Where does the desire to be loved and liked by everyone come from?? How to deal with the desire to please everyone?
© Jamie Lopes, unsplash.com
The desire to be liked and positively evaluated by everyone at all costs can do us great harm: we are manipulable, attackable and vulnerable.
Where does the insatiable desire to please everyone come from?? What to do to be less dependent on the approval of others?
When I see parents lovingly holding their child and cuddling them warmly, I am very touched, sometimes even filled with longing. How beautiful it is to be loved unconditionally and to feel safe. Do you feel the same way? The need for love and attention is within us. No wonder we long for it so much: To feel loved unconditionally feels just wonderful.
Our happy hormones are flowing, our body is completely relaxed (except when we are young in love). The world is fine for us, we don’t have to defend ourselves or fight for anything. Our most important basic need is fulfilled. But there is also a flip side.
When the need for love and attention becomes a problem
Love and affection are soothing and pleasant. However, our desire to want to please everyone and be liked by everyone makes us unhappy.
Very early in our lives, we usually experience that
- we do not always get the attention and love when we want or need it.
- we don’t get the attention and love from the people we want to get it from.
- the attention and love is conditional.
- the attention and love is not shown in the way we would like it to be.
Important to know: We make ourselves miserable when we demand that others must love and like us.
Take the recognition test. It shows you how strong your need for praise and recognition is.
What’s wrong with being liked and loved by everyone?
Does it make a difference to you whether you say, "I wish my boyfriend would call me at the office every day" or "It is imperative that my boyfriend calls me at the office at least once or he will not love me."? Probably do. There is nothing wrong with the desire to be liked and loved by everyone. It is understandable and human.
The only problem is the demand to be liked and loved by everyone all the time. Whenever we demand something from another person, we become dependent on them. We are then unhappy and feel helpless when we do not get what we want from him.
An extreme example of this is stalkers. They often destroy their own life and that of the longed-for person, just out of the desire to be heard and loved. If we demand to be well liked and liked by everyone, we run the risk of losing ourselves.
For the sake of love and approval, we suppress our own desires, spend ourselves on others and direct our flag according to the wind. The demand to be liked and loved by everyone also inevitably leads to us being constantly disappointed. Other people are not always willing to love us, and certainly not in the way we would like them to love us.
Why people have an insatiable desire for love and affection?
To understand why people become recognition junkies who constantly depend on pats on the back from their peers, we need to go back to our childhoods.
As babies and toddlers, we are dependent on attention and love. We are helpless and in addition to physical care, we need caresses, recognition, attention and the security of knowing that someone cares for us. This is the only way we can grow up physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy.
If our parents can’t give us love and attention at all, or not when we need it, we can develop the attitude of being out of order and unlovable. Then as adults we are always looking to fill that inner void. We believe we can overcome feeling unlovable by being liked and loved by everyone who matters to us.
In this way, however, we cannot strengthen our low self-esteem. The reasons for this are:
- Not all people we want to be loved by are devoted to us and love us.
- Even people who are basically positive towards us sometimes have negative feelings towards us. For example, they are angry with us, disappointed, hurt, or jealous.
- Even if all people like us, our problem is not solved, because then we would still have to fear losing their love again.
What to do to be less dependent on the recognition of others?
TIP 1: Strengthen your self-esteem.
Treat yourself as lovingly as you would like to be treated by others. Speak to yourself as empathetically and lovingly as you would like others to speak to you. This is how you fill your inner emptiness and develop the feeling of being lovable. Then enjoy being liked by others, but are not distressed when they reject you.
TIP 2: Give up the demand to be liked and loved by everyone.
Remember that no person in the world has ever been liked and loved by everyone – even the great religious leaders. Read the article on recognition and life wisdom We can’t please everyone.
TIP 3: Focus on yourself instead of looking at how you come across to others.
Think about what your most important values and goals are and pursue them. People who have similar goals will be attracted to you and like you. You yourself contribute to your satisfaction when you do things that are meaningful and enriching to you.
TIP 4: Distinguish between what others think of you and what you think of yourself.
If someone else dislikes you, it is only their personal viewpoint. It does not at all mean that you are not all right.
TIP 5: Take into account that feelings can be fleeting.
Even in the best partnership, there are moments when our partner loves us less or not at all. This is even more true for other relationships. Whether our counterpart likes us at any given moment depends on many different factors – z.B. Whether he is in a good mood at the moment or whether we are meeting his expectation.
TIP 6: Accept that you will be disappointed by others from time to time.
Sometimes there are conflicts of interests in living together. The other may try to impose his needs, and you will go empty-handed in this situation. However, this does not have to mean that he does not like or love you in general. Sometimes the other person is simply unable to show love at that moment.