Let's start caring for your emotions!
Tune in and join me as I chat about how to understand and manage your emotions.
I'm an emotional health mentor, edu-preneur and coach who loves teaching you how to understand, manage and embrace your emotions.
Sharing is caring!
Personally, I’ve struggled with the need to be liked for basically my whole life. So I decided to look into the reasons behind it. From there I could start to make changes! If you can relate, let’s talk about where your need to be liked comes from.
To start off, I’ve been pretty desperate for everyone to like me for most of my life. For as long as I can remember, I was always trying to get absolutely everyone around me to like me.
And if they didn’t, I felt so uncomfortable.
Honestly, sometimes it was hard to focus on anything else when I knew that one person didn’t like me.
That’s when I would double down and try even harder.
Would they laugh at this joke? What if I gave them an extra nice compliment? Or told them something cool that no one else knew?
Yes, I would get full-on Debbie Desperate.
But every time this happened, I would like and respect myself even less. It was honestly so subtly degrading, yet I didn’t know how to stop!
On the one hand, it’s actually normal to want to be liked. Because when you’re likable, that means you’re accepted in society, you can get your needs met and survive.
It’s really a basic human survival instinct.
On the other hand, the NEED to be liked doesn’t actually help you survive. So, where does it actually come from? Why do some of us feel so desperate to be liked?
When you’re a small child, you learn to please and get the approval of the adults.
If you think about it, kids will always look to their parents for validation that what they did was good.
However, this need can get out whack sometimes. If you’re never coached on building your own self-esteem, then you start trying to get everyone to like you so that you can feel safe.
Yes, other people’s approval of you starts to substitute for self-esteem when you’re never taught to love yourself. Yikes (and I can relate).
Usually, there’s something from your past that needs to be resolved if you feel desperate to be liked as an adult.
Spend some time reflecting on your childhood family relationships.
For example, did you have to work really hard for one of your parents to like you?
Maybe you’re like me and had a sibling that you had to compete with for your parent’s love and attention.
Or perhaps you had a significant event where you felt abandoned as a kid, so you feel like you need to constantly work for love.
While this stuff can be painful to look at, it will help you get to know where your need to be liked comes from.
To illustrate this, here’s a part of where my need to be liked came from.
Personally, I have a sister that pretty much hated my guts growing up. Since I was the youngest of four girls, my parents really had their hands full by the time I showed up. And my sister was just three years old when I was born. But when mom had a new baby, she didn’t have as much time and energy for my big sis.
So, my sister hated me because I took away the precious attention that she still needed at that tender age.
And she was super mean to me. Every time my parents would leave the room she would bully me.
Naturally, I tried to get her to like me, which never happened. But I kept trying anyway because it helped me get my own needs met.
As a kid, in my mind, if my sister was less mean to me then I could survive.
Once you’re in touch with some of the reasons from the past that drive your need to be liked, you can release the painful memories around them.
One of my favorite ways to do this is through journaling.
If I felt hurt at age 7, I’ll write my journal as if my 7 year old self was writing. After that, I scribble it out or burn the page to help me let it go.
A few more ideas include forgiveness meditations (you can search them on youtube), seeing an alternative healer or psychologist.
When you release the stuck emotions around your need to be liked, it’ll make it easier to shift things to a healthier place.
It can be super painful to want everyone to like you. But the worst pain is when you don’t like yourself.
So, start liking yourself! Do your best to focus less on convincing everyone else to like you, and more on actually liking yourself.
Compliment yourself in the mirror, start keeping a journal, try new things to explore your preferences. Whatever you feel drawn to, start doing it!
And don’t worry- you won’t be less likable if you start caring less if people like you. The fact that you’re reading this blog tells me that you’re already super likable. Why? Because you care! You obviously care about being a likable person to the point that it’s getting uncomfortable for you.
So, give yourself the permission to start liking yourself and your need for everyone else to like you will start to dissipate.
What has helped you get over your need to be liked by everyone? Tell me in the comments!