Lately, I've been wondering who those people that I want them to admire me are. The truth is that I think I've lived a good part of my life without thinking much about it. I even wrote in another post that I thought I didn't care much about the opinions of others, but just realized that wasn't quite so.
However, I know I like to be admired by some friends. My older brother has always been a reference to me, and doing something that would disappoint him is something I can't imagine doing concisely.
In addition to being admired, I've also been thinking about who I don't want any admiration. A football player would want to be admired by a rival fan? I don't think so. Do we use this kind of criteria in our personal lives? Does knowing that someone looks up for you, instead of being happy, makes you decide to change your behavior? Let's see.
The reason I'm writing about it
Last week I was talking to a friend. A better position at his company was available, and he found it unfair that his boss would not consider him for the job. No one asked if he was interested.
An outsider filled the vacancy in the end. The curious thing is that we agreed that the boss had no good reasons to choose who would fill the spot. It seems that what influences the company most is whether the candidate pleases the one who will determine the person who has the power to choose, mostly on a personal level.
Even understanding that the criteria are not very good. My friend did not feel good about not being admired by those who were deciding. He feels he works way above average and that no one gives him credit.
And just yesterday I was talking to another friend, and he asked me if since I left my job for months now, I'm looking for some activity I could tell people I'm doing — some better way to avoid saying that I don't have a job in sight.
Something I said left him with this impression. As if this site, for example, was some excuse. Instead of saying that I'm not working yet, I could say that I now have a blog. A way to make myself accountable with those who think I'm not doing anything.
I thought about the story of my other friend and the people who think I'm not doing anything. Do I have to change the way they feel about my current moment? Why would I seek to change their opinion? Would I like to be admired by these people? Maybe yes. Perhaps not.
To want everyone admiration
Who here doesn't know that person who is always seeking approval from others? These are people who constantly need a compliment, either on what they are doing or on their looks. In many cases, negative criticism ends the day of such people.
How hard must it be to live this way? It is impossible to be admired by everyone in any situation. At most, we are unaware of those who do not look up to us. Not everyone will like our appearance, our personality, the quality of our work, our jokes, company, etc.
Any decision I make that is admirable for one group of people will have the opposite effect on another group. Is that not true? If I decide to stop drinking, I know a lot of people who will find it great, and a lot of others who wouldn't understand and even think I went crazy. Many will give no significance to the matter at all.
A person that wants to please everyone ends up shaping his behavior regarding only the people around them. Others will see them as without personality, and no capacity to make real decisions. They suffer seeking admiration of people who are not admired by anyone. Look how curious. To expect the appreciation of several people you have never admired at all. It can't work.
I don't have good experiences with people who can never say no. They keep saying yes when they would like to say the opposite. They end up using other ways to reach the no. They find different ways to express their weaknesses or frustrations.
The results are rarely good. Whether for the person itself or whose around him. One sentence I read that I think it makes a lot of sense is that if you are afraid of what strong people can do, expect to see what weak people are capable of.
Criticism makes a lot more noise than compliments
It's also good to consider that criticism will always make a lot of noise. And considering the power of social networks, it can be a lot worse. There's a podcast host that I follow named Joe Rogan, who has one of the biggest podcasts in the United States. He has a particular way of thinking about this.
Millions of people view any interview he posts on the internet. He knows that at least 1% of the population is entirely crazy, noisy, and always look to do some harm. That means that being seen by one million people, it gives a chance for a thousand people, completely insane, to try everything to make Joe think his interview was the worst ever.
Now, think about the number of people with whom you have any interaction — family, close friends, social networks, work acquaintances, etc. Include everyone, and your amount will reach the thousands easily.
Consider the same 1% figure and imagine how many people will only win the day if they finish with yours.
If we don't have an efficient filter to understand that some people won't like us, it's hard to keep peace of mind. There is a high chance that one day or another, you will be surprised that someone admires you no more or has never had any admiration at all. Should this make you so bad about it?
To be admired by the wrong people
Throughout our lives, we often seek admiration from those around us. Usually, we even admire them without having a clear notion about why we respect them the way we do.
I have an example in my life. I worked for a company where most people were looking forward to a different lifestyle than me. What they see in a successful life is certainly not what I look for in mine.
I was very fond of the relationships I had there, but imagine the absurdity if I tried to be admired in my career by these people? Or would I fight for people to change their minds, or would I have to adapt to please these people? I could do nothing and suffer because people could find me crazy too. Does it make any sense?
If you don't like the place you work, and you admire neither your boss nor anyone above him, why would you want to be admired by these people? I know it's hard to accept that our boss doesn't like us. However, it rationally seems to me to be something we need to let it be. I remembered a book I read called “The Courage To Be Disliked”. Should we not cultivate this in us?
Another important point is knowing that some people who admire you can help you understand that you are on the wrong track. Let's say the doctor already said your habits are not very good and you have been suffering from your health. Is being admired as someone who drinks every day and is always ready for a weekend barbecue a good thing?
The example is simple, but I've seen it in my career, and even back in college, some colleagues pursuing the admiration of toxic people. One must lie, plot, to walk all over others, to impress them. In their view, it is called doing whatever it takes to be successful. Is seeking such admiration right for everyone?
What's the matter with not being adored?
Stopping to think about the meaning of the word admiration, we see that the definition is intense. Do we need to be admired? People must worship us for what? I love to make it clear to people that the absence of one feeling is not the existence of the opposite one. Perhaps this is an example of something that most people should feel comfortable to stay in the middle.
First, I would like to explain what I mean by the existence of the opposite feeling. When someone asks me: Bruno, do you like so and so? I can say I don't like it, but without saying that I have some negative feelings against the person. The truth is that I don't even know 99.99% of people. I don't like them, but I don't dislike it either.
It was necessary to give this further explanation. I feel that in today's world if I say I love dogs, people will assume that I hate cats.
Getting back to the subject, it seems that no one likes to be in the middle. Mario Sergio Cortella, a Brazilian philosopher, already said, quoting the bible, that the lukewarm will be spewed out. You have to be cold or hot, dumb or smart, ugly or handsome, hated or loved. If someone you like says they don't think you're intelligent, that will make you feel bad for sure.
But how can everyone be smart? We don't even know what that means for each one. The truth is, most of us are average in almost everything. We have to be. We should accept that it's okay to be there in the middle, right?
Isn't it strange that we get so upset even though the vast majority of us need to be just average?
I have no answers yet
I don't quite know how to handle it all of this. I'm trying to understand how much others' opinions impact my feelings. I hope writing and talking about it will make it more clear.
Perhaps there is nome reasonable thing to do for now. I Have to agree that I'm going to be lukewarm just about almost everything, and that's fine. Maybe I will have more clarity about when and by whom I want to look hot. No pun intended.