Do You "Like" Me? Part 1 - Know Your Approval Rating

Ok. I admit it. I want you to like me. ALL of you. Well, maybe not all of you. But most of you.

Why is that? Why is it so important for people to like us? Accept us? Approve of us?  I don’t like asking questions that I can’t answer. Other than acknowledging it is a universal human condition, it stumps me. Sure, people all the time are heard saying…”I don’t care what anyone thinks” or “If they don’t like me that’s their problem”. Bravado all around. We care. And we do tend make it our problem if we think they don’t.  The pack mentality is strong and there are very few true lone wolves.

The angst begins building in early adolescence. I remember in Junior High (They don’t call it Junior High anymore. It’s Middle School now. What happened there?) passing around Slang Books. To be honest, I didn’t remember they were called Slang Books. I had to ask one of my best friends from that era what they were called. Thanks Sandra! Anyway, for those who didn’t have this ritual, it began with a simple spiral notebook. Each page had the name of a kid in the class on the top line. The notebook was then passed around and everyone took a turn writing something about each person on their ‘page’. (Pre-Facebook much??) Yikes! What a concept. Who thought that up? Of COURSE when it reached your desk, the first thing you did was to see what the others had written on your page (or was that just me?). The group hierarchy was formed within those cardboard wire-wrapped walls. Of course, that was many (many) years ago. As adults, we no longer formulate methods of comparisons. Do we? We wouldn’t do that to ourselves. Would we? Unfortunately even maturing past those hard bound copies of Slang Books, I’m afraid we have still discovered many ways to size ourselves up.

LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK……..FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER……ADD ME TO SNAPCHAT…… Our entire social networking landscape is built around being connected to everyone on every level. He (or she) who has the most ‘friends’ wins. (I don’t really have a twitter account. And just the name snapchat freaks me out for some reason.)

Humor me……you post a picture on Facebook then go back in a little while to see how many likes you got. Right? Oh, is that just me again??

Look, it’s natural to want to be accepted and fit in. To belong. The key is to not get bothered by it. Not change who you are to achieve it. Never double cross yourself to be included. Without sounding too philosophical and lofty, we each have to discover what it is about ourselves that WE like. Be your own biggest fan. It isn’t vain to have attributes and gifts that you are proud of. When we can celebrate who we are as individuals and enjoy our own company, then we will attract others who will complement our lives and not just fill a slot on a roster. (Ok, that does sound philosophical and lofty. Sorry.) It is true none the less.

I still have a few good friends from high school. Not because of words on a slang book page, but because we have maintained a genuine interest in each other’s lives. I have a few very good friends here in South Carolina. Friends that I know would have my back. I hope they view me as someone valuable to have in their corner as well. Quality certainly trumps quantity in this area. So while my ‘friend’s list’ might not be as impressive as others, I wouldn’t trade the ones I have for anything.

Of course, there’s always room for one or two more….So come on.....You know you like me.