Like Me

A couple of years ago, I was at a party when one of my friends introduced me to a woman she’d known for years.  At first the woman was quite friendly as we exchanged the kind of pleasantries that people do when they first meet.  But as our conversation continued,  she became cool, and then almost hostile, and I had no idea why.  Later, I went over our conversation several times in my head, but I still wasn’t sure just exactly what I said that turned her off so completely.  I’m not going to lie, the encounter kind of bothered me for several days afterwards.

More recently, I loaned a book by one of my favorite authors to a good friend, thinking she would enjoy it as much as I did.  But she gave it back a few weeks later, saying that she found the book so boring that she didn’t even manage to finish it.  I was surprised by her response, and I admit, a little bit hurt.

It’s so easy to say that we don’t care what other people think about us, but at times it is so very hard to really and truly not care.  Especially when we’re trying our best to be nice, or offering up something that we really value for someone else’s opinion.  A friend who taught art classes at a local college once told me the hardest part of her job was getting her students past the paralyzing fear of putting their best work “out there” for other people to see and judge.  My guess is almost all creative people can relate to that particular fear.

Personally, I have always struggled with my need for the approval of others.  Sadly, social media doesn’t help, with it’s little “like” button that lets us know just exactly how many others approve of whatever we’ve been brave enough to share.  And the only downside to blogging is the stat page, which makes it all too easy to judge how well we wrote a particular post by the number of views it received on any given day.  So I have to be intentional about trusting my own judgement and not falling into the trap of thinking that whatever (and whomever) happens to be the most popular is automatically the best.

We are all individuals with our own tastes, our own opinions and our own unique way of looking at the world.  That means we aren’t always going to get the encouragement and the positive affirmations from other people that we would like, even when we are offering the very best we have to give.   And in order to be truly happy, we have to learn to live with that.

I honestly think that the one of the most important lessons we can learn in this life is to trust ourselves to know what is, and isn’t, best for us.  Because the important thing isn’t how many people “like” us or our work.  The important thing is whether or not we like ourselves.

157 thoughts on “Like Me

  1. Goodness me!! This post resonated with me so much. As I think I have mentioned in a comment on one of your posts, that my need for approval in most areas of my life is huge, (probably due to a complete lack of approval given by adults when I was a child). My blog has been a real sticking point with me as I’ve often tended to think that no or few ‘likes’ means that my worth is very little. I gave up reading the stats page ages ago because I thought it made for a too depressing read! It doesn’t bother me too much now that I don’t search this out anymore.

    However, I agree, what’s important is how much we ‘love’ or ‘like’ ourselves. I’m beginning to learn (at the age of sixty) to accept that not everybody’s thoughts and feelings are the same or even similar to mine and that I shouldn’t be too offended when other people’s views differ from my own even though it’s very difficult and painful at times.

    Just recently, my life has taken a turn for the better (at last). I’ll write more about this in my next post (when I stop long enough to write it). People in my life who matter have been commenting that my confidence in myself has improved a lot. I don’t know about ‘life begins at forty’ – how about ‘life begins at almost sixty-one.’ Ellie 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so glad that things are improving for you! I think life can “begin” at any age that allow ourselves to follow our hearts, if we are lucky enough to be able to do that. And yes, I agree that those who had no validation as a child tend to crave it too much as an adult. I think lots of people deal with that, but as you say, what is most important is that we learn to validate ourselves. If others happen to agree, that’s just the icing on the cake! (And on that same note, I think that those of us who know what it means to crave approval be generous when validating others!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope that 115 likes make you feel good, Ann! This was a very thought provoking post for us bloggers who write in a public forum but have crippling self-doubt about not just their posts but their lives. Honesty is a beautiful quality but only when wrapped in kindness. Perhaps our current times make us less polite than we used to be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think as a society, we are definitely becoming less polite. Possibly from the political climate and our increasing dependence on technology which teaches us that we should get what we want the very second we want it. As for the likes, yes they do feel good. But many of my posts don’t get anywhere near that many, and I have to remind myself that doesn’t mean I didn’t put just as much effort into writing those. Ultimately, we have to be content with knowing we did our best and that we think what we did was “good enough.” Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann, I think there are many who can relate to what you have shared. I agree that what matters most is the relationship you have with yourself. Regardless of how someone else feels about anything I am the one who has live every day with my choices.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Stats somewhat motivates me. But the true thing is they may not read my posts at all. Even I do such things some times. Initially I feel so excited of my stats, having readers around the world. But later I won’t consider the stats to analyse my work.
    Now I just write, enjoy my writing, happy to share, excited of my friends thoughts on my work..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is true for most of us bloggers. We’re motivated by the stats at first, but as we continue, we begin to value our readers and the interaction with them much more. Plus, we realize just how unreliable the stats truly are. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

      • We realise the stats are unreliable when we get some good friends from the blogging community. Some who visit our blog regularly, share their thoughts and love in our posts. Importantly some who criticize our works. For me, that is more important than having 1000+ followers. Now a days I feel like best part about blogging is having friends from all the age groups who respect your thoughts and feelings. Thanks for the reply. Keep in touch🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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