Saturday, April 30, 2005

Being liked by others

"If you truly expect to realize your dreams, abandon the need to be liked by all."
- Anonymous

It's important to be liked by others. However, it may actually be unhealthy to seek to be liked by everyone.

In an atmosphere of complete harmony, there would be no disagreement, no thought about different options or ways of doing things, no debate that allows the weighing of various positions, no reason to seek to improve, no reason to prepare for conflict that is inevitable in a competitive world, no reason to make ourselves better than those who went before us. That would be a state of stagnation.

Most importantly, those who want to be liked by everyone inevitably fail, and feel like failures, often resulting in psychological problems.

We need to teach children not that being liked by everyone is necessary, but how to compete in a social environment where some will be friends and allies, while others will be the competition or enemies. We need to teach them how to make friends, how to identify competitors and enemies and how to behave toward each in a socially acceptable manner.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems

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