IT IS A DIRTY BUSINESS.

Yeah it is.

Getting liked. That is the dirty business I am referring to, just to be clear. It is an uncertain business. There are some general guidelines to follow so you could be liked, just read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It might work for a time but eventually, you true self will come out and it might not be compatible with the people that you socialize with and call your friends. It is a dirty business, yet we engage and invest in that business quite often, if not daily. Who doesn’t want to be liked? We all want to be liked if we are honest.

We all want to be liked. Hell, we want to be loved! Please understand, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked. It is in our genes. Our species has already spent thousands of years living in a community. From time immemorial, we belonged to a tribe, we had a family, we were attached to a clan. That is how we stayed safe, that is how thrived, that is how we were able to live long enough to procreate and ensure that our offspring lived to create families of their own. So, the desire to belong in a group is imprinted in our DNA. Science has proved that behaviors are passed through our genes. Moreover, please go back to when you were an infant, and remember what was there: people. As infants, we get to experience being in a family, having siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins and uncles and aunts, neighbors, friends. We are social beings. Our people taught us to be liked, to be loved, to want to be liked and loved. Needless to say that some people have taught their own offspring hate but that is another subject for another day. From our birth, a need was planted in our hearts and minds: the need to be liked. Our family likes us, in an unconditional way and then we get to meet other people in the outside world and that is when things get tricky.

How well do you handle not being liked? It varies from one individual to another, to stronger and lesser degrees. Newsflash: NOT EVERYONE WILL LIKE YOU. That is an unequivocal fact you will need to accept and live with, at some point in your life, if you haven’t already.  I am sure you know a few people that don’t like you. I always say that it is fine if those people aren’t looking to harm you. Furthermore, where does it say that people need or must like you? Frankly, no person is under that obligation. I have even heard parents not liking their children and that is just incredibly sad. We can all agree that some children are difficult to deal with but come on!

I have seen people bending over backwards to be liked. I am talking about adults, people who would technically have enough self-esteem to be themselves and not be chameleons, so they could be liked. I have seen adults, men and women, discarding who they really are so that they could fit in. I have seen people go through unimaginable lengths to get a smile, a nod, an approval. I have witnessed people putting their values and principles aside so that they could sit at a table with the “cool people”. I could go on for a long time. I understand the need to fit in, the need to be liked and loved. I myself used to fight to be liked when I was in high school especially. I remember being put aside by some “cool people”, who frankly weren’t cool, they just decided they were and smartly imposed their views of themselves on others, which was smart. I remember going the extra mile to get a girl’s attention. That was more than 20 years ago and trust me when I say it didn’t work at all.

They say that if you are true to yourself, you might get few friends, but at least you will get the right friends. I adhere completely to that philosophy. I know not everyone is going to like me and that is fine with me. I cannot be writing about things, giving out my opinions and expect to be liked. I am aware my views will not please everyone, they might even infuriate some people but that comes with the job of putting yourself out there, you must be able to withstand not being liked, you must have thick skin. If you don’t, well, you better develop it as fast as you can. In this era when social medias are kings and queens of perceptions and realities, in this era where a person’s self esteem is directly linked to the number of followers, likes and views they get, being liked at all costs, is indeed, a dirty business.

Not everyone will like you. There are some people who might even hate you for no other reason than the fact you are breathing next to them. Life isn’t a popularity contest even if society has made it so. Please do not fall into that trap. Please do not jump through insanely high hoops to be liked by people who will forget about you the moment you say or do something that rubs them the wrong way. True friends are hard to come by. True friends are there for you and tell you when you are being obnoxious. My own people never miss an opportunity to tell when I am being annoying and may all the Gods bless them.

Do not get into that nasty and dirty business of being liked by everyone. You will lose your true self in the process. So, allow me to ask you; if you lose yourself, who will you be? Is it worth losing your identity so you could get a nod or so that you could hear nice things being said about yourself? Being loved by everyone is mathematically and statistically fucking impossible. Put more energy and time in getting better, in being a better human being, in improving who you are (I should be less loud, I know!). Getting liked by everyone is a filthy business that will eat your soul and crush your spirit. It isn’t worth it and it will never be. Just walk around being your best self. Trust me, it isn’t that hard.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now, smile and go on with your day.

Freeman. B

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