets. You’ll learn how you can easily earn CEUs online and how to identify quality online trainings. Session content is CE Pre-approved for one clock hour of continuing education by NCTRC.

This session will be FREE. Registration will be open soon.

The next two sessions are part of our Advanced Certificate Training Courses. You’ll also learn how you can earn advanced certificates in Behavioral Health for those Rec Therapists seeking Advanced Specialization1499297634_blob

  • March 7, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m. Danny Pettry presents: Social Psychology and Recreation Therapy. One clock hour of continuing education (0.1 CEU). This session will be FREE.
  • March 8, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m. Danny Pettry presents: Positive Psychology and Recreation Therapy. One clock hour of continuing education (0.1 CEU). This session will be FREE

And Danny Pettry’s Team is really excited to announce this year’s start button training program with a new focus area (to be announced soon).

  • 1499831792_blobWed. March 28, 2018 Danny Pettry will be presenting StaRTbuttonTRaining for recreation therapists who want to become entrepreneurs. This session will be FREE!  If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own recreation therapy related business – then this session is for you!


Read the raving reviews and testimonials







Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy, Danny Pettry


DannyPettry (Rec Therapy CEUs) is a West Virginia Limited Liability Company
1509 Walnut St. # 5, Kenova, West Virginia 25530, United States of America
Text to set up live suppoRT: 304-412-4965

Three reasons to choose Danny Pettry as your self-study CEU solution!


Danny Pettry’s program requires reading interesting books!

Recently, a recreation therapist emailed to ask: What makes DannyPettry’s Rec Therapy CEUs program different from our competitor’s CEU program.

The answer is real simple:

Reading books is what makes (Danny Pettry’s Rec Therapy CEUs) more distinguished and prestigious from our new rookie online CEU competitor.

Our competitor argues, “Books are optional for [their] courses as the content needed to pass the course is delivered online via presentations” That doesn’t sound too smart to us. Ironically, they feature a book in their logo.

Yes – Danny Pettry’s Rec Therapy CEUs requires reading books.

And we’d like to validate that independent learners gain three (3) major outcomes from our (book reading) program compared to their (skip-the-book option) program.


Competitive advantage # 1: Depth and Profoundness


Books improve your knowledge.

Wendy’s ads in 1984 questioned their competitor’s burgers by asking, “Where’s the beef?”

We’d like to ask: Where’s the book? Where’s the content? Where’s the deeper knowledge?

Example: I could write a lovely presentation on humanistic psychology, but that will never compare with the depth of the subject written by Carl Rogers in his book, On Personal Power. Even if created book summary review (on a slideshow presentation) on his book that was amazing, most people would want to “hear it from the horses’ mouth.” I can’t out-Rogers – Carl Rogers.

Something to think about: Tim Sander’s (Business leadership expert) argues:

“Reading is a source of potency. Become a walking encyclopedia of answers for anyone who has questions.”

Imagine the personal satisfaction and depth of knowledge you’ll gain from reading a book.  Feel the satisfaction.


Competitive advantage # 2: Definitely Prestigious


Reading books is a prestigious activity.

Tom Hanks plays the role of Jimmy Dugan, in the 90’s movie, A League of Their Own. This movie is based on the true story of an all-female baseball team coached by professional ballplayer Jim Dugan during WWII. One of the most memorable lines from the movie is when Jim Dugan (played by Hanks) says this about baseball: “It’s supposed to hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.”

Reading a book takes time and effort. It is harder, but it is worthwhile. It’s valuable.

A presentation on a book is just… too easy.

Example: I could write a book summary (and put in in a slideshow format) of Stephen King’s (2012) novel Blockade Billy, much like the summary of the book at wikipedia.  However, you’d get more fulfillment out of the 112 page novel compared to the one-page summary on wikipedia.

Something to think about: American author, Mark Twain said,

“The person who won’t read has no advantage over the person who can’t read.”

Imagine the pride you’ll feel from completing a book. You’ll be more interesting in conversation. Why yes… I did read that book!


Competitive advantage # 3: Achievement and Success


Leaders are readers.

Researchers have identified that Chief Executive Offers (CEOs) of Fortune 500 Companies read an average of 50 to 60 books per year.  One key element of successful people is that they read a lot of books. Researches have found that wealthy people read more books.


  • Oprah is wealthy. She selected her favorite books every month for her book club.
  • People asked Elon Musk, where did you learn to build rockets? His answer: “I read books.”
  • Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year.
  • Danny Pettry: I read about two books per week. Most of these books are about business, self-improvement, personal growth, success, and spirituality. But I also read fiction from time to time too.

Disclaimer: I can’t promise that you’ll get financially wealthier from taking my courses, but you’ll definitely develop wealthier knowledge.

Something to think about: Motivational speaker, Brian Tracy said,

Read an hour every day in your chosen field. This works out to be about one book per week, 50 books per year, and will guarantee your success.”

Imagine how you’ll use your newfound knowledge to achieve your dreams and passions.

Your Next Action Step…Sign-up Today!


Go here now:

Read to succeed!

Registration is super easy! 

