What happens if I don’t *need* people to like me?
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What happens if I don’t “need” people to like me?
This was the question I asked myself many years ago now, as I tried to rebuild my life. I had a hard time figuring out a lot about humaning and piloting my meatsuit lol. I’ve gotten pretty good at it now, though I’m still learning. I’ve been able to see how these changes I made helped me cope better with a lifetime of heartache and chronic illness. They’ve helped me keep going beyond coping into thriving and loving my life and I share them in the hopes they’ll help someone else put my stories through their YOU filter and maybe find their own way too.
I’ve watched a ton of videos in my life. Read a ton of books, written enough to fill volumes. Yet, reading something, knowing it, and living it, are three different things. You can read about riding a bike, know about its existence and mechanics and understand it, to a point, watching someone else ride – or riding on the back – but until you, yourself, physically get on a bike and try it… you have no idea what it’s like to ride a bike. Replace riding a bike with virtually anything… driving, cooking, the job you do, the sport you follow, boundaries lol, confidence, self-esteem… those things are all.the.same. You can read about ANYTHING and become aware of its existence. You can see it on video or happening in front of you or, hear it from another person. But that doesn’t mean you’re living it. I talked about that last week. That I knew about boundaries for over a decade before I actually APPLIED them lol.
Take happy for example. I read about happy when I was little. All the time. It’s everywhere. People write about the keys to happiness, the path, the way, heck I write about it now lol.
People talk about happy. I do daily… now. The only way I used to talk about happy when I was younger was… why can’t I get there? Who stole my key to happiness? Lol I looked for it! How to find happiness… looked everywhere, listened to everyone but it eluded me.
However, until I did a bunch of things MYSELF, actually put the advice I’d read and heard and watched into ACTION, happiness did I truly experience it for myself, in myself. It was like it had never been there and then it was suddenly there. Like a switch flipped somewhere, my heart I think. It’s a great story lol anyway….
What happens if I don’t need anyone to like me? That’s the question I asked my needy little self. There’s a difference, for the record, between wanting people to like you… being likeable; and needing people to like you… being needy. The former has you being yourself and looking for people who dig that. The latter involves doing or saying things that aren’t you because being liked by someone else is more important than you liking yourself.
You can speak with false bravado and say, “I don’t care if anyone likes me,” but, until you believe it, and as long as you’re not using that as an excuse to be obnoxious (only you know for sure), being rejected by other people can hurt. Which is where I spent most of my life lol. Longing for people to like me. I was very needy, and it showed.
Yesterday in the daily dose I asked everyone to think about why people like them. If you haven’t signed up for the dose, you can do that below. If you want to read Tuesday’s email, you can read that at the end of this post or here: (Dose 10/15/19 – opens in a new window). I feel a strong need to dig deep into the extraneous things that affect those living with chronic illness. We don’t think about those as much, don’t talk about them as much and for me, they mattered.
At the time I asked myself the question I was still fairly needy lol. That neediness manifested in talking too much, missing social cues, and misunderstanding that someone responding well to a conversation doesn’t mean a friendship has been made lol. That may seem obvious but when you *believe* someone when they say they’ll call/text/email you at some point in the future and they don’t… it can be confusing. That’s what I wanted to sort out was… what was it about me that made this keep happening?
I started meeting people differently. I started meeting people as if it was the only time I’d ever see them. I live in Los Angeles, which is the “let’s do lunch” capital of the US lol. I stopped *believing* people when they said it. If they did reach out, great! But, I was no longer waiting by the phone lol.
The next thing I did was match up words spoken with actions taken. “Don’t tell me, show me,” became my mantra and I decided to only spend time with those kinds of people. It inspired the quote, “when your words match your actions, you’ll never have to tell anyone who you are… they’ll know.”
Of course all this is a lot easier if you like who you are, if you’re not interested in changing to fit in, if you’re comfortable beating your own drum. There are a lot of people who don’t like me lol. I’m a bit intense, I know that. I keep my energy as high as I can as a coping mechanism to a lifetime of exhaustion. Some folks think I peddle I’m forced happiness and have an unrealistic view of the capability of the chronically ill to be able to look past their illness. That it’s unreasonable for someone stuck in the suck day in and day out, to be happy. They think I’m the only one lol. But, as my Positively Narcolepsy group has grown to 2000 people just trying to hold onto hope and coping and find things to be positive about, I now know for sure I’m not the only one lol. I’m glad I held onto that belief. I knew there had to be at least a handful but there are many more.
