Be honest, how often have you worried about your likeability? Why do we hold ourselves to a more rigid standard than we hold others? Isn’t it interesting how we can so easily build other people up and tell them all the ways and reasons why we love them, but when it comes to ourselves we often struggle?

We only ever see the parts of someone that they want us to see. And typically, those are the best parts. This is how we all manage our external likeability. Yet we see all the parts of ourselves, including the worst things. Those tend to be the parts we focus on because it feels as though we’re the only ones who have those flaws. We focus on our own internal likeability while only viewing and assessing the external likeability of others.

Social media perfection

This is especially true now that we have social media platforms that celebrate perfection and filters that allow us to create it. Everyone seems to be obsessed with likeability. That’s not to say that the pressures of physical perfection didn’t exist before social media, they absolutely did, but they weren’t as saturated in our subconscious. It’s impossible to go on a social platform and avoid being be bombarded by examples of unattainable physical perfection. 

It makes living in reality seem like an alternate universe. We feel alien in our own bodies and as though we should hide the imperfections that make us unique, that make us stand out. 

Those imperfections are reminders of stories that led us to where we are. They’re bookmarks of chapters we’ve lived. Just as we relish books that have a great storyline, so should we revel in our imperfections, as they too have captivating stories to tell. 

How many times have you tweaked or changed who you are in order to be accepted or ‘loved’ by someone else? We’ve all done it, most of us more often than we’d like to admit. 

As the saying goes, if you don’t belong, don’t be long. 

There are people in this world who are meant for you and people who aren’t.

Recognize what you deserve

You deserve to surround yourself with people who impact your life in a positive way and who celebrate you for who you are. You don’t deserve to feel small, or embarrassed about who you are. Some people are born into their family, others create their own family, and the rest of us find our family throughout our life.

The people who love you for exactly who you are, are out there in the world, you just have to find them. You’ll recognize them as the people who allow you to forget about superficial preoccupations such as likeability. 

We’ve been conditioned to apologize for parts of ourselves that other people don’t like. But why?

Why does everyone have to like us? Is it ego that prevents us from recognizing that that it would be impossible for everyone to like us? Why can’t we accept the reality that we don’t like everyone, so why should everyone like us?

And why are we wrong for existing that way and they’re not wrong for not accepting how we exist? That’s not to say we should accept toxic of harmful traits within ourselves, that’s an entirely separate topic. 

It is worth reflecting on where the need for outside approval comes from. It is possible to cultivate a self-esteem that can not only survive, but also thrive without it. 

If you’re focused on an inaccurate diagnosis it’s challenging to repair damage and heal. The road to recovery is difficult enough as it is. You know in your heart and your gut what’s right for you and if you feel you need to talk to someone, do so. 

“‘No one will love you before you love yourself’ is a really fucking bad way of articulating ‘if you don’t see your own value you’re more likely to allow other people to mistreat you, so be extra careful when entering relationships if you’re struggling with low self worth.'”

Help & healing

Don’t put it off, don’t ignore what you know to be true. Seek help so you can start to heal, move forward and live the healthy, stable life you deserve. Too often people are afraid to reach out for help because they think it’s a sign of weakness. 

It’s not. 

It takes strength and courage to admit you’re struggling and ask for help and support. Not everyone is able to do that, but the people who do are always glad they did.

The trick is to ask the right people. You deserve to be supported and championed by people who have your best interests at heart and are relentlessly positive. This doesn’t mean they don’t dish out tough love, but it does mean, they aren’t a toxic force in your life. 

If self improvement and introspection was easy, everyone would do it. It’s infinitely easier to be toxic and negative than it is to invest the time required to have a healthy self esteem and a positive attitude.

It’s ok if not everyone likes us, but we have to like ourselves. That’s really the only likeability that counts. Ultimately it boils down to one question: are you truly happy? If you’re not, why not consider making a change?

Take whatever time you can to sit with your thoughts. Whether it’s a few minutes during your commute to work, or right before bed, or when you brush your teeth. Wherever you can find the time, no matter how limited, take it.

The next step

Create a version of you that you can celebrate the likeability of. For yourself, not for others. The longest relationship of your life will be the one you have with yourself. It’s also the only relationship you can never leave. Isn’t it worth investing time into cultivating that relationship to be fulfilling?

Isn’t it worth getting to know yourself deeply? Spending the time required to learn your likes and dislikes, how you feel about things, what you think about things? You know all these things about at least one other person in your life, so why haven’t you learned them about yourself?

Learning what qualities you do and don’t like in other people? Knowing what you want to contribute and gain from your intimate relationships? Understanding the type of person you want to become, the ways in which you want to grow? Clearly visualizing how you want to change, what you want to learn?

At a minimum, you owe it to yourself to reflect on and learn these things about yourself. You deserve AT LEAST that. Realistically, you owe it to yourself to begin a lifelong love affair with …you. That’s what you truly deserve. That’s the only likeability you should concern yourself with.

I’d love to know…

What’s your best physical imperfection?

What are some of the most interesting things you’ve learned about yourself?

Who did you ask for help and what made you trust them? How did they help you?