Liking To Be Liked

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When I was in my teens, I shared a lot of mutual friends with a girl that attended the same sixth form college as me, and consequently we seemed to spend a lot of time around each other. This would have been fine, other than the fact that she really disliked me. It bothered me and I would go out of my way to talk to her, try and make her laugh and do little things that I thought might please her. It didn’t work – she continued to be cold and distant when she was around me and remained that way until we finished our courses and left. I haven’t seen or heard from her since. Looking back, I can’t believe I wasted so much time and effort – I didn’t actually like her that much to begin with…

The simple fact is that we all like to be liked, even by people that we do not like ourselves. We seek approval, validation and even empathy. We want to be understood, to be praised. Our social media activities are focused on the amount of ‘likes’ and followers we can gain, and the respect that we are often given in the online world will depend how big our numbers are. It’s an inherent, irrational human trait and the overall desire for approval from others can often result in a compromise of actions, behaviour and lifestyle. Indeed, I have compromised myself on many occasions to try and please those around me.  It took until I was in my late twenties to realise a few valuable things about people and friendships.

1. Regardless of who you are and what you do, there will always be those that simply don’t like you.

2. That’s ok.

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After years of bending over backwards for others I stopped being a people pleaser and started to focus on improving myself for me and me alone. I realised that I was the only person that would remain with me throughout the entirety of my life and that it was my own opinion of myself that was more important that those I spent time with.

Does the knowledge that you are disliked upset you? Here are a few questions you need to consider:

1. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and know that you are a good person?

2. Do you live life with morals that you are proud of?

3. Do YOU like you?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions honestly, then nothing else should matter. Go about your business, continue to be a good person, be there for others when they need it, but make sure you are content with yourself first.

And if others don’t like you? They clearly weren’t worth your time in the first place…

What about you? Do you go out of your way to please others?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

43 thoughts on “Liking To Be Liked

  1. I used to. Then, through reading, study and working on understanding myself, I realised that I couldn’t keep doing that because it leads to disappointment and rejection. I love myself, wounds and all. I am my own best friend, I know that whatever happens in my life, it’s down to me. It doesn’t mean I am selfish or insular, quite the opposite in fact. I know my worth and I forgive and accept that not everyone likes me even though it’s all just projections of insecurities onto external events and egos.

  2. I used to be exactly like that, but I gave it all away. I try now to just be happy in myself, and I even take trolls as a compliment. I must be worthwhile or else why would they bother?

  3. This post really struck a chord with me. I’m pretty bad at this and go out of my way to please other people so they will like me and it’s something I haven’t quite got to grips with. It’s down to my own insecurities and something I really need to sort out

  4. I think whether you want to please other people fundamentally comes down to your personality type. Personality is something I don’t believe we can change, however, we can become self aware. I am a people pleaser, so I understand exactly what your say. I’m not sure I can stop this basic desire, but I can at least ‘choose’ to act on it or not, and can also ‘choose’ to let other’s disinterest bother me or not. At times this is easier said that done, but practice certainly helps. I think sometimes you just know that someone isn’t a fit for you, and I think you are right, trying to fit harmoniously with everyone is just wasting this precious thing called life.

  5. OMG yes – but not acquaintances – I used to do the bend over backward moves for family members. I finally figured out some of them are never going to like me no matter what I do and yes — I didn’t like them either. 🙂

    • Agreed. It’s slowly sinking in for me that some of my extended family chooses to be petty, distant, and superficial– and I have wasted time wishing it was different.

      (One of the reasons why I left Facebook permanently– I didn’t want to deal with their drama anymore.)

  6. I don’t care if people like me or love me, nor do I seek anyone’s approval. I’m not a people pleaser. I have to live with me, first and foremost, so what I think and feel is ultimately most important.

  7. I always hope that people like me though I have been told countless times that I have low self esteem. How could I not when two of my stepchildren and their families no longer talk to me. I brought them up since the youngest was only two. I still don’t know what I have done, there was an argument but I wasn’t directly involved, this was in 2008. The other one didn’t invite me to his daughters wedding. When the third stepchild invited me to her daughters wedding I couldn’t go because it would have caused tension between the others .I know this is probably because their father died and they probably do not consider me family anymore. I was married for 44 yrs, supported them throughout their school and tenager years, during the time my husband was seriously ill and his many accidents and now I am still an outsider. I cope well, have friends and neighbours, blog and live life to the full but deep down I wonder why?

