notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Validation

As I re-read my last post (Overdone?), one sentence I wrote keeps haunting me:

“I don’t like not being liked.”

Well OMG – the lightning bolts are descending from heaven, jolting my everpresent coffee right out of my hands.

This sentence pretty much explains my whole life to date. (and that is getting to be quite a lengthy period, I must add.)

Oh, I know intellectually that out of the millions of people in this world, I will not like everyone I meet, and that of course there will be people who don’t like me.

But how I want them to!

I expend extraordinary amounts of effort trying to be liked.

I always let people go first – in every game when I was a kid, in line at the checkout, in my car at a stop sign.

At work, I’ve give others credit for work I did myself, I’ve gently “suggested improvements” by apologizing first for my presumption, I’ve stayed late after work correcting other people’s mistakes, and often even taken the blame for those mistakes.

At home – anywhere, really – I say “Sure” to whatever anyone wants to do. That movie? Sure. That restaurant? Sure. That brand of cookies? Sure.

And I seek validation for Everything. With a capital E. Do you like my salad? Do you like my writing? Do you like my paintings? Do you like my hair? Do you like my dog? My cat? How about this cat? How about this cat?

Oh, I know I am not the only one.

Most everyone I know is insecure.

Social Media has reinforced and exposed our insecurities at a stratospheric level. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter – they all exist in large part for one reason: To ask –

Do You Like Me?

Once in a great while, I meet the rare person who does not care. They say,

No, thank you. I don’t want to go there.
– Here’s what we should do.
– Facebook? Oh, I don’t do that.

I am always shocked.

How can you not ask first what everyone else wants?

How can you not want everyone to see what the snow looks like from your window?

How can you not be counting how many “likes” you have?

It’s almost as if some people like themselves quite sufficiently without needing everyone else to like them.

Well, that’s just nuts.

Isn’t it?

(please like this post)

Theo and me. Aren’t we cute? Don’t you like us? I can post another photo if you don’t like this one,

51 Comments

  1. i like you and your post, and if weaver being honest, we all yearn for acceptance

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gee, for a moment, well several moments, I thought you were writing about me. I think I’ll try to stop asking for validation, especially from my husband over my cooking. Cause his automatic response to every time I ask if he likes dinner is ….”It’s OK.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Do you ever wonder – when you do get compliments – whether they are just habit or really sincere? I fish for compliments, and then questions their validity when I get them!

      Like

  3. This is me, to a T. Always the people pleaser, always the “fixer”, always the do-gooder. It’s hard to change, but I’m trying, because this “third act” in my life needs to be about ME.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I come from a strong family history of people pleasers. But you’re correct – at this point in our lives we need to do at least a little more of making sure we please ourselves.

      Like

  4. Julia

    I’m a retired clinical social worker and even now at age 55, (when both personally and professionally I should know better), I still seek approval from others instead of focusing on my own needs first. Perhaps we all suffer from the proverbial ‘curse’ of the XX chromosomes!… ✌️&❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think it is much more of a woman thing than a man thing.

      Like

  5. Kazoom! How thrilling to get this whopping insight. It does take a few decades for some of us. Now, what to do? Nature takes a few hours or even days to show me the funny side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I plan to explore those “next steps” in my next post. Not that I have any answers – but I’m trying.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Victoria

    First, I do enjoy your blog a lot. I stopped following Thoughts of a Dog, because the guy in charge acted like a real ass to you. Very undog like, if you will. Most of us get enough of this naturally, without actively “following” it.

    Don’t quite understand the compulsion to be liked though. Seems to me if you like yourself and behave decently towards others, that ought to be enough. I was raised to “be sweet” (Southern mom) which near as I can see usually places women (and it’s always women) into the doormat zone, meaning if you ever end up with what you want, you had to manipulate others to get it. It took me years and some serious work to dig out of those behaviors, but being more straightforward is so much better. I can’t be rude to people but that doesn’t mean everybody but me gets what they want.

