Am I Liked?

Am I doing a good job ? Am I looking good enough? Do they like the way I dress?

We often find ourselves confronting these questions in our everyday life.

Parents, Teachers, Friends, Family, Colleagues, and sometimes even strangers. We all want to be liked and seek validation from almost all the people that surround us.

But what has instilled this urge of pleasing everyone in us? It’s simple. It’s human nature. Humans are social creatures that need each other to survive. From the very beginning of our lives, recognition has always been given by others. Our marks and grades are given by teachers, and behaving a certain way is applauded by other people. We impress our teachers to get a high grade and act a certain way to fit in and get along with others. Our brains have been hardwired from the very beginning- Seek validation, and avoid rejection.

Another reason why we try to please people is because of the number of likes we’d get on social media. Studies have shown that each time we receive a like, we experience a spike in dopamine. This causes us to keep chasing the next ‘like’, much like an addiction.

Yes, when people compliment you and give you positive remarks, it feels good. And you keep doing it to get the attention. But just one criticism out of their mouth, and it feels like falling down an endless rut. You lose hope, self-esteem and set out to seek acceptance in some other form.

"The very qualities that make you likable to one person are the exact same qualities that will make you unlikable to another person.” - Roger Covin.

Our desire to be liked by others is an endless chase. It's normal to not be liked by all. People will always have an opinion, but what's important is that in the ultimate scheme of things, we understand that the opinions of a few people don't matter. The love, support, trust, and friendship of the people you already have in your life, who make you happy, is enough. In the long run, all you have is yourself. One’s worth does not need approval and cannot be tied to popularity or likes. You need to do things for yourself to make yourself happy. As simple as it sounds, it isn't. Next time you act a certain way, others may still criticize you. Their opinions would not stop being thrown at you, but you have got to stop them from impacting you in a way that would cause a hindrance to your life.

You shouldn’t always depend on others’ company to make you happy. Try enjoying your own company for once and the next time you do something, pause and ask yourself- ‘Who am I doing this for?