Seeking Approval

Why do the opinions of other people and their approval matter so much to us? In a way I envy my grandparents because they speak their minds freely and don’t care who likes them and doesn’t. My grandmother always says that she’s too old to sugarcoat things, so she says what she wants and moves on. However as a young adult we have live with a filter because we’d rather be liked than disliked.

As millennials our lives revolve around our mobile devices and the Internet. Every social network from Facebook to Periscope is about likes and hearts, and we find gratification in knowing that our friends and complete strangers approve of what we post. At the same time if we don’t get any likes or hearts then we wonder why.

At my day job they are always having some sort of community activity or potluck. So when I started, I would volunteer because I didn’t want to be seen as the new girl who wasn’t being a team player. I wanted my new boss and coworkers to see me as a team player and hard worker, so I went out of my way to make them like me by bringing food and staying late.

It wasn’t until recently that I saw that it didn’t matter how much I did or volunteered because doing those things will not make them like me. We live in a world where people will either like you or they won’t, and there’s nothing that you can do to change that. All we can do is be comfortable with ourselves and not worry about who likes us and who doesn’t.

Regardless of the likes, hearts, or admirers that we have in our lives, remember that none of that matters if you’re not comfortable within yourself. You have to live in your skin and be pleased with the kind of person you are. No one’s stamp of  approval matters on that subject, but yours.

2 Comments

    • ruth jeremiah
      January 15, 2016

      Wasn’t sure if I thanked you for coming on board but thanks! It’s great that there are 2 black women that can shine some more light on issues that involve us.

      I feel as though the bar keeps changing when it comes to approval and popularity. By the time you think you got it the rules change. Took me a while to get that. Great post.

      Reply
      • Jen Baker
        January 22, 2016

        Aw thank you Ruth! You are too sweet and I’m so happy to be working with such talented writers! I can definitely understand what you mean. It seems like you are right where you need to be and accepted by everyone. Then the rules change like you said and you’re playing catch up again. I’ve found that it’s harder as adults because we want our work to speak for itself but many companies have a hidden popularity contest going on. So it’s definitely tricky.

        Reply

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