    Like

    • I think it’s a balancing act, that I’m not especially good at. Because I really like to make people happy – but the threat of the doormat is always there.

      Like

  7. Nikki

    I saw a friend of mine on Facebook had 50,000 likes. Wow. Did I feel inadequate. How insecure is that!

    Like

    • oh wow.. I so get it. I have to remind myself constantly that someone’s success as an author or on social media does not take away from mine. Success is not pizza – where someone having a big slice means less for me.

      Like

  8. I know exactly what you mean, though I don’t want to just be “liked” I want to be perfect and I want to b envied. I want positive attention. I have always wanted to be one of the “mean” people who just doesn’t care about being liked. they say what they want, you know? They aren’t mean, just direct–efficient–cool. ❤ I like your blog for what it's worth; like mine too? 😉

    Like

    • Thanks. I did jump over and read your last blog and I liked it very much. Running into an old acquaintance who still judged you reminded me of something Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I am glad you did not consent.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I guess I must be older than you because I really don’t care whether people like me or not. So long as my cat likes me I’m happy. Be kind and considerate, that should be enough.

    Like

    • I’m pretty old, but I can’t seem to stop caring. But I will say one thing for getting older – at least it is easier to get over it!

      Like

  10. Anita

    Oh, I so relate to this post! I always tell people I’m a “recovering people pleaser.”

    Like

    • I think folks like us will always be “in recovery”

      Like

  11. Doris Legere Kennedy

    Oh Nancy do you think it might have something to do with the water in our old neighborhood???? I know exactly what you are saying. I remember during the Cavanaugh hearings I just had it and began getting vocal on Facebook. When old friends of over 60 years started blasting me for my opinions,….which in the past I never shared my opinions as I wanted to be LIKED by everyone,…..my blood pressure spiked so high I was minutes away from a heart attack. All because I was so insecure and couldn’t believe these old, old friends could hate (or so I thought) I have always been a doormat to others just so I wuld be LIKED by all. Love you old friend and count me as one of those that LIKE you very much, just the way you are.

    Like

    • It is a true test of friendship sometimes. Because I value your friendship and I want to please you and I want you to still like me – and all the while I disagree strongly with most of your political positions. I am proudly liberal. So working hard to continue to like each other the way we are is a testament to kindness.

      Like

      • Doris Legere Kennedy

        Politics is just a personal opinion. I will always value your friendship and I will not only “like” you I will always “love” you. In growing up together we are to each other, is a huge way, what has made us the people we are today.
        Sometimes even more so than the values our parents instilled in us. You are one person I always look back on very fondly.

        Like

  12. This describes me as well! I know not everyone can like me, but I sure put a lot of effort into trying to make it so. By the way, I like you, your blog, and Theo.

    Like

    • Oh yes! It is hard work trying to be liked! Thanks for your kind words. Theo sends his love.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Judith

    Yep, me too. I’m just so afraid of offending people. What I’m really doing is believing they’re more important than me. And these people get used to it and expect it. Thanks for the timely reminder. Would you re-post this every now and then? I’m sure some of us have such an ingrained habit we need to be told we are important too. Our opinions and desires matter.

    Like

    • Sometimes I am happy that I am a pleaser. There’s nothing wrong with wanted others to be happy. But we should strive just as hard to think about what WE want once in a while too. Let’s honor ourselves at least as much.

      Like

  14. We all want to be liked but it isn’t going to happen we are all going to meet people who don’t like us, as my daughter would say it is a their problem

    Like

    • I tell myself that it’s their loss if people don’t like me. They are missing out on my wonderfulness. But oh dear… if only I could believe it.

      Like

  15. Validation of each act is must in life, but we should not be crazy for. We should be doing our work without expecting validation. I liked your nature because I am also of the same. You deserve to be validated as you are not crazy for ‘validation’. Please walk on the same path. God gives everything who sacrifices for others. Thanks!!!

