Interaction and cooperation are essential for survival. 'A man is a social animal,' as the saying goes. You want someone by your side, whether it's for basic needs like food or emotional support.
In today's world, social media has increased the desire to be liked. And it's a basic human instinct to want to be liked by others. But have you ever wondered why we like being 'liked'? Well, read along to find out.
How to Tell if you Want or Need to be Liked?
The desire to be liked is a human's obvious trait. Being an independent man/woman does not imply that you do not desire others. It just means you are capable of managing your finance and other needs.
Otherwise, you always want someone else to notice, appreciate, criticize, and so on, no matter how wealthy or successful you are.
But there's a difference between want and need to be liked. Fame brings more than just pleasures. It intrudes on one's private space, causing anxiety and stress only when it becomes your need.
When being liked by others becomes your need, you crave things. The moment you fail to achieve, you start feeling anxious. Your next move is determined by how much you get praised by others.
Why Do People Show the Need to be Liked?
Interactions come with aids and troubles. No matter how strong your emotional side is, you still get affected by others' presence and absence. Several connections affect your physical as well as mental wellness. A need to be liked brings constant dissatisfaction with things. There could be many reasons why you can't resist the need to be liked, for example:
- Past Distress: Even though you know you can't be liked by everyone, your mind runs for validation. Perhaps, you have been through some past trauma that makes you think everyone should like you.
You may feel scared of being hated by others which brings anxiety. Also, according to a 2010 study, depression can lead to constantly seeking others' approval. Consequently, being liked by others gives you a sense of relief.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: It's an anxiety disorder that involves intense fear of being judged, rejected, or embarrassed in social situations.
It's understandable to have some amount of social anxiety. After all, it is normal to need to be praised and accepted by others. However, when this anxiety becomes severe, it can affect your life daily.
- Bad Experiences: Bad experiences can have a significant impact on your mind. For example, remembering a bad experience or a time when you were rejected directly impacts your mood, making you feel worse. Consequently, you are more likely to seek acceptance and assurance that you are not bad enough.
- Negative Association: When you grow up in an environment or family where you are constantly criticized, your self-esteem plummets. You may have been told that you aren't good enough. These words often seep into your subconscious mind, taking control of your actions.
As a result, you hear the voice "you can't do" in your head, and you approach someone who tells you, 'You can.' And eventually, you become addicted to such approval of being liked.
Is it Really Normal Not to Be Liked?
Have you ever wondered why we like to have a lot of likes on our social media posts? Social media popularity feels good, isn't it? It feels good when people take the time to like what you have put out there for the world to see.
Having people around you, that appreciate your work indeed makes you feel confident. But when you start functioning on the basis of others' approval, it becomes problematic.
No matter good or bad, you start falling for the choices that people approve of. This way, you become overconcerned and stressed about every aspect of your life. So, it is good to be liked unless they don't get control of your decisions and moods.
How to Unlearn the Need to be Liked?
You tend to do so many things to be liked by others. Sometimes, you never know that you work that way. It's, however, important to trace the patterns of how you behave.
If being liked by everyone becomes your weakness, you may get trapped in a toxic circle. There's enough to learn about pleasing others, but it is hard to unlearn the desire to be liked.
Well, there are questions that you should first ask yourself. For example:
- Do pleasing others add any value to my life?
- Am I doing anything productive by being on social media all the time?
- Can I change everyone's perspective with my efforts?
- Are my efforts to please others worth the time?
- Do I get constant anxiety about receiving a negative opinion from others?
The art of unlearning the need to be liked seems hard but is necessary. You could start the process by making a few affirmations, such as "I am ready to accept the truth while forgiving my past version." This could help you deal with your insecurity while making you even wiser and more patient.
Is There Any Need for Counselling?
You may need to consult a counselor if you experience prolonged anxiety or stress. When someone dislikes you, it's natural to feel bad at that moment. But it becomes concerning when you can't get over it.
Constant worrying about how your friend thinks and what your family says about you can hamper your work and lifestyle. Therefore, professional help (find help on The Wellness Corner) or counseling could help you cope with the challenges, bringing a positive change in your life.
Many people believe that in order to succeed, you must be liked by everyone. However, this is not the case. A mindset that involves pleasing others can often lead to people making wrong decisions about their life. Rather, it's better to concentrate on making decisions that you believe are logical and will result in the best possible outcomes.