There is a tremendous amount of power wrapped up in liking someone and being liked.
I don’t mean romantically, although that is also a good idea. I mean simply enjoying the person in front of you for the sake of their fundamental human fabulousness, which is both a thing and a word.
Pause for a moment and imagine a world in which you looked forward to seeing all of these people and when all of these people thought about you, they got warm rushes of happy just knowing you were in their lives. Friends, children, spouses, partners, co-workers, neighbors. People we pass heading into the bathroom at Ikea. That really cute barrista who is obviously WAY TOO YOUNG for romantic entanglement…
We feel fantastic when someone simply likes us. Smiles at us. Is clearly happy to see us. We shine, try harder to be our awesome selves, and dig a little deeper to show up. These are all great things that make all of us better when one of us does them, so as a math equation to make the whole better, we should all try to do this more.
Sometimes it’s hard to like people because they act like blisteringly nasty assholes. If someone in your life behaves like this on a regular basis, I recommend that you reassess your relationship with that person and trade up for people around whom you feel safer and more wonderful.
If you are the blisteringly nasty asshole, for the love of binge watching, knock it off! Deal with your shit and become humane.
There is a friction point to liking other people that needs to be addressed, and it is namely this: You can’t give what you don’t have. If you have not been liked, do not feel liked, don’t even know what I’m talking about, feel tears welling up all of a sudden, probably you have not been liked enough.
We need a lot of liking. And the people around us who depend upon us need us to like them a lot. We do some pretty crazy shit to try to get people to like us. We abandon the sovereignty of ourselves and practice mental and emotional gymnastics in the hopes of being liked.
Sprinkled with faerie dust.
We integrate others’ codes, pretend less is enough, we abdicate direction of decisions that affect every facet of this precious life. We find ourselves being proxy bodies in other peoples’ wonked-out dramatic productions, and we beat the bushes to find rescuers who will distract us from the work it takes to undo all of this self-abandonment.
The first person you need to start liking is… Y O U!
To like yourself, which is critical if you want to like your life (claim your creative rights, set a robust example for your kids, attract the opposite of a opportunistic people-using asshole), you have to move back inside your own body.
Moving back inside your own body looks like:
- Escaping the need for an power-over authority dynamics in relationships, friendships, parenting, and religious structure.
- Figuring out that promises are empty mouth movements and actions are the only legitimate measurement of commitment.
- Expressing our creativity without consulting the Internal Board of Limitation and Judgment.
- Attracting friends who see us for our essence while shifting away from people whose agendas include us filling roles in their scripts.
- Viscerally grasping that we really don’t need rescuers because the power dynamic and mottled clarity are no longer adequate exchange for the precious life energy we are working to intentionally to cultivate.
- And finally, showing THE FUCK up.
It takes a set of brass to move back into your own body. The rest of the crabs may try to pull you back into the bucket. But for every person currently in your life who can’t make the transition with you, repeat this mantra:
Then find someone who likes you or go be with someone you like, and let that connection grow instead.