    Like

    • Thanks. I think you are correct. We should strive towards self-validation. Knowing that we are good and do good should sustain us.

      Like

  16. Have any of you ever been in the process of recovery and had someone bring you down? I feel like this person is trying to bully for something I did when I was on an extreme manic high and drinking. I didn’t know I was going to do something so spontaneously and I feel that this person will never stop hating me. Tell me what you think about this situation: should he forgive me or do I deserve to be treated the way he is treating me?

    https://myawakeningonline.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/a-blessing-in-disguise/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah! Just what I commented on above!

      Like

  17. Yep. I like you and I love your posts and envy your accomplishments and I too live for validation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Dorie. I like your posts too. As for my accomplishments – well, they are small, but they have meaning. Trust that yours do too.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I like you and your posts. It’s nice to be liked but I’m a bit wary if someone likes me too much .. its the introverted empath in me, ie “what do you want from me?” I think I actually prefer to be understood … those “I get what you mean” moments are holy to me.

    Carry on!
    MJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Understanding! That is a validation that warms the soul!

      Like

  19. It is so hard not to depend on the validation of others! And social media certainly doesn’t help. But good for you for recognizing that it’s really not necessary.

    Like

    • No, not necessary… but I crave it anyway.

      Like

  20. I am a 73-year-old grandma raising a 12-year-old granddaughter. There are very few “likes” and very little validation. It’s mostly a nightmare. I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s the absolute right thing to do and some day (I hope) she will appreciate the real sacrifices I am making now, without reminding her of those sacrifices. I love her that much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure that must be so difficult. But in a way, I am envious of you, loving a child (even a difficult one) is a privilege I never had. I wish both of you lots of love…(and patience!)

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I not only like but I love this post. x

    Like

  22. I think you’re cute!

    Like

  23. dschwahn59

    Nancy –
    I’m not sure if you’re really being true to yourself by wanting (needing?) people to like you. No matter what, there are always going to be people who, for whatever reason, aren’t going to like you. It’s not something you can control.
    Their reasons may be for something you have no control over. Maybe someone thinks “you’re too nice,” “too easily led,” “too attractive,” “have more possessions than they do,” “voted for the wrong candidate,” etc. We live in a competitive society.
    There are just some things that you just can’t do anything about.
    The most important thing is that you like yourself and are comfortable with the woman you’ve striving to become.
    If you can look in the mirror every evening and say; “I did my best to make a positive impact on the people I met today and I really love the person I’m becoming,” you’ve made a positive impact on the world.

    Like

  24. I am reading a lot of sincere, well-intended comments aiming to help you. I had a different take on your post. I found it very humorous…not in a way that I wanted to belittle you or laugh AT you, but as an almost satirical take on our society as a whole. I don’t know if you meant it that way, but I really enjoyed it and think you are a funny writer. You would be a good columnist. Thank you so much!

    Like

  25. davidhambling
  26. Lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi Nancy.
    I enjoy your blog, and have followed you since I began my blog last year. I am a wife, a mother, a fur mom to a 3 year old Golden Retriever, and now blogger. As a wife, I didn’t see myself needing validation, yet as a mother and blogger I see things differently. I always love how opinionated you are, and at the same time considerate of others. I like to consider myself a considerate and kind person too. So to you, my opinion is that you’re right we all need validation no matter who we are, how old we are, or what we do in life … BUT I believe that if we can find inner peace and acceptance of ourselves what we want and what we crave will loosen their strings, and we will then seek what we actually need and deserve. I admire your bravery online, and hope to be just as honest and insightful on my blog.
    Much love,
    Belle ❤️

    Like

  28. I have been a “people pleaser” for most of my life…an effort to get people to like me. It is only as I become more mature that I have made an effort to be my actualized self. However, it is real easy for those I feel a closeness with to speak words that make me retreat into myself. Just now coming out of one of those periods.

    Like

  29. Nancy, I really feel better, when I see a nice smile on your face. I also like your pet too.

    Like

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