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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010/06/08

Like being liked

I know its ridiculous but I really worry about being accepted. I avoid confrontations because I might find myself hurting other peoples'' feelings thus making them to like me less. I by all means avoid personal topics in case I get emotional and lose my cool. I don''t know why its so important to me to fit in and most impotantly to be liked.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its uncomfortable, not ridiculous. And annoyingly, the harder one tries to be liked the less likeable one may become. I think it would help you greatly to see a good local counsellor or psychologist, to discuss this, to work through a method like CBT, to boost your self-esteem, and to simply gain social skills and confidence - it could make a really big difference !

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Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2010/06/09

In general people who are assertive (not aggressive or over-emotional) are actually respected more than people who are always trying to please others. Remember that if you always say yes to requests and you don''t state your case you aren''t giving the other person a chance to see the real you plus you are assuming that they are unable to deal with ''adversity'' (know that''s not the right word, but I''m sure you''ll get what I mean). You can complain about bad service but state your case gently and sensibly without being rude or aggressive about it. You don''t need to let out all your anger and emotion on someone: sometimes the simplest explanation works fine. The best way is to make it about you, so you would say " When you do X, it makes me feel Y'', instead of " you are making me feel Y'' - if you see what I mean. Then they don''t take it as a confrontation and you get to say your say.

Good luck - you can do it.

Reply to anon
Posted by: Anon | 2010/06/08

So many terms for it codependence, false self, lack of boundaries, self esteem, etc, etc. So often there is a history of narcissistic/emotionally neglectful parents - where you might have taken care of your parents feelings rather than the other way round. All psychobabble and past digging aside there is an excellent book called The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller which so beautifully describes this tendency. I say beautifully because it is a positive, uplifting read which may just give you renewed respect for yourself and thereby the necessary boost to move forward positively. My new motto is as long as it is good for me - if it serves me well - then by all means go for it. If not, the likelihood is it is being governed by the need to be liked which in the long run just sucks you dry.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Eternal Optimist | 2010/06/08

So you explode at the most inappropriate times too? I find myself overreacting if some person knocks into me at the shopping centre. Then I feel so bad becuase they have nothing to do with all the pent up anger I have towards other people who really have done me wrong!

I can''t complain to the people who give me really shocking service because at the end of the day, I don''t want them to lose their jobs! It''s so sad. My mom went through a really rough time when I was young and I never opened my mouth to complain because I was always too afraid that she''d get upset. I didn''t want to burden her further with my problems. I guess that might be where my problem stems from. Where ever it started I think you and I should make an effort to end it right now!

Reply to Eternal Optimist
Posted by: Anon | 2010/06/08

You see I grew as a middle child in a family of five kids. I never complained about anything, let alone to stand up for myself. My parents liked the fact that I didn''t whine. I guess I just got used to it and it became a part of me. I would love to be able to stand my ground and say " no"  firmly without worrying whether I''m stepping on other peoples toes.
My husband has all the qualities I would like to have. He expresses himself in every sense of the word. He is not afraid of being judged. He can show his emothions just like that and he never explodes because he is always expressing his feelings.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Eternal Optimist | 2010/06/08

Can''t help you there but feel just like you do. I have a problem with the way my boss treats me but would never dream of confronting him because I''m afraid he''ll think less of me or even worse, fire me for speaking my mind.

I know I should just stop this because whether people like me or not has got nothing to do with me being over nice or accomodating all the time. Wonder if you feel like I do, it''s a constant need to be accepted but how can we really know if we are accepted if we always end up being lesser versions of ourselves?

Good luck :)

Reply to Eternal Optimist
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/06/08

Its uncomfortable, not ridiculous. And annoyingly, the harder one tries to be liked the less likeable one may become. I think it would help you greatly to see a good local counsellor or psychologist, to discuss this, to work through a method like CBT, to boost your self-esteem, and to simply gain social skills and confidence - it could make a really big difference !

Reply to cybershrink

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