In his crisply ironed red shirt and a pair of new black trousers , Little Tom,looked handsome. A cute little black bow completed the look. His wide grin reflected in the admiring eyes of his mom.Tom was set to rock the party.
Post the party however, Tom had a long face , looking down , he whimpered into his mom’s saree, nobody likes me , mom. I have no friends.
Years later, he dashed into his room , threw his bag away and slammed the door shut . No one wants to hang out with me. I am not cool enough, he grumbled.
Tom is simply expressing his desire to be liked, to be approved of , to be validated, to be acknowledged.
The fear of being disliked affects even the bravest.
No wonder it is such a cash cow for the shopping giant ,Myntra whose mantra is “Live for likes” and many such.
So, what is being ” liked” like? Is that when you have a larger crowd around you, or when more people appreciate your work , your looks , your attitude or where you come from? It is not so definite, is it?
I know this Ms. Housefly , who works at Flying and More Inc , who never gives up her over the top efforts to please everyone. I have seen her distress if Mr.X talks to Miss Y , if Ms. Z compliment s Ms. G or when Mr.A and Mr.B have a good laugh.
Ms. Housefly expects the world to be in love with her and only her. So there she goes , sometimes the capricious child , a demanding lover , an indulgent mother or a forgiving friend , there is no end to the roles she will play , only to be liked by one and all.
Nothing ever stops her not even the taunts and humiliations of Ms. J who makes good use of her desire to please.
In the famous play, Death of a Salesman,Willy Loman ,taught his children , just one mantra for success , that they should be liked by all and what a failure it was , one that not only estranged the father and the sons but also left the family broken and lost. Popularity on its own is never a measure of success.
Is it too difficult to live with dislike ? Perhaps not , if you just about gather yourself and accept the reality that it is impossible to have everyone like you no matter what you do , it would be easy for you to accept this truth. More over , every time you try too hard to be liked , you only end up losing a little of your own sheen, your own true self.
One of the lessons of learning to live with dislike came from my school mate , who said with a wisdom beyond her age “Never knock too long on a door that will not open for you”. Why waste time pleasing someone who does not like you anyway?
Ashton Kutcher, the Hollywood biggie says,”You are responsible for your happiness. Take charge of it “.This being the case , why would you want to hand the key to your happiness to someone else? Why suffer from the fear of dislike? Why not accept, forgive and move on?
It’s OK not be liked.
Love yourself ,therein lies true happiness.