Likeability & Retrograde Jealousy

To some degree, I think it’s human nature to want to be liked. And I think to some degree, humans are programmed to be jealous creatures. However, the desire to be like can very quickly fall into a monstrous black and white routine of people-pleasing, loss of authenticity and hideous jealousy. And that is not healthy. Nor is it okay.

For me, I remember my elementary to early high schools years were devoted to making myself a likable person. I was quiet, as to never offend someone, and when I did have country opinions, I often kept them to myself. It was painful to not always utter out a “sorry”, “please” or “thank you”, even when I didn’t mean it. And I was a master of sidestepping the truth in order to not offend anyone, even if I didn’t like them.

But yet, sometimes, even when you follow these behavior expectations, people don’t like you. And it’s frustrating because both you and they know that they do not possess a reason or explanation for why you’re not their cup of tea; simply put, they just aren’t that into you. And that’s okay!

As I began to dislike people for my own invalid reasons, particularly related to exes of my significant other or friends of my friends, I began to accept this as a fact. Whereas I was often quite offended when people didn’t like me when I was younger, I found that I wasn’t as bothered as I got older and other things became more pressing and demanded my time. The faceless jealousy that I harbored, however, was another problem.

But that brings me to the topic of retrograde jealousy. I started my first, real adult relations awards the beginning of my second semester of Freshman year.  At first, in the honeymoon phase, there was nothing to be jealous or upset about; but as our relationship progressed and I realized that two of my partner’s exes played a profound who they were, I felt, well, jealous. And jealousy is not a trait found in likable individuals; for several months, I had this internal battle over what I should do and how I should act which resulted in me being miserable and not even liking myself. I was trying to be both of them and ended up losing myself in the process.

And, I realized that the only person being hurt was me in the process. I spent more time focusing on them and actively disliking them that I didn’t have enough energy to improve myself.

But then I contemplated how being unreasonably unliked must have felt for them. Had they second-guessed themselves, allowing insecurity and self-doubt to overcome them, under the assumption that my not-liking them had been some fault of their own? How unlikeable had I become myself in not liking them? In actively harboring contempt for another instead of focussing on what in my life was deserving of appreciation and gratitude?

In the end, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s perfectly okay not to have everyone you meet not like you… and not to like everyone that you’ve encountered yourself. But to keep in mind that someone’s opinion shouldn’t negatively impact your life, nor should you allow your own negativity (which is okay to have from time to time) negatively impact you. Your worth is determined by no one but yourself. And that should be comforting to know.

How about you guys; what do you think about people either liking or disliking you? And if you’ve experience retrograde jealousy, how did you deal with it?


via Daily Prompt: Faceless

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