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December 4, 2020

We All Want To Be Liked

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No matter what someone says, or does, or means, we all share one thing - We all want to be liked. There’s no shame in it, in fact it’s a very normal thing that sometimes is labeled as bad, and I want to take some time to provide perspective to that.

Starting at the very beginning, being liked is an important survival mechanism. As strong and smart as humans are, back in the day when we had predators it was very important to be a part of a group for your safety. So having a need to be liked by others was actually evolutionarily beneficial because it promoted a behavior of cooperation and assimilation, which then allowed you to be a contributing member of the group.

While the game is different now, we still need to use a similar lens to evaluate if our desire to be liked is maladaptive or if it’s adding value. And that lens is "what need is it satisfying?"

If you want to be liked because you’re compensating for insecurities, or are refusing to acknowledge your truth, then that is more of an unhealthy application of wanting to be liked. That’s because it is addressing your needs in a way that compromises your potentiality through external validation. 

If you want to be liked because you want to grow deeper, more intimate relationships with people who challenge you to be better, which facilitates the process of you exploring your truth and potentiality, then that is a more healthy and productive application of wanting to be liked.

In both cases, and just like way back when, this need to be liked is being applied to meet a need. It’s up to you to figure out what need is being met by your desire to be liked by others, and how that contributes to your overall well-being.

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