What happens if I don’t *need* people to like me?
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 do that 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!