Back in your high school days, life always seemed as if it was a popularity contest.

If you were likeable and considered cool, you usually got by pretty smoothly in life -- and the uncool, unlikable kids always seemed to have problems.

Well, things might not be so different as adults. It seems that, even as adults, we have no sympathy for people we don't like.

Researchers found that in the medical world, if a patient is not likeable, he or she is taken less seriously when complaining about pain.

That's right. Even when another human being is in pain, we can't even find compassion in our hearts for them -- if they're unlikable.

This is an especially big problem if you're a less-than-popular patient -- and dealing with doctors and nurses who have your comfort -- and life -- in their hands.