The desire to be liked and approved of by others runs deep in most of us. Maybe all of us. We are wired for connection to other humans. We are made to be in meaningful relationships. And when we know or sense that someone in our sphere of influence doesn’t like us, it hurts.
From the time we start school as young children, we do whatever we can to gain the acceptance and approval of others.
- If we’re nerdy, we play the smart card.
- If we’re goofy, we play the fun card.
- If we’re athletic, we play the jock card.
- If we’re musical, we just play something, anything (even a trumpet) to fit in with others who are like us — hoping beyond hope that others will embrace us as valuable.
As we enter our teen years, we might feign apathy and act as if we don’t care about being liked.
But we do care. A lot.
Over time, after a broken heart or two or 20, and after rejection after rejection, we typically start to withdraw in an act of self-preservation. However, our retreat from people doesn’t stop our deep-seated need to be recognized and…Continue Reading