On Being Liked

This liking reminds me of of a laid-back job I once had fixing complex high speed machines, the only requirement being keep the machines running. You could talk to the other technicians, leaving your area if need be, so long as the machine personnel had a way to contact you.

For some reason I was well liked. Everybody would make their way to talk to me throughout the day. One person got so upset she couldn’t talk with me she said, “do I need to make an appointment to see you,and stormed away.” Some people said they talked to me because I am not involved in the politics of the place, others because I was non-judgmental, some because they liked the advice I gave and I could keep a secret. I do believe some people talked to me just because I had become popular.

When management had some problem needing everyone to agree with or at least a majority, they came to me first hoping to convince me, or at least see where I stood concerning the problem. If they could convince me — I guess they believed —it would filter out to the others.

Finding no time for myself after awhile, finding no time to reflect on what people were saying to me, I began to evaluate just what I was accomplishing in the social realm at work. How was I contributing to them or they me if I couldn’t really think about what they were saying. Truthfully being well liked was addictive, a high just as much as the running and the skydiving I did. I decided to limit myself to certain people, being enriched by concentrating my energy on what they were saying, reflecting on it so next time I could contribute something substantial to their lives and theirs mine.

I met a person in a Photoshop forum once I became good friends with. The forum had become mean-spirited, everyone trying to prove how brilliant they were. I went out of my way to help people with their Photoshop problems, not putting them down but building them up, gently nudging them in the direction to solve their own problems. What happened was there was a race to do the same. Everyone then tried to be the best at helping each other in a humbler way. Ego was still involved but channeled in a better way.

I was very popular in the forum but decided to let others be popular and solve the problems; I concentrated my energy on one person who needed a lot of listening to. While emailing about Photoshop I was there for her when her best friend was dying.

Later she gave back to me by becoming more proficient at Photoshop and photography than me, and was a source of a lot of help.

So these days I do not so much care if I’m liked or disliked or whom I am following, or who is following me, so long as there is a quality relationship going on. Do I understand what the other person is writing? Do I think about it during the day and does it help me with my life? There is only so much time in the day. There is only so much media I can take in without becoming bloated.