Avoid the “Like Me” Trap

Your need to be liked can go too far. Author, Connie Sokol explains how to avoid the “Like Me” trap.

As women, it can be easy to focus on others’ opinions of ourselves, our lives, and our pursuits. Try recognizing and avoiding these three familiar traps.

Trap #1: Approvalitis. Instead of considering what is best for our lives or our family’s, we look sideways to see what others are doing. Whether it’s at the workplace, home, or neighborhood, seeking others’ approval can become an obsession until we lose our own sense of self, opinion, and values. Blogger Sharon Esonis shares, “Approvalitis promotes failure and disappointment, wastes time, energy and money, and fosters dependence, anxiety, depression and exhaustion.”

Solution: Look to a value-based source. When you look to a higher power, truth, or wisdom, you will feel validated. Truth brings feelings of peace and joy. So if you find yourself feeling inept, ridiculous, or unpopular, recognize those feelings aren’t likely true. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” So stop judging yourself and start loving.

LDS President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you, with an infinite love.” Follow time-tested truths and you will stop needing approval from others in your life.

Trap #2: Seeking Sameness. As women our conversation is more about finding things in common, whereas with men it’s more about competing. When we find someone who has similar interests, we think, wow, she’s great! But, when doesn’t like the same restaurants, books, or shopping stores, we generally distance ourselves.

Solution: Embrace your uniqueness and learn from others’. Wear that purple dress because you love it, try out for that clogging dance troupe, no matter what someone else says. And give that gift to someone else. Just once, try that Thai food place, or say something positive about a hobby you don’t really care for (i.e. scrapbooking or blogging).

Trap #3: Pity Party. Every now and then women can just feel down, the” nobody likes me/everybody hates me” thing. Suddenly everyone else looks more attractive or put together or better organized or has more friends.

Solution: Lighten Someone’s Load. When a pity party hits, that’s the very time you need to STOP thinking about you. Immediately. Start thinking “Whom Can I Serve?” I did this little experiment, putting that phrase on a sticky note by my bed, and keeping a small journal on whom I served. Woefully incomplete at first, I started seeing opportunities to better help someone else, then it domino-ed into me seeing how much others were serving me.

Try one of these ideas and see how many times you avoid the “Like Me” trap!

Connie Sokol is a mother of seven, national presenter, former TV and radio host, and author of several books, including the newly released “Life is Too Short Collection.” For tips, columns, products and podcasts, visit www.conniesokol.com.

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