To know the answer will probably destroy me. Reason being I want everyone to like me. I really do. I have always held people’s approval so high. People I knew, people I didn’t know. There was no distinction. I needed to feel accepted and liked by the masses at a very young age.
Even in kindergarten you knew there was a hierarchy. I distinctly remember it was important to me in kindergarten to be on the top of that social chain. I didn’t even know I could be that calculating before I even knew how to add and subtract numbers. But I knew I wanted to be known and seen with the right people. So to be cool by association I purposely tried, strived, worked for my relationships.
Childhood tendencies do not just fade away as you walk into adulthood. They become even stronger and need to be dealt with during the baby adult stage. My desire to be liked creates conflict in my life. There’s someone who does NOT like me. I literally shudder when she looks at me because I can feel these like disapproving waves vibrate through me. I cannot handle it, because as I tried to illustrate above, being liked has been my number one. I hold my breath, come home, go to my journal, and I write down ‘You can’t win them all…’ as a feeble attempt to make myself feel okay. But then moments later scribbled below in a whiny tone is… ‘But WHY NOT…’ And then a good twenty minutes is devoted to wondering what it is she doesn’t like about me and if this can be fixed.
I put in a lot of energy, attention, and thought into my desire to be liked. I wear make-up every single day even when honestly I don’t want to, in hopes of being liked. I smile 24/7 to be liked. I give gifts to be liked. I say ‘yes’ all the time to be liked. I’ve lost myself in the process of wanting to be liked.
Now if I ended it there, you would probably be feeling quite sorry for me. That’s fair.
But I’ve realized something that has been immensely helpful. I think a lot of this wanting to be liked nonsense stems from being an only child and not having the sibling relationship with others and wanting it so bad I needed to be liked by all, instead of just a few. My mentor asked me with whom I have that type of sibling relationship with or it’s getting to that point. I was able to list at least five. My mentor continued to say “Okay, focus on these people. If you’re going to worry about people liking you, worry about these people. Do not waste your time saying ‘stranger I just met like me, please like me’.”
When the ones closest to you ‘don’t like you’ for some particular reason, that is when you should be concerned and spend some time into thinking how you can develop yourself further. There is a phenomenon that occurs when you love someone but they do something that you don’t like. Those ‘imperfections’ and ‘flaws’ actually become endearing because you LOVE that person. As for the people that don’t love you…
Let them be them, with their tastes and likes and dislikes. Let that not effect you, focus on the world that means the most to you and do not get lost or caught up in the ‘like me game’. You are already liked, loved, and accepted. Don’t worry about the rest.
Two quotes and then I rest my case.
“You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. School, then college, then work… Fuck that. And fuck the Air Force Academy. If I want to fly, I’ll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and fuck the rest.” – Dwayne in Little Miss Sunshine
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss