Yes, it’s true.
I want you to like my stuff.
I want you to think I’m cool.
I want to be accepted by the tribe.
I want to be heard, to be seen, to matter.
I want to be included, loved and admired.
I want to inspire others and have an audience that anticipates the things that I say and share.
In the past I’ve acted like I don’t care. But I do care. I care a lot.
I used to think that it wasn’t healthy or good to want to be liked, or to want attention. That you should rise above and transcend this lowly human defect.
But the truth is that it’s a basic human desire and need. It’s healthy, especially when you love and accept yourself first.
So, I accept my humanness, I accept that hunger for acceptance and recognition.
I wish I could say that I’m not attached to it. I’m not there yet. I check Facebook and Instagram for likes in the hopes that I am validated just as much as you do.
I don’t want this to drive my behavior, always. I desire to serve and give from my heart, and trust that I will be seen and appreciated as a result. That’s the place I most truly want to operate from.
I don’t think it’s good or healthy to try to kill your desire to be liked and seen. But it should be subordinated by your deeper desires to serve and grow.
I aim to show up more in that space.
But for now, I’d rather be real…
I want you to like me.
PS: I would feel more validated if you left a comment to show that you liked this.
Lois Nason says
I like you. I like how you write. I like how you give me inspiration to do those things that just need to be put into reality. I like your honesty. I like your photos, too. Sorry, but if I’m being real…that’s that. I wonder what happen if I sent this to my friends?…hell, let me find out.
:) excellent idea
I liked it.
Thank you for keeping it real, Jonathan. :)
I like you (and your wife) a whole lot. You guys are inspiring, amazing, fantastic people. Lots of love from Hamburg, Germany. xx
Andrew Shell says
I think it’s okay to want to be liked. As long as you keep being a cool, honest, helpful guy you shouldn’t have a problem finding people that like you. There will always be haters, but I’ve found that the haters don’t really hate you, they hate themselves.
Thanks for being real. lol I struggle with this a lot myself. Same idea, that I shouldn’t care what others think of me so much, but ever since I was a kid I’ve loved to perform in front of others for their “approval” I guess. Learned along the way though most ppl are just waiting for you to fall so they can laugh. At least in high school… lol Hopefully the worlds matured a bit since then… but I doubt it. I just finally got sick of everyone.
Jonathan, part of your influence in my life is the whole idea that I need to be more of myself, and I need to be myself more. I have a business called ‘Renegade Leadership’, but in reality I’m not as much of a renegade as I’d like to think I am. I want to do and be different than the general masses, so that I can make a difference. You are helping me remain aware of this desire in my life.
I do like you!:)
Here is a comment showing you that I like this. I like most of what you write. I don’t know you in person, so I don’t know if I actually “like” you or not, but from what you write, I am quite certain we’d get along great in the “real” world if we ever met.
I’ll admit, sometimes I think you’re kind of a dick, which is usually JUST what I need at the time. I don’t need another kissass telling me it’ll all be fine if I wish hard enough. I need someone, like you, to say, “hey, get off your ass!”
I appreciate you more than a few words in a comment box can convey.
This breaks my heart open in the best of ways. It’s just TRUE.
But at the same time, emphasis goes a long way: I want you to like ME. Not some bizarre caricature concocted from assembled status updates and photos that are filtered only to show the fun, bright, shiny parts of my life. I want you to like ME–and I’m complex. Sorry, but that’s true too. :)
Fonzi Brownwood says
I read a thing in a book one time.
And by one time, I mean just last night.
I’d read it before, but I re-read it from time to time because I think it’s important.
Important to me.
Who fucking cares if it’s important to someone else.
It’s about defining your sovereignty, that line in the sand where you’re not willing to compromise your work.
For money, fame, recognition, to be liked, whatever.
Because when you start crossing that line, you start losing yourself, and your work suffers.
I don’t like to suffer.
You probably don’t either.
I can’t think of anyone who likes to suffer, except those emo douchebags who paint their fingernails black and listen to depressing music all the time.
They can suck it.
Anyway, I think it’s important to define those areas where you should care if people like you or not, and areas where you don’t.
Then live in those places where you don’t as much as you can.
But you have to really believe in the “don’t” part, or you’ll go insane.
I think I like you more when you don’t care if I like you or not.
That’s where your best work comes from.
