“I want to cry, but more than that I want you to know that I am crying. This heart quenching pain won’t let me sleep and since I am already awake, why don’t I tell everyone how heartbroken I am.”
Having the urge to show people how we feel does not necessarily mean we don’t actually feel what we say. It does not make us fake or a hypocrite. It just says how desperately we seek approval of others. This inherent need to be liked and approved of by society is not limited to a few – or a specific kind of – individuals. It exists in almost everyone around, till they grow out of it.
While spiritually it is imperative to realize how insignificant the approval of others is, materialistically speaking, there is nothing wrong with it. We have seen it in people who are admired by society, we have seen it in our teachers, our idols, our heroes. More or less every ordinary and extra ordinary individual is yearning for the approval of peers, of society.
This urge or need is harmless as long as it does not influence who we are. The moment we start to mould ourselves according to the ‘popular’ perception of liked or acceptable behavior, this need turns into a suffocating addiction. It becomes less an exercise for become better people and more for being perceived as such. There may be a hundred and one things in us that call for improvement. But an improvement or change brought on to please people is bound to lack genuineness and sincerity.
Lying is bad. It is frowned upon by society. If the objective were just to please society than we do not need to stop lying, we only need to make sure we don’t get caught. That will not be an improvement per se in us or our personality. A change is no good if it does not bring improvement. Change is inevitable, it is the positive changes that bring improvement and require an effort on our part. We are changing every day. Our body is getting old, our eyes are losing sight, our muscles are losing strength, each and every cell in our bodies is changing. But are we ‘growing’?
Wanting others to like you is absolutely normal, pretending to be someone they like, is not.