The need to be liked

Saturday, January 23, 2016

You can't please everyone, and you can't make everyone like you.”
Katie Couric

A few days ago I posted a photo of Jennifer Aniston  (who is actually my style icon!) on my Facebook page with a comment that I didn't care for her outfit. I brought up the concept of age appropriate dressing and hoped that it would generate some interesting conversation about the subject. The good news is that I had record activity on my page. The bad news is that some people took offense to my post and misconstrued my message, thinking that I was somehow dissing women by critiquing a jumpsuit!. A follower commented that she was disappointed in me.  Someone else said it was her least favorite post of mine. I lost a few "likes". And then all hell broke loose. What was meant to be a channel for discussions, turned into an exchange of negativity. Instead of shrugging it off,  I felt responsible that I caused such a "stir"and sad that people judged me so negatively.
It's hard for me to separate my feelings from the opinions of others.

If this sounds familiar, it's because women have a tough time believing that we're really NOT responsible for the happiness of others. We're programed to be people pleasers and we feel obligated to take on everyone else's feelings and make things right. We have the need to be liked and accepted, and when that doesn't happen, it shakes us to our core.

After the Facebook incident, I dug deep into that "who am I" place. At 54, I still don't like to disappoint others...rational or not these feelings are real. I shared my experience with some friends and they all "got it"...seems I'm not the only one who feels this way (phew). One of my friends told me that when people are disappointed with her, old childhood feelings of "being in trouble" surface. Another friend told me that she beats herself up and always tries to find a way to make things better. Why do we do this to ourselves? Ugh?

It was surprising to me that I got rattled over something so benign...but I did. The funny thing is that no matter how much energy we put into trying to make people like us, there will always be some who don't. That's life.

How do you deal with acceptance? Have you learned ways to shrug off negativity?

Check out this article by Denise Restauri on the subject. Interesting stuff.

I'd love to hear from you. We're all in this together.

XO Susan

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