Register for a DannyPettry: Rec Therapy CEUs course today at this link:  


Career Opportunities

Here are the current listings:






The Wonderful Journey of the CEU

Guest blogger: Barbara Bond-Howard, MA, CTRS/R, CDP, CADDCT


Himountainsking is like getting CEUs.   You need to plan where you are going and then look forward to the adventure.

Continuing education can be fun. For many it is a necessity that must be completed in order to  stay a certified therapist.  But I’ve found that getting quality CEUs is what has prevented my burnout in our field.

It takes  quite a bit of perseverance to make it past 5 years in our field. We are motivators and healthcare is constantly changing.  For some, adding the requirement of getting 50 hours of education every 5 years is a burden.  I hope you aren’t one of them.   I’m sure reading Danny’s monthly newsletter keeps you motivated and you are getting new ideas for CEUs.




When I designed my website, it was designed for my students in my live learning classes.   It was a chance to learn more on what we couldn’t cover in a one day course.  But it has grown to more than my “live learners “ and I’m thrilled.  I simply can’t get everywhere I’d like to teach.  Our mission is to: “ educate Recreation Therapy Professionals with medical information and evidence based practices to improve the lives of the patients and clients with whom they work.”


There are a lot of opportunities out there for on-line learning.  If you’re looking for “get ‘em cheap- I’m already burned out CEUs”  you don’t have to look very far.  Social media is always waving ideas at you.  But for the conscientious therapist you want to understand what it takes to get quality CEUs.


  1. CREDIBILITY:  The International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET) has steep requirements.  I took their 50 hour class (no I didn’t get CEUs for it) and all of my classes meet these requirements.  There are many aspects that need to be met in taking a CEU you might never think about. NCTRC requires us to sign a statement that says we meet IACET requirements.   My classes do.  Conflict of interest is an example but there are many more!  Question all CEU providers as to where they stand on IACET.  They should be able to tell you immediately.  All of our classes are “NCTRC Pre-Approved” as well.


  1. ENDURANCE:  How long has the instructor been in the field?   Time in the field provides stability for learners.  The person has been through many experiences and can begin to find patterns that can be helpful in education.  I began Ptarmigan West in 1990.  Primarily, for the first 15 years, I was educating RNs, PTs, OTs. and SLPs on the topic of visual neglect after stroke.  (That’s why I have so many classes on this topic on my website.)  You probably didn’t know a Rec. Therapist would be teaching other professionals, but, I got really into it (while also working in a clinical setting).  My material has taught tens of thousands of students over the past few decades.    In 2006 I began teaching live seminars on various topics  both regionally and  nationally.  In 2014 we began our on-line seminars.  Ptarmigan West has evolved.   My 30 plus years as a clinician  has been my stabilizer.


  1. INTEGRITY:    Is the end product the CEU or is it worthwhile education that you can use?    Let’s face it, we all need CEUs.  But the reason is so that we can continue our education.   We are not just trying to gather the units.  I once presented at a National ATRA conference where one attendee signed in, sat down in the back row, put her head down and slept for the 90 minutes.  She was clearly hungover, but that’s beside the point. She didn’t get one iota of information for the session.  She wasn’t even awake to receive a handout as they were passed by and didn’t ask for one as she signed out and left.   She got her “unit” but no education.  Pointless, isn’t it?


  1. LEARNING:  Education should stick with you long after your CEU expires.   Our inspiration, as quoted from Benjamin Franklin:  “Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember. Include me and I learn.”   At Ptarmigan West  we have signed on to the E-learning Manifesto  that states an online CEUs should not just be a “read it and take a test” course.  That isn’t learning.  If you’re going to be on the internet for your education you should be  including it.  I’m not the sole authority on each class I teach, but with the help of the internet I can steer you to others that can enhance what I’m teaching.  I can’t do that as well in my live classes but the E-learning Manifesto has changed how I view education. It’s exciting and a lot of fun.  (Yes, I’m saying that your CEUs can be fun too). If you go to and find the date in 2014 that I signed this education promise, (look under “Signatories”)  email me and I’ll give you a code to take 30% off a course of your choice.  (And my online classes are already priced affordable for the resources and education that you get)   (


  1. QUALITY:  We focus on effective presentations that reach learners at their learning style. What is the instructor’s knowledge and experience on the topic?  If you are solely reading someone else’s material and taking a test than they really aren’t teaching you anything.  I can appreciate Danny’s love for reading and he screens the books he finds useful and pertinent in our field.  Not just any book cuts the mustard for him.  He’s using books that he finds helpful in his work.


So why is hiking like a CEU?  When I go on a trail  it’s comforting to know that someone has cleared the path before me.  I get the joy of the adventure and coming back afterwards a slightly different – better person.  Every hike teaches me something about myself and the world around me.   I enjoy providing a path for others on this CEU journey and I enjoy the path of learning from others who have dedicated their careers to the many patients and clients they have served.


Enjoy your CEUs.  Don’t just endure them.  You wouldn’t go on a hike only because “it’s good for you”.  You go for the journey.    Let’s return to why CEUs are required:   For the education not the unit.