And I’m quite sure that not everyone in the group likes me lol, and I know that people have left for their own reasons but that’s ok. People meet you where they’re at. And, I know I’m a bit out there lol. I’m good with that, took me a long time to get here.
After practicing being me and asking the question, what happens if I don’t need people to like me, I discovered that not only is it ok, but it’s also a good thing because it helps me focus on those that do. It helps me fully be myself around people who dig that. The emotional contagion that I appreciate most in my life is that of commonality and community. The people who like me vibrate at a certain frequency. We are all just energy. When you realize your frequency isn’t going to match with everyone’s it helps you take you right out of the equation. It’s not just you they don’t like… it’s what you represent. And as long as your representation to the world is an accurate projection of who you are, the right people will find their way to you. For the rest, just wish them well. It helps me accept others where THEY are at. I like to think if people don’t like me, they’re just not ready for me lol.
I hope you liked this post. I hope something in it will have you thinking differently about people who don’t like you. I hope you find strength in yourself to do what needs to be done from here. If you haven’t already, get to know and accept yourself and others without judgment and then just ask yourself, what happens if I don’t need people to like me?
And then go find out.
If you enjoyed this post I’ll be rolling these out weekly now, different topic each week for as long as people seem interested. Sign up for the daily dose to get the in-depth writings that are not posted, and to get the general script of the Wednesday video in the morning, delivered to your mailbox for whenever you’re ready to check it out: http://eepurl.com/dOSEtD
Make it a great day warriors, the choice is always yours!
Below is the text from the Dose of Positivity
Transformation Tuesday – why do People like you?
Thanks for reading my daily emails! I really appreciate you! Today I’m going to talk about why people like you and why you like them.
If you read last weeks weeks emails I talked about knowing yourself, about how when you know yourself truly and deeply, it’s easier to reject the labels and assigns of others.
Being perfectly honest, most people I interacted with… didn’t like me lol. I really just didn’t know how to people. I worked, I thought, really hard on getting people to like me… too hard, and it showed. Trying to buy friends with gifts, by doing things for them, or the social currency of gossip. When the kids still didn’t like me, I tried to at least get the teachers to like me, then I became a brown nose lol.
This led to me living a fairly isolated, small town life where books were my only friends. It seemed when I did manage to make a friend, something blew it up. Mostly me just being too needy. As an adult, with little to no experience managing friendships, I just could not seem to crack the code and have people “like me.” Sure, I was entertaining, bit of a shock jock… full arsenal of jokes from 10 years bartending. I was raw. I guess it was a reflection of the pain I held inside me. They liked me at parties lol, just not much after.
After I did the exercise that I shared in the acceptance video (things I like about myself, things I don’t), that all changed. I was able to stop doing the things that I didn’t like about myself (gossiping, being very loud, complaining about my very real and crappy circumstances), I felt like a different person. Like I had a new personality- Joe Dispenza talks about that in his videos – if you want a new life, you need to create a new personality.
From that period where I started trying to affect change in my personality, I still have people that I keep in touch with. I wasn’t fully where I wanted to be then, but I was close lol.
The people that liked me before my changes, only did so for the train wreck entertainment value, or for what they could get out of me. They were the kind of people who enjoyed the chaos that was me lol and the fact that I was very giving without boundaries (doormat)
Now, the people I am close to like me for very different reasons. We laugh, a lot. We go deep into life, our feelings, our experiments. We tell our stories as lessons learned, not horror shows we are stuck in with seemingly no way out. We encourage each other, provide a shoulder to cry on and a heart full of love and gratitude just to share time with each other. 💛💜💖💘♥️💚
Because of that, because I have that support system, and I know myself and what I’m all about, I am better able to manage the multitude of chronic illnesses I deal with. Not having to stress over friend drama, not having to listen to the same of stories of people who won’t do what they need to to have a better life (for whatever reason), not having to feel sad and lonely – questioning your friendships because they always complain you can’t give them more or “be a better friend.” Those things all weigh on you, and make life harder to cope with.
Spend some time today thinking about why people like you. If you’re surrounded by good people who lift you up and help you cope (even if it’s just 1 or 2 people), feel your gratitude for that. Take a moment to realize not everyone is at that place. There are many sad and lonely people in the world.
If you are one of those sad and lonely people, take heart. That is something you can change. I never thought my life would be so different, that I would go from sad and lonely to talking to tens of thousands of people about coping, hope and loving yourself… yet here I am.
If you are already at a place where you don’t need to hear this, consider sharing it with someone who might not be there yet.