I’m Not Expecting You to LIKE Me…

When I first started interacting online using Social Media… I was terrified.

I was terrified mainly because… I’m a natural lurker.

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How did you find me?

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Lurkers don’t like to expose themselves in any way, shape or form.

Yes, we know someone is always watching… we hope we’re too insignificant to be worth being watched too closely by those who watch everyone. If we pop up on their radar, we hope their radar goes into a technical coma glitch.

Lurkers aren’t like other internet shadow figures. We’re not secretly wishing to expose ourselves, we’re not dreaming of being in the limelight one day, we’re not waiting for our moment in the spotlight… sometimes we do… we’re human… but we’re not after the power of being seen, we’re into the power of never being seen… dreaming of being seen, standing out… yes, we get that, but the lure of it isn’t as strong as the terror of it.

Pain versus pleasure… sometimes it is hard to know which is which, or what hurts more or less, or…

We sometimes dream of being seen… and wake up from those dreams as though from a nightmare.

Or something like that…

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Cartoon nightmare:dream - Jim Benton

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When I saw ‘we’… I use ‘we’ to hide ‘me’ in a crowd, because the best place to hide is in a crowd. That crowd is bound to have at least one or two attention seekers who will drown me out and make me anonymous.

But I do blog publicly, so… I’m not as much of a lurker as I used to be, I’m really not an outsider in the way that I used to be or as I used to see myself.

I have an excuse for that… reasons to do with seasons of life…

The last few years seem to have been all about making myself manifest. This shit has been seriously weird. My certainty in my invisibility has been shattered repeatedly, not by myself but by others, circumstances and… I’m kind of liking this which is weirding me out.

I have pretty much lived my entire life on the fringe.

In shadow.

A ghost without a footprint.

Being an outsider…

That’s too familiar, comfortable… and sometimes life throws a spanner in the works… as uncomfortable as that is, sometimes that’s what needs to happen, and sometimes it’s a thrillingly chilling challenge to go with it.

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the outsider by colin wilson - quote

If you can relate to being an outsider, and you haven’t yet read – The Outsider by Colin Wilson – then… maybe give it a go because it’s a fascinating story told by someone who understands what it is like to be an outsider, who wrote a book about it… which made them suddenly and unexpectedly an outsider who was very popular and therefore an outsider no more in certain ways which were rather confusing for him.

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At heart… I’ll always be an outsider…

When you’ve identified yourself as an outsider… that becomes somethign which has soulful, heartfelt, meaning to you.

It also becomes your social identity.

Whether you’re an outsider or not – if you think you are, then you are.

Most outsiders…

… don’t expect to be accepted by others… by other outsiders, and definitely not by insiders. There is power in that which is intangible yet tangible.

When someone else does accept you… you worry. You worry more than you do about not being accepted, because not being accepted is normal, being accepted is… unsettling.

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Intestines and stomach - Awkward Yeti

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It’s unsettling for many reasons.

One of which is that you’re never sure if you’re being accepted as you are or … as others need you to be for them. This is a complex layer upon other layers of being.

People don’t always see you as you see yourself… even if you tell them exactly how you see yourself. If how you see yourself doesn’t work with how they see you, they may decide you don’t know yourself as well as they know you even if they’ve only known you for a few minutes…

Or…

Maybe they’re not listening…

Maybe they just don’t believe you, maybe they see themselves as an exception…

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the exception

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Maybe they are an exception. But even those who are an exception have expectations about what it means for them to be the exception, and those rules don’t always accept exceptions to their rules of being an exception.

Some people make you an outsider so that they can become an exception… because that’s the kind of outsider they want to be.

Human stuff is the stuff of dreams and nightmare all rolled into one messy package (batteries not included unless otherwise stated and shit like that).

That’s normal for all humans with other humans, whether you’re a confirmed outsider or not.

And most outsiders, especially those who know they are on the outside from an early age, tend to cover their ‘outsiderness’ with a veneer of insider ‘normalcy’ for the sake of others and for themselves.

Natural outsiders like to don camouflage so as not to draw too much attention to how odd we actually are, because mostly we just want to be left alone. We’re desperately trying to appear ordinary, normal, invisible, not worth a second glance… please ignore me. Holding our breath as you walk on by… hope you didn’t hear me breathing.

But people always hear us breathing… even when they don’t want to…

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the untamed - ariana

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Because even insiders have an outsider side to them… and outsiders have an insider side to them.

We feel each other’s presence because there is a connection there whether we want it or not, especially the presence of pain.

Those people who loudly advertise their Outsider status, and draw attention to themselves for being eccentric, strange, different, outside of the mainstream, standing out from the crowd because of their crazy…

(shit, I’m one of them now!)

Some of them are real outsiders (this bit was added for my benefit) who have given up hiding because it’s very tiring to do that… and as outsiders get older they’re a bit more reckless.

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Gluten free bear

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But some of those… they’re not real outsiders, never were or have been, they’re insiders who think it’s cool to be an outsider.

I’ve met some of those insiders pretending to be outsiders, and they’re rather sweet, but… they really don’t get it.

They don’t know the pain of being a genuine outsider who longs to be an insider but just can’t be one…

But we don’t get it either…

We don’t know their pain of being a genuine insider who longs to be an outsider but just can’t be one…

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Minion humor

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Humans… outsider, insider, whatever shades of grey in between the two we are… we are human, longing to be a different kind of human because we always think the skin is greener on the other side of the fence which keeps us in and keeps others out… what’s over there, is it better than what’s over here?

