Alicia Menendez weighs in on likability in politics

The MSNBC anchor discusses unsolicited advice, and her new book “The Likability Trap.”
4:51 | 01/17/20

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Transcript for Alicia Menendez weighs in on likability in politics
We go way back. We used to host together on handcuff post live. I want to get your thoughts on unsolicited advice. We all had thoughts on it. The end conclusion was that joy gives the best unsolicited advice to everyone at this I wondering if you're that person or if you get it. I had a baby a few months ago and worked until the bitter end. Congratulations by the way. Thank you. I had so many people tell me -- I know, so sweet -- don't push it. You're pushing it. Don't push it. Finally I had to turn to someone and be like, the only thing I'm pushing is this baby out of my body. There you go. I was done. We often talk about the likability factor in politics. People say, Hillary Clinton, I didn't like her, something about her I didn't like, stuff like that. Meanwhile we have a president of the United States who's the most unlikable person I've ever seen on television and he has half the country, as she says, in love with him. As she says. Well, we have half this country -- By the way, it's not half. It's not? No. Well a third, whoever they are. It's too much but it's not half. How do you explain that? Likability is so much more complicated for women, period, and it's so much more complicated for women we know that voters will vote for a man even if they don't like him as long as that believe he's competent. Women candidates have to clear both hurdles. They have to convince voters that they're competent and they also have to convince voters that they're likeable so they're doing a lot more work. Do men even care? Do you think that in Germany they cared about -- what's her name now? Angela Merkel. Angela Merkel, whether she was likable or not, or Theresa may or goal da my year. They don't care in those countries. Why do we care? We socialize girls to care what other people think of them and we also expect women to be warm and kind which is the exact opposite thing we expect of a leader, right? We expect a leader to be strong, assertive, aggressive, so that means you can either do what we expect of women or you can do what we expect of a leader but it's very hard to both. I think that when you don't care if people like you is when they do like you. 100%. That's an ironic and interesting notion but I believe that. The minute you want to be liked, people turn on you. Something I found is no one learns to care more, right? Everyone learns to care less over time. You should. There's an acceptance -- I want to be honest, I care about whether or not people like me and that doesn't feel like an incredibly empowering thing to admit but it's true. Part of what I've had to learn is that you can't control it, right? I can be me, I can be the best version of myself, and whether or not other people like me is totally outside of my control. That's true. I love this book. I think it's really, really important, and I know that you and I share the same problem in the sense that I have the worst resting bitch face in the entire world. People always think I'm angry. People always think I'm mean and then because of the way my face looks, I'm not likable and it means something about me. This is something again it's ridiculous and women are judged differently than men. I'm sorry, Bernie Sanders doesn't look too happy and people aren't calling him unlikable. What does the research say about this. My husband and I have been together for ten years and he'll come up to me like, are you okay? I'm fine. Women pay a price for anger specifically. A woman who is angry is seen as unhinged, there's something wrong with her. Men who are angry are seen as passionate, right? They're really committed to their cause. It's especially difficult for a woman of color. Like us we're often seen as either being hot-blooded and irrational or so meek that people don't take us seriously so you're constantly contending with those gut responses. Do you think it's the media's I don't know how we're going to get past this. I didn't used to believe that there was a gender bias in a lot of ways. Do you now? Working on "The view" has completely changed my perspective but how can we fix this? I actually feel pretty helpless right now. I imagine that all the women who don't care are just living their best lives. There's an expectation that you should. So we need to start pushing back against that. I got to tell you something I'm one of those women who don't care. I don't care. I don't give a damn. Write about me, tweet about me. I don't care. I don't care, I don't care It's liberating. You make me feel like there's something wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with you. It's liberating. Congratulations to you. Her book, "The likability trap: How to break free and succeed as you are," is available now, and members of our studio audience are going home with a copy.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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