Thursday, September 16, 2010

Likability ...

There's a direct correlation, I suppose, between fame and animus.

The more people who know who you are, the more people may be inclined to not like you.

I wonder how that feels.

I wonder if you become inured to it, distracted by the fame.

After all, the more people who know who you are, the more people may also be inclined to like you.

I guess which way the balance tips depends on what you offer them.

I'm thinking about this today because the Internet is on fire with snark about Christine O'Donnell, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from the state of Delaware, extreme chastity promoter, scientists-have-engineered-mice-with-fully-functioning-human-brains believer.

And there's a lot more snark fodder where that came from.

We all want to be liked, of course. But some people seem more affected by others' opinions, less able to shrug off ill will.

I wonder why that is?

Nature? Nurture? Are some brains wired differently? Do more neurons equal more courage and less concern? Or did some people learn early on that they can't please all of the people all of the time?

I've long had a fear of success because of the underlying fear that if I'm successful, some people won't like me.

I know it's silly.

I'm not successful now (by conventional standards, I mean) and some people don't like me. So I'm not batting 1.000, anyway. I don't have a record to maintain.

Yet it bothers me, the notion of people's resentment.

It's hard to get past, especially when the people are close to you. It's easier to shrug off snark from strangers, but from those who matter in your life? Ouch.

I'm well aware of the fact that I have two choices: I can a) get over it, or b) stay stuck.

And slowly, I'm rocking my way out of the ruts. Doing more, caring less. About what others think, that is. It seems to be part of the turning-40 package.

Slowly, I'm acclimating to the reality that those who don't like me are never going to like me, no matter how I try to contort myself to please them. They will always find fault. Because it's not really me they dislike. It's some aspect of themselves. I'm just the screen onto which they project it.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I know that I need to get out of my own way.

Though in the process of getting out of my own way, I may, by extension, step into someone else's way, like not paying attention and accidentally bumping into someone on the street.

So, in advance, allow me to say "Excuse me."

Because it's the polite thing to do.


Blogger mageez said...

When i was young (20's) it really bothered me when someone didn't like me. (particularly my family.) i would make a point of inviting them to lunch to prove that i wasn't completely awful. eventually i moved away from them. The physical distance helped a lot. Now. . . in my 60's i don't care and i'm a whole lot more obnoxious and out spoken now than i ever dreamed of being back then. I'm also much happier.

11:48 AM  

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