I Want People to Like Me
And I’ve got a plan to make it happen
I can’t shake the feeling that no one really cares for me. I worry that everyone I know is just tolerating me until I go away or eventually die. This may or may not be true, but wherever I go, I can’t escape the feeling.
It’s possible that what I’m feeling isn’t completely personal to me. It may just be run-of-the-mill, normalized indifference in a world that has grown increasingly distant and isolated. I can’t really tell.
Still, some people are so amiable and effervescent that they manage to attract affection, warmth, and adoring admiration, even in this solitary world. That’s the kind of people I want to be.
I realize that this concern with “being liked” can seem silly this long after middle school. And high school. And decades of continuing ed. But, apparently, I’m silly.
The truth is, I’d like the people I know to experience a little surge of delight when I show up. And if I don’t, I’d like them to keep looking over at the door for me. Maybe they could even send a text to make sure I’m okay and to see if I need them to drop off some chicken noodle soup, preferably with a couple of matzo balls.
I need consistent and clear signs of affection. Some words of specific praise. People reaching out to me. Invites. Evites. Some follow-up questions about interesting things I said weeks ago. You know, this kind of thing.
I’m not looking to be adored and revered—though I’m not necessarily against it either. I simply want to feel held and supported in the world. I want gatherings that are fun and full of laughter, depth, and trusting honesty. I want social events that leave me feeling warm and fuzzy and filled up afterward, not…