That’s where everyone’s best work comes from.
Carla Giampapa says
I like you. I like me, too. :) I appreciate your refreshing voice that seems to always say what’s so for you. Your words have reached me deeply on several occasions and this is no exception…in fact, it was perfect timing…this is something I’ve been wrestling with myself lately. Thank you for sharing and putting it so plainly…no frills. Perfect.
Kevin Conor Keller says
I believe is there is a huge difference between the desire to be idolized and the desire for you/your work to have an impact on others, with the intention of improving the human existence one person at a time. Social networking has a way of forcing the desire to be idolized versus being identified with (idolization vs identification). Those that recognize the difference are the difference. Personally, not having any social networking desires at all has helped me more than anything else. Without the need for validation I have no desire to prove how great/amazing/whatever my work is, and instead I just create because my soul tells me to. This works for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone.
Jennifer K Powell says
Thanks for the honesty. We are all seeking affirmation in some way. Keep on keepin’ it real here.
Jonathan- I love the magnificent human being you are. You’ve been my impromptu older brother, dispenser of wisdom and representation of what being a real man is, since I google searched life purpose back in high school, took the red pill and stumbled onto illuminated mind.
This post has spoken such deep truths and peeled away a large layer of isolation I used to feel.
Without boring you with details, I was bullied all throughout school- whether it was for being skinny, into the wrong music as a black person…that unspoken tinge of ostracism weighed on my mind and colored my punkish- reflexive veneer of cool disinterest, I’d tightly grasp onto.
Your wisdom has not only let me know that it’s okay to be me, but that wanting to be liked is not a frailty of humanity- it only becomes such when your willing to compromise your authenticity and capacity to love boldly, in exchange.
Jonathan, I’ve learned from you that real love never sets conditions- It just shows up extraordinarily.
Bravo my friend on all you continue to accomplish,
You are very much so loved and adored
Carl P. says
“They like me! They REALLY like me!”
How lovely to say it out loud. Yes. I like you. I like that heart on your sleeve and that determination and truth spinning through your cells. We want to be liked and that’s a fine thing.
I like you Jonathan. I’m excited for your new venture with Heroic Trading Co and JonathanMead.com
Jonathan- I am living on the most beautiful lake in the world, thanks to your inspiration!
Tamas Kalman says
…still coming down from the weekend party? =)
Jonathan, if someone doesn’t like you, they’re just projecting. You and all you create inspire me, and I’m so thankful for you! And…yes, you’re very cool. :-)
You are liked and appreciated. Even if, most of the time, some of us are on the quiet side. We do think you’re cool :)
I look forward to reading your posts and seeing what you have to say on FB! I was really glad I got a chance to shake your hand at Pioneer Nation (is it too ego-inflating for you to say that was one of my two big goals for Pioneer Nation? They were to meet you & Chris Brogan. I accomplished both!), although I’d’ve loved to have had a chance to chat more!
I completely understand the desire to be liked and to want others to respect and admire you. I feel ya’
You are doing one of the best things anyone could dream to do… You should be proud, and there is no reason not to like you……:)
It is nice to be honest. To say what it is we really want and say it out to the world rather than pretend that we just don’t care but inside it is just tearing us apart. It makes us better as a person and hopefully results in the improvement of ourselves and society in general. Thank you for your inspiration, I look up to your newsletter everyday.
I like you Jonathan. I like that you are real. I like that you speak the truth of where you are and from where you. I like the fact that you put yourself out there and seek to grow and share more of yourself with the world. I like the brand that you portray consistently through all your stuff a brand that I think is rooted in your personality. I like, well, love your work. It is inspirational and packed with value.
I think we all want to be liked. Actually i think we all want to be loved. We all have that desire to experience unconditional love and to be truly and deeply appreciated. That is a scary thing because it means we need other people. But its also a beautiful thing because we need other people. I believe we all have this in built desire to connect deeply with others and that that is a beautiful, true, and good thing.
Sebastian Aiden Daniels says
I like you man. I agree that it is a basic human desire. We all wanted to be loved and liked lets not deny it. I feel that all bloggers check their facebook stats and their page views and probably wish they had more. Thanks for being open and vulnerable with this post.
You’re kind of cool ; P.
