Friday, March 09, 2018

You Cannot Make People Like You.

You cannot make people like you.

We (or at least most of us) know this to be true.  We all started at the same place, thinking in childhood that we could make people like us.  If only we would only be the funniest or wittiest or have the best things or give great gifts, people would like us (and to be fair, when we are children things often work this way for a while).  Being liked is a barometer of sorts, letting us know how "good" we are doing.

At some this all changes, of course.  We grow up and realize that no matter how funny or witty we are, no matter what we have or we give, that is not enough to make people to like us.  And so in theory we begin the process having relationships built around things like common interests, common respects, or even just time served in the same location.

So all of it changes.  At least in theory.

But over the last 5 to 6 months, I have found that it has not really changed for me at all.

That is kind odd, I thought to myself when I realized it.  After all, I am a 50ish year old adult.  I have children.  I have actual responsibilities that are occasionally important. In terms of career, I am probably close to the top of what I can achieve.

But I still find myself trying to make people like me.

If I was a better analyst, I am sure I could come up with a reason buried deep down in subconscious (right there next to the "Why I Still Wait For The Heater To Go On At Night Before I Get Out of Bed" [to avoid the monsters, of course] and "Why I Cannot Leave Dirty Dishes In The Sink At Night") about not engaging with people properly or being scarred from something as a youngster.  But I have to confess that the older I get, the less time and patience I have for reasons why these things are.

Why?  Because endlessly looking for reasons why something is does not change the fact that it does exist and needs to be resolved.  I can have all the understanding about how I reached a situation, but understanding how I got there does not resolve the fact that I need to get out of it.  And that takes action.  As I go along I become less and less interested in background (the past) and more and more interested in results (the future).

Which has led me, in this situation to go from "You cannot make people like you"  to "You cannot make people like you.  So stop it."  Arguably not the cutting edge sort of modern psychology or thinking that will make a deep impact.  But then again, I do not need a deep impact.  At my age and place and life, I just need to move on, not endlessly scurry about hoping my likability index somehow increases.

6 comments:

PeteForester1 said...

For a long time, I sang in my church choir. Eventually, I became the lead (cantor) in the choir. I'd get up there and worry as to whether people liked my singing, the songs I sang, and how I presented them. I'd had enough positive feedback to know that my singing voice was good. Still, I worried.

You can get tangled up in this thinking. Singing is art. And, as with any art, beauty is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. Fact is, you can be an operatic virtuoso, and there will still be those who think you suck. So, as an artist, you get up there, and interpret the songs your way, knowing that you're at least getting up there and singing, instead of sitting in the pew and bitching.

...The same can be said for life...

Tewshooz said...

Coco Channel one said, "I don't care what you think of me; I don't think of you at all".

LindaG said...

Yup. Try not to let it bother you. The people who really matter do like/love you.
Have a blessed weekend.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Pete, that is pretty cool! I enjoy a good cantor (but it has been years since I have had a good one). And no matter what the activity (swordsmanship is the same) that always plays at the back of one's mind.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Tewshooz, that is a fabulous quote. I will use it with pride.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Linda. It is just another step along the path of becoming someone different and more independent.