It seems that we are all for the most part driven to have people like us. We want to be accepted, we want to be part of the crowd, we want to be respected, we really want to be appreciated and acknowledged. Seriously this is a driving force, a primal call encoded in our DNA. This ‘we must be liked by everyone’ syndrome is universal for the most part. I find that even those folks that deny really needing anyone’s approval, underneath it all they still look for some degree of acceptance. Seriously who doesn’t want to be liked? Think about it, it’s a pretty short list.
Now some of you reading this are thinking that I am heading for one of those aha get over yourself moments, but I’m not. I actually want to acknowledge that this is a really common emotional and psychological space that we all seem to play in a lot. By a lot I mean this is a daily activity for the average person. I mean, when I walk into Starbucks in the morning in dire need of a serious cup of industrial java, I still want the friendly, well trained, well intended barista to not only remember my name, remember my drink but to also like me… Am I asking too much? Maybe. Am I expecting too much? Possibly? Am I being realistic? Well… that’s for another article.
Rather than asking if I am being realistic, maybe a better question is… Am I truly dependent on being liked? Is being liked a foundational brick or corner stone in my personal identity. Is being liked truly foundational in my success, in my personal growth and in my personal development? Can I succeed and find happiness in an absence of being liked?
I’ll let you ponder that question as you move through your day, through your week and beyond. This is, in my opinion, one of those great questions to just let your mind play with over time. Don’t approach this from the position of finding the answer, approach it from simply allowing your mind and heart to simply play with pondering, allow the answer, for you, to arrive when and how it arrives….
Frank White MBA, PhD