Like! We all try to be cool and act like we don’t care most of the time, but it’s important to be a fan and show people you like what they’re doing. I like what you’re doing. It is a vulnerable thing to be a fan, but really, who doesn’t love a fan, a compliment, a high five?
Thank you for writing this! I’ve been fighting myself for so long on this issue – telling myself that I NEED to transcend wanting to be loved and admired, that I should be “better than that”. I don’t need to, actually. I’m totally human and that is totally fine!!
I had just written in my notebook before I read this post: “I am not a saint. I am a human woman with needs, feelings, strengths, weaknesses, quirks, gut reactions and mess. I am allowed to be messy. I am allowed to not have it all together.”
I like you, dude. I totally get where you’re coming from. Sometimes I feel so desperate for likes on social media but the fact is is that we do like getting positive feedback and attention. Anyway, even if it doesn’t seem like it just remember that we are all more loved than we know!
Thanks for your transparency and authenticity. In our world today that is a rare and courageous thing. I love your work, your ‘voice’ and your energy. Keep on keeping on and blaze the trail. :)
By pleading (that’s how it comes across) “like me, like me, like me” a few thoughts have crossed my mind:
1. You are exhibiting your narcissistic side, your ego is either under or over inflated, and your low self esteem has cropped up. A turn off.
2. Your self worth needs to be evaluated and validated by YOU…not Facebook or Instagram. And, if you do receive “likes”, they should be voluntary, not pleaded or begged for.
3. You state: “I desire to serve and give from my heart, and trust that I will be seen and appreciated as a result. That’s the place I most truly want to operate from.” REALLY??! Then just serve without expectations of acclaim. And if you TRUST that you will be appreciated, then trust that trust. Do the good, be the best you can be and, let go. If praises, applause and “likes”come your way, so be it. If not, so be it. What matters most is: do YOU LIKE YOURSELF? If you do, then you don’t need external accolades to authenticate yourself.
4. We all desire to be liked and seen and loved and appreciated. We all have our needs and wants. Its normal. But, to the extent of putting up a post and pleading for everyone to like you?? That’s EXTREME! And, as we all know, anything extreme is not at all emotionally healthy.
5. There is a big difference in liking you as a person and liking your work. I don’t know you personally, so I am unable to like or dislike you. Regarding your blogs, some of them I like, and some I just don’t. Now, after this “confession” posting, I get the impression that ALL your writings are SOLELY aimed at boosting your ego! Coming from you, that’s disappointing :(
If your are writing from your heart about subjects that matter to you, then there should be no anticipation of “likes” from your readers. If you truly desire to serve, grow and give from your heart, then immerse yourself in it. Be content. Find peace and solace in your work. And have NO expectations. Go within, seek within, and find “IT” within.
Kenny, I do my best to live from that place of trust. But I also admit that I am human and have insecurities and not-admirable or impressive traits. I was merely trying to be transparent about that, while also saying that I aim every day to liver from a deeper motive.
I wasn’t pleading for everyone to like me, I was admitting that I want to be liked. The PS: was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous.
Again, I do my best to write from my heart and expect nothing, as you advised I should do. But can you say that you do that 100% of the time? My intention was to be honest that while I strive with deep devotion to move from a place beyond superficial motivations, I am not perfect.
Hope that helps explain things. :)
I like this! Not enough to give you my e-mail, but I really do. I feel that my opinions (that seeking attention is a natural human thing and is definitely not unhealthy) are validated when reading this, and I got a few new insights from it, too. Thanks for writing it!
Maria Mar says
You know what, Jonathan, I LIKE YOU!!!!
I like your voice and your honesty, like everyone here said. So let it in, beautiful soul, cause it’s a consensus. WE LIKE YOU!
I hear you. Welcome to humanity. What I’ve discovered in my healing journey is that many of the things that we see as imperfections, weaknesses or blunders are in reality the “Imperfect Stitch” that creates the masterpiece. If we wouldn’t want to be liked, perhaps we would not be writers, or have a blog, do you see what I mean?
I was ran out of gas and had the need to call on an old friend who lived nearby. I felt bad in calling her so late. Then she told me there were a bunch of teenagers there, her daughter’s friends, staying over. One of them showed up with a wounded knee. I was there to give her an energy healing. My need was her blessing and solution!
