Friday, August 24, 2012

Being liked might be over-rated

There is something that has been rolling around in my mind for some time. It’s on a feeling I got from someone who I felt was not being nice to me. As I thought about my feelings and tried to understand why I felt hurt by this person I finally came to the conclusion; you know what, being liked is overrated. What is the general reaction we have when someone is not only not nice but maybe they even seem rude and inappropriate? Well my response and one that I challenge is to be…well, I won’t say rude but maybe I won’t be kind, maybe I’ll be cold and not gift this person with a smile and my kindness. Like that will really get them.  So treat them the same as how I feel I’m being treated.
So I started thinking what my life would look and feel like if I didn’t care about being liked. If I was authentic and truthful without the fear that perhaps someone wouldn’t like me. What are the consequences of someone who acts only in hopes or with the expectation of being liked?

I can name two people that I have met who seemed extremely unfriendly and I can honestly say my first reaction was to wonder if they just didn’t like me. Then it becomes about me and my insecurities, fear and frankly authenticity, what would I do to “make” this person like me? How far would I be willing to go? Does it really matter if they like me or not?  We do our business and move on. 

But here is the moist center of the cake. Kindness.  Kindness is perhaps underrated.  So, should these people not be treated with kindness? What would happen if I was kind to rude or even mean people without the expectation or hope of being liked or to somehow change them?  Is that being too exposed, so vulnerable? The truth that I’ve come to recognize in myself is I have a strong desire to be liked and when I feel I’m not, I feel sad and hurt or I feel that I was treated bad, with disrespect. I get all ruffled and I my stomach feels tight and I even get a little angry at this person. 

Yea that’s right I can name two people, well one now I can cross off the list from an encounter with said rude person who became suddenly nice yesterday. I didn’t hold back my kindness I already figured she didn’t like me, but I thought this woman is so rude to people that chances are she has had customer after customer be rude right back or worse had customers be inauthentic just to try to get a smile or some kindness from this woman. And I’ll be honest I was thinking about it (being rude). But when I got up to the counter I just didn’t have it in me. That was the first time in four years this woman has ever smiled or laughed in my presents.   I don’t care if she likes me or not, no one is going to remove my ability to be kind and treat people with care and respect.  Being rude back is offering an empty plate of food, its food that comes up short of nutrients and substance. Kindness is fruitful and nutrient dense and feeds the right organs in the body, it’s moist, fertile. Kindness with the expectation of being liked is sugary and sticky and as you might get a little energy from it you can also end up with diabetes. 

So that’s my meandering for the day.


Martha said...

Many more than 2 people have been un-nice to me and I agree that being approved of (or liked) is over-rated.
Over the years the stings of rejection go from hot fat to paper cut.

Lisa said...

Yea your right. I laugh a little because I'm sure there is more than two people who have been unkind to me, but right now only two that I recognize mostly because either my tolerance has gone way up, I'm oblivious, or I just don't care. But there has been many times in my life I have felt like the whole world was unkind to me. But yea something happens with age and maturity I welcome. The paper cuts have been fewer and far between only because my attitude has slowly been changing.