They Like Me! (Or Maybe They Don't. And I Don't Care.)

I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me… now I look around and wonder if I like them.Rikkie GaleMost of us want to be liked, right?  It’s human nature, isn’t it, to crave acceptance, to want to be part of a tribe?  But worrying about whether people like you can be debilitating.  And it’s downright unhealthy if you let your desire to be liked trump your integrity.
My  first job out of college, my supervisor (who was a deeply troubled woman) did not like me.  In fact, she hated me, and I came to hate her.  It was a terrible situation (that I, in my immaturity, probably made worse), but I think one of the things that made it so bad for me at that time is that I wasn’t used to people not liking me.  I don’t mean that I had been the most popular person around, or that I had huge numbers of friends, but I was used to people thinking I was a nice person.  I did not know how to handle not being liked.
Well, that was almost 26 years ago (ACK!) and there have been a few people who disliked me in the intervening years.  Probably more than a few.  But I made a statement a few years ago that I will stand by today: “I don’t care who likes me as long as *I* like me.”
That is a bold statement.  And it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sting a little when I feel misunderstood or left out.  It does mean that I will not change myself to win friends and influence people.  I have strong beliefs; sometimes I feel the need to share them, and I ALWAYS feel the need to live by them.  I have kids who I have to advocate for.  I sometimes have to take unpopular positions in my own home.  I have discovered that staying true to myself and what I believe is more important than being popular.
I’m linking up with #WorthRevisit  this week  Visit the hosts Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb, and check out the linkup for great posts you might have missed the first time around.

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  1. JcCee says:

    I love this, Leslie! When it finally hit me that it matters if I like me, my life just got a lot better. Worrying about if others will like me cause nothing but unnecessary stress in my life. Life has enough stressors without adding on unnecessary ones.

  2. Gunjan says:

    I love this Leslie! I suddenly felt more confident about facing the crowd after reading this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Agatha says:

    You know, I think your last sentence says it all “staying true to yourself”. I think most of the time, people do things just to impress others or get the approval of their peers or even their parents. And I think that is how most people live their lives especially when our society has become consumed with money.

  4. allisonarnone says:

    “I don’t care who likes me as long as *I* like me.” — GREAT mantra and I totally agree and feel the same!

  5. karyl henry says:

    I 100% agree with you!!! There’s always going to be people in your life who don’t like you for one reason or another. Like you, I used to get really upset when someone didn’t like me. Now, who cares?! That’s their problem, not mine. And as long as I like me, that’s all that matters!!!

  6. Leslie, this is such a perceptive topic to discuss. I find that even at 40 years old, I still tend to devote too much time and energy to worrying about what people think of me. It sometimes impedes my ability to speak up when I know that I should. This is a great reminder of how important it is to be true to both God and myself.

  7. Well said! It is such a burden to constantly worry about whether people like you! Some people will like you and some people won’t. At the end of the day, that’s OK. So long as you like me LOL 🙂

  8. Great post! I do think one of the great things about getting older is having the freedom to care less and less about what people think of you. Finding your strengths and having more confidence is so helpful. I’m so much happier now than in my 20s :). Thanks for sharing!

  9. Love this Leslie. It is way to easy to get caught up in what people think rather than sticking to your own beliefs. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Orana says:

    I love this little piece. I also feel like you, that when someone doesn´t like me it´s hard to cope with that, specially when it´s people you actually do like yourself and their opinion is quite important. I will try and be inspired by your personal statement and use it for myself I will also share your piece with a fb group I am a part of; Mommitment. I am sure the women there will appreciate. You are also welcome to join the group, I think you might enjoy it. It´s judgement free zone. Thanks for the great words Leslie

  11. lrconsiderer says:

    I desperately need to learn that – to like myself and rely less on the attention and affirmation of other people. A really great piece, Leslie, and very thought-provoking.

  12. I’m so with you. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I love the quote from Spirit Science at the top of this post, and I could relate to so much of what you said. I have always had teachers and bosses that loved me, so the few times that that was not the case was really hard on me. Fortunately, the most recent time this happened I realized it had nothing to do with me and was rather issues that that person carried.

  14. Kathleen says:

    Well that is a liberating post, thanks for sharing it with our readers on Fridays #BlogBoosterParty . I too love looking at life from a more mature age where I look at things so differently from when I was younger. There are some real benefits from being a bit older 🙂 Thanks so much Leslie,
    Kathleen

  15. Thomasina says:

    So very true! I’m just now getting to the point, where I just don’t care if someone likes me or not. I like me. And that’s enough.

  16. Sarah says:

    That is such a great quote that you start with and such important words to live by! Really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing it

  17. Crystal says:

    I think having kids helps you get used to not being liked! JK My oldest son as a sophomore in high school was told by his English teacher that a girl in his class wrote an entire paper about how much she disliked him! He does not like the girl either and most kids don’t like that girl, but I was still appalled that the teacher would tell him about it! he is the type of person that people think is completely amazing or completely annoying and he couldn’t care less about either.
    I still struggle some with the mothers of kids in my oldest kids classes. There is a generational disconnect that I can’t manage to cross because I am so much younger than all of them.

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