We long to explore beyond our confines, and yet… it frightens us because… it is unknown. If we risk what we know, risk losing it… for what we don’t know… what then?

Do we gain more or lose everything we have… even if all we have is a little, it still means a lot to us.

Of all the words in the world at this time… LIKE… is the one which puzzles, perplexes and sometimes disturbs me. I wouldn’t want to remove it, and yet…

I don’t expect you to LIKE me…

… it worries me when you do, even if I appreciate it when you do… my appreciation of it worries me… it’s so easy to lose who we are because of how others see us, how we perceive others seeing us, what we’re willing to do to get… LIKED… whether we’re an insider or outsider or whatever we are…

Be yourself… be authentic… easier said than… LIKED.

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like that twist

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11 thoughts on “I’m Not Expecting You to LIKE Me…

  1. I meant to say “we just have to know when we should and when we shouldn’t.” (My only excuse is that I’m tired – doing the big move tomorrow 1000 km west, and the preparation this week just about killed me.)

    Like

    1. Best wishes on your journey! The exhaustion is part of the adventure, so much is changing, going on, it can all be overwhelming to the system, but soon you’ll be in the next phase, and at some point you’ll get a boost of energy and you’ll be able to fly au natural!

      Like

  2. One of the major supports of the cyber world is “liking,” and you’re very right, it can get out of control and have an impact that we may not have anticipated at all. Being who we are is hard, given the pressures to be who we aren’t, and sometimes, being who we aren’t is a good thing. We just have to know when we should be and when we should … I think. πŸ˜‰

    I really like your last point about walking into a room and wondering who you will like as opposed to who will like you. I find myself doing that now instead of the other way around. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      I love that quote too. When I first came across that concept about entering a room and looking to see who you might like instead of worrying about being liked it struck me as slightly narcissistic, but then I got over that quick judgment and began to see how refreshing it was, and inspiring. I like things that flip perspective around.

      I think it’s good to want to be liked, but it needs to be done in moderation, it needs the balance of being the one who likes too. Something like that πŸ˜‰

      Like

  3. I think it is possible to be attracted to qualities in another person we dont like…are we willing to accept we (me, you, everyone else) could grow by being open to the possiblity of characteristics we dont like never the less beong necesssry for someone due to their temperament, reaction to experiences, defences just to cope and survive…and it may be a quality that could help us but we arent wired for. Liking you doesnt mean you need to be anything for me just not to cause me discomfort, mirror me perfectly, never challenge, me, disagree with me etc but isnt that how narcissists are or what they expect? And I can be one if I expect you to be something for me that is not possible for you…without seeing you are separate to me, not put on earth just to affirm me?

    Not expecting to be liked speaks volumes about what reactions we met growing up…also its pretty common for first house Plutonians and Uranians our energy can be off putting and unsettling do you think?

    The way I see it there is heaps to love in you, but thats just my opinion.

    As an outsider myself I relate.

    Like

    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      I prefer not expecting others to like me as that takes certain pressures off me and off others, and sublimates them. It makes things more about – this is who I am as is – and if I’m who I am as is, then maybe others can be with me who they are as is. This benefits all of us. It’s so relaxing just to be ourselves. It’s exhausting to all of us to not be ourselves, and makes socialising too fragile.

      If you’re in the company of someone who is not being themselves, who is pretending… that’s infectious.

      If I enter a room, cyber or RL, with the goal of being ‘Liked’ then I’m in a manipulative state of mind even if that’s not who I am or want to be. I may people-please just to please people to please myself. And people will people-please in return for the same reasons. And now we’re all caught in a people-pleasing cycle, like being stuck on a merry-go-round which doesn’t seem to have a ‘stop’ switch.

      If I enter a room, cyber or RL, with the aim of finding out who the others are in this room, asking myself do I like them – ‘liking’ based on something other than being ‘liked’, ‘liking’ based on more than just superficial ‘like-ability’, liking them not based not on them trying to win my ‘LIKE’… just human to human, mess included, then it’s an adventure in people getting to know each other, and that’s a rich experience.

      We learn about ourselves from learning about others, we get to know ourselves from getting to know others, and vice versa – how we relate to others, depends a lot on how we relate to ourselves, and flip sides of that.

      Outsiders can learn a lot from insiders and other outsiders, and so on… it’s a fascinating world full of fascinating people and experiences πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head with that last bit. I think the real danger is once an outsider comes in, it’s easy to get swept away by other people’s impressions and thoughts about you. Ease in slowly. It’ll be okay. One step at a time. You’ll figure it out; and there will be people like you who get it.

    Like

    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      I agree.

      When I first started blogging it was such a mix of blessing and curse, it was mostly about making mistakes and learning from them, it changed how I experienced myself, how I experienced others, yet also brought up issues I was familiar with offline. On my very first blog I did fall into that trap. I got caught up in the ‘LIKE’ of it, and found myself censoring my self expression, catering to the ‘LIKE’ factor, to suit what I thought others wanted and ‘Liked’. I felt trapped and eventually deleted that blog and started again with a guideline similar to the wonderful advice you’ve shared.

      We learn as we go… and go as we learn.

      Liked by 1 person

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