Being liked... Or not

This week marks two years since this new phase of BinaryWords started 🙂

If someone asked me why I write this blog, it would take me a while to think of an answer. There are many reasons, one of them being that I absolutely love writing: the creative process helps me to express myself, and gives me an incredible sense of fulfillment. It also helps me to reflect on the things I learn and discover as life goes on. In this sense, I could say that I write for my own sake.

But I also, obviously, write for other people: for all of you, my dear readers. If I didn´t want you to read me, I wouldn´t be writing a blog, I would be writing a private diary. But instead, every week I share here my thoughts, experiences, and knowledge, hoping that they would be useful for you, that they would inspire you, and make you think and reflect.

That you would like them.

Close up of a hand showing thumbs up. In the backgound we can see the arm and torso of a man in a suit and tie

How much do we care about our publications being liked or not? And given that whatever we publish on the internet, social networks, etc. is basically an extension of ourselves... How much do we care about being liked or not?

And what are we willing to do in order to keep being liked?

This is a very interesting premise that I came across this week. And it´s nothing new, on the contrary: it came up in a conversation on stoicism, a philosophical school that originated in Greece and Rome around three hundred years BC.

Very often we spend our days doing certain things in order to please others, to be liked by them, to fulfill their expectations, and ultimately, to be accepted by the group. From an evolutionary point of view, there´s a reason for this: in prehistoric societies, losing the protection of the clan could be the equivalent of a death sentence, so we humans developed strategies to adapt and be accepted by our peers.

But nowadays, when most of us are lucky enough not to have to worry about surviving, giving up on our principles in order to belong to the tribe is no longer needed. Once we become adults, we can assume the responsibility of making our own decisions, and do what we believe to be correct at any given moment, even if that gets us disapproval from certain people.

I´m not saying it will be easy, especially when those who don´t approve of our behaviour are our loved ones: partners, family, friends... We may even feel a certain kind of guilt when doing what we believe is right, knowing that it´s not what they would want; that feeling of discomfort is completely normal, in fact, it´s a type of guilt related to growth, and it´s the price we pay for making our own decisions. Even though we can´t completely avoid that feeling, what we can do is learn to be more and more comfortable with it.

We can learn how to free ourselves from the opinions of others by developing our own self-confidence, this way acquiring the superpower of not seeking to be liked.

Because, you won´t be a truly free individual until you get to feel comfortable with other people´s disapproval.

I still have a lot of work to do in this area... What about you, how good are you at it?

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