  8. I shall be blogging about something very similar shortly!

    I think you get to an age were you look around and reevaluate everything, particularly in the friend department and you see that you need to shed those who just aren’t worth it.

  9. very thought provoking. Yes, I do like people to like me. yes, I know there are many people who do not like me, including family members. yes, that hurts, and I still try to be kind and nice, although I figure I like me and if they don’t, they are missing out on someone special.

  10. You’re right, there will always be people out there that don’t like you, no matter what you do. The hardest person to get to like you can be you. Once you’ve decided that you will like yourself, don’t exhaust yourself in trying to get others to like you. You just don’t have the time to do that.

  11. I LOVE this post hon! It’s so true: If you are proud of yourself as a person, then you will be self assured and not need others to validate you. I was in exactly the same position in high school until the girl goaded so much I snapped one day and got into a fight with her. I got in a few lucky shots – she didn’t. The next day she went round saying she beat me up. I laughed and said “If she’s so desperate to have people believe that, then I just feel sorry for her. I didn’t care about the outcome, I was just sick to death of trying to get along with the bitch.” I noticed a change in how our other friends behaved toward her after that as well.

  12. Hey Suzie, I was hoping you would maybe share the “You’ve Got This” Campaign for Newly Diagnosed Bipolar patients?
    via Healthline:

    Upload your video to YouTube and then fill out the fields below. We’ll review your submission and post it on Healthline.com to share with the community.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-with-Bipolar-Disorder-Healthline/283614231695971

    In addition to providing hope, participants should know that Healthline will donate $10 for every video created to the non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms
    TWLOHA is a movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, and self-injury.

    http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/youve-got-this Learn more about video submission.

    Please share the news with as many as you can, it could really make a difference in the life of someone whose world has just been turned upside down.

    -God bless

  13. It’s so true. Back when i was 13 or so, i used to do literally anything to please people. To just make everybody like me, which is impossible. I know now that if i want to be liked by people then they’ll have to like me for who i really am and not the person who’s trying to please them.
    Your post has made me think about this whole thing again.
    ps. i don’t know you personally, but i really like you and your posts 🙂

  14. I really liked the post, and I thought it was very honest. Thanks for sharing your truth because we all have a ” story”, and feels good when we finally get self esteem and self worth. (; Nice job…I use to worry but don’t anymore….

  15. Mostly. Sometimes. No.
    But I have no desire to make everyone like me. There are plenty of people out there whose good opinion I can well do without. I want to make friends, not just receive ‘likes’. So that’s where my focus is.

    But as to my own opinion of myself? Well, I didn’t realise I could even have one of those until a year ago. Not a good one, anyway. So I have about 27 years of negativity to undo. Could be a while. In the meantime I’m drip-feeding positives when I can.

  16. I think it’s actually more of a problem if everyone likes you than if someone dislikes you (even though it’s practically impossible for everyone to like you). If you change yourself so that everyone will like you, how could you know who you really are? Plus, how could you love yourself if you can’t ever be yourself because you’re too busy trying to be someone else for someone else?

  17. I love your heartfelt article. You have given me a lot to think about thank you for the wake up call, and the reminder that what matters is the mirror you hold up to yourself not how others see you. Namaste xx

  18. This is definitely an affliction of the adolescent years. As I’ve grown older, I care less and less what people think of me, yet I know I’m becoming a better person – I am more empathetic and I can appreciate the struggle of others.

  19. Terrific post full of wisdom. It took me what seems like forever to stop being a people pleaser. It became much easier when I realised that I needed to love myself first as a atarting point. It still creeps in though, and a reminder such as yours is of great value. Thank you. 😊

  20. Good post, Suzy. I know, I know, we can’t help it – it’s so hard to really think ‘f**k you, then’ if someone doesn’t like us, even if we say it! Oddly enough, though, the people who really ARE confident enough not to care are much more attractive to others. I’m getting there…. !

  21. People pleasing is such a TRAP. I’ve always struggled with it and only recently realized that it’s far more important that I can face myself and be proud than know that others are proud of me. For the first time in my life, I am able to separate myself from that impulse to please people and expend that energy in being the kind of person I can be proud to be.

    Thanks for this great post, Suzie!

  22. This is so true. And also with blogging: If you like your blog, then surely other people will also find something to like on it. And if they don’t well then they don’t.

  23. At times I do but it depends on the situation. In my job as a nurse I do for some people, people who are in a really rough place in their lives. I do try to think of myself as well as you can only spread yourself so thin

  24. Pingback: Blog Advice 3: Likes Versus Views | Suzie81 Speaks

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