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Do you need to be liked?

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Brenda Cox

Summer 2016

Do You Need To Be Liked?

One of the things I enjoy about social media is when you come across a quote or a saying that really resonates with what you need to hear on that particular day – almost as if the universe is sending the exact message you need to hear in that moment.

The other day I saw the following, attributed to Byron Katie:

“It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine!”

Liking (let alone loving) ourselves is something many of us find difficult to do. Many of my Cognitive Hypnotherapy clients mention this at some point during our work – they question their self-worth, their importance, or they always put other peoples’ opinions and needs above their own.

This isn’t surprising because we have a built in genetic need to be liked. We need to be part of the group. As I explain to my clients, in the early days of human beings if we didn’t fit in with the group and we weren’t liked then we were likely to die young. If we went out hunting on our own and got injured then we wouldn’t have anyone to help us.

This genetic need is at its strongest when we are children. We need to be looked after and supported by our parents or our caregivers – even by our older siblings. We need to be part of the “in crowd” at school. This can lead to smoking or drug taking or trying to change our personalities, likes and dislikes.

As we grow older we can begin to reason that it doesn’t matter if we don’t please everyone and that we are entitled to our own views and opinions but for many of us that genetic need and those early childhood experiences stick.

Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy we can’t erase those childhood experiences. They happened and that’s a fact. But we can work together to help you to put them into perspective and see them in a new way. Many people begin to see them as positive experiences that helped to make them the people that they are today – they recognise good characteristics that they developed because of them. I often hear “strong willed”, “determined”, “not giving in” as positive resources that my clients have to use as they begin to let go of their problems and make changes.

So why did this particular quote resonate with me so strongly? This is one area that I have struggled with and worked on over the years. I’ve been told I often apologise for small things that have nothing to do with me – trying to please someone and placate a situation. So, I really like this idea that it doesn’t matter if other people like me or not. I don’t have to even worry or think about it, because it’s actually my job to like me not theirs.

If this idea or this quote means something to you remember you can do something about it and contact a Cognitive Hypnotherapist near you to help you take the first step.