The thing to heal with compassion (and some humor also helps) is the hunger. It is the hunger that does not allow us to be of full service because we give to receive with expectations that others fill the hole we are not FEELING or filling ourselves.
So here’s that place where the Shadow outlines the figure of the light.
I also echoed back your words to you: We don’t need fixing.
You are perfect for your purpose, just the way you are; need to be liked and all.
Thanks for sharing with transparency. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability.
Light and love,
The Dream Alchemist
PS. I hope you like my comment. ):
This is darn honest, Jonathan :) I like it and I like you dude.
like very much
Yes, the desire to be liked is natural, but this desire is put into sharp relief when our business models are based on a very personal model of persuasion. To choose the career path of a life couch, I imagine, would subject you to more pressure to be liked than most because it’s your responsibility to market yourself as a likable person in order to persuade people that you’re a trustworthy sinkhole for some of their money.
Most entrepreneurial endeavors are like this to the extent that they require some genuine human chemistry for a transaction to happen, as in when a company starts to look for investors.
But I think it’s important to recognize the point at which a needy form of self-consciousness stops serving a positive purpose (forging connections with others) and starts to chisel away at our integrity. Sure, wanting to be liked is natural, but the other side of this coin is insecurity, and with insecurity tends to come a lack of conviction, a lack of emotional stability and a lack of confidence that comes across as weakness.
In the music/theatrical performance community, I’ve noticed a lot of people functioning on the level of this very basic insecurity instinct, and it’s my opinion that their message, their talent and even their personality (what’s impressive and likable about them) gets obscured by their desire to be liked (ironically enough). This desire to be liked is at odds with their value offer — which is to entertain by genuinely expressing themselves from within rather than filtered through a psychological censorship mechanism designed to ensure the most likability — and so their art comes across as more hallow and they themselves come across as guarded, competitive and needy.
I think that trope of the stoic person that doesn’t care what people think of him or her may not be entirely honest/true to human experience, but it serves a real and useful purpose in the mythology of our culture. Because that person who doesn’t give a shit is most capable of conveying who they really are and therefore what they really have to offer — distinct from what others have to offer. That person can express themselves without a filter, and for most of the population that attaches themselves to their filter, this display of relative liberation is refreshing and, guess what, uniquely and intensely likable.
It’s easy for me to relate to your insecurity, but I don’t have much of an idea how that makes you uniquely suited to delivering value. I hear that you made easy A’s all your life and I sense that you want me to be impressed by that (but perhaps I’m only projecting because I think that would be the only reason why I would say something so potentially alienating to another person). Okay, so, congratulations, but I’m more interested to know what you’re actually offering, or even who you really are behind the veil of connotation-laden but factually empty catchphrases designed to establish your credentials and make you relatable.
You clearly have many admirers who have already forged a connection with you before you released this cathartic testament to your very human, very relatable insecurities. As for me, on the other hand, I have an email in my inbox from someone I don’t know very well saying “I want you to like me … PS: I want you to buy my stuff,” and it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.
But perhaps this is my reaction because I am very, very stingy.
In closing (I regret I’ve written so much, but I don’t have the heart to erase it), I think you are very courageous to broadcast your personal life like this, and I genuinely admire the fact that so many people recognize your influence in cultivating lots of value in their lives. I’m writing what I really think here because I do perceive that you are a strong person with integrity who might listen to an honest opinion even if it doesn’t stroke your ego. My message is not meant to be personal, of course, because I’m intending to engage with a marketing campaign only, not a real person in all their innate complexity and beauty, financial motives aside. Again, I must say that you are very, Very courageous for mixing the two.
I totally get it Samantha. I expected this message to trigger a lot of people. I expected there to be a lot of mixed responses.
In saying, I want you to like me, I want you to buy my stuff, I was attempting to just be completely honest and transparent. I hope that that was the message that came across for most people.
Annie Andre says
I liked it and i want you to like me so i am commenting to be seen! :)
One of the hard ways to attract attention is being honest and humaine. It’s not easy to drop down to that leve publicly only tobe recognised. I think I like you now more. Good work, good wirting and I think you are just born to win.
I like you to lol. I absolutely love how your posts are exactly what I need to hear lately and I look forward to them. I am grateful for you and them.
Lilli H says
I think you are great! I’m always waiting for your next post. You have sone really incredibly inspiring things to say. Thank you!
I also don’t like not being liked. Though, I’m so worried that I won’t get “likes” or a positive response that it often prevents me from even posting on Facebook, commenting on my favourite blogs or even adding my voice in real-life group conversations.
I know it’s a flaw of mine. Something I’ve decided to work on, hence this comment!
Raw and real. Just the way we like your posts.
In the uk we are bought up not to like ourselves, our media can be negative and wo betide us if we big ourselves up!! We are not conditioned to seek approval. It’s so refreshing to hear someone admit that they need to and want to be liked!! Well done!
M. Catlett says
I liked this, and applaud this call to honesty. It’s easy to get lost in a dreamland of artificial ideals; this is a whisper back home.
(WARNING: This comment is a bit long, because I am providing a context.)
Hi, I am Menix, 28 years old, a single parent with two kids. I have struggled with low self-esteem since childhood, and I’ve gone through really bad times (due to bad decisions) in my life. Although I am an intelligent person (I got to attend college in a top university in our country) and a multi-talented one for that matter, I was always under-accomplishing due to my lack of self-esteem. I rarely felt genuinely good about myself, because there was always a voice inside my head that says: “Nah, you can’t do that,” or “You’re not capable of that,don’t waste your time trying.” It was just until recently that I became conscious of this discouraging voice, and I started going against it… and it paid off. I am now having better relationships with the people I know and I have great conversations with people I just met. I am now switching to a WAY better job because of the confidence that I gained, and feeling pretty good about myself. You see, this was mainly because of the motivational articles that people like YOU create and share. You are a hero, Jonathan, and you should know that.
I chose to react to this particular post, because I feel it is a bit of an irony. Isn’t this longing for acceptance an obstruction to the ebb and flow or our creativity? I rarely get any Facebook likes. But the thing is, how many percent of the people in this world are my Facebook friends? And how many of them are actually online to see all of my posts? At the end of the day, this shouldn’t really bother me, because I know somewhere, even if it was just one person, somebody will genuinely like me. The most important thing is that we accept our SELF wholeheartedly, and give it the love it deserves.
You’ve been an inspiration, Jonathan. Thank you for that.
Thanks for your honesty Menix. Yes, I do think it’s an obstruction for me. It often gets in the way of me just creating from my heart with no expectations. That’s why I mentioned that I do my best to subordinate the desire to be liked to my deeper desire of wanting to serve and be useful.
It’s a process. :)
R Crayton says
I LIKE YOU! I LIKE THE WAY YOU BREAK DOWN A SUBJECT. I LIKE YOU REALLY I DO!!
STAY HONEST — STAY SINCERE, AND YES I AM YELLING!!!
I like you. I like your ideas. To be real I also want to be liked for what I offer. Sometimes I don’t offer for fear of not being liked. You inspire me to go for broke.
Amber K says
I like you. Very much.
Keep being you!
Yep. I like you. And you inspire me to follow my own path. And you ARE real, fellow human being in a weird world. (from a painting, engine building, cigarette smoking yogini)
I really liked this post. There is such honesty here, and I admire that you put it out there, saying what so many of us are thinking. There is something freeing in admitting though you do not want to always be this way, you are in this space now. That’s really owning the present:)
And it took major balls to immortalize it in words and then publish it…
You just won a new supporter:)
I get it. I want so much to be loved. I think the only way to get love is to give love. Yet I routinely forget to give my love, my time and resources to others.
I do like you. In so many ways you have immortalized yourself. Your life has significance and meaning in having served so many others. Your thoughts and concepts are being presented in the perfect medium at the perfect time in the world. The world needs a leader like you and you have delivered. You are helping so many people discover purpose, passion, and awareness. You are making an impact globally. That is powerful and beautiful. You should always remember and admire yourself. Alas, being human, it is natural to want understanding, validation, acknowledgement, or even just attention. You have it all. I admire and respect you. I appreciate you. I wish you eternal happiness and infinite success.
Rand Natsheh says
I really like you.. I check your website every day to see if you’ve put anything new. I love your honesty and that is what makes me so attached. .because I can relate to everything you write as if you write exclusively for me XD keep going
Steve Roy says
I admire your vulnerability here. Having read many of your posts, I got a sense that you were guarded and I never felt like I could really connect with you. This post shows a lot about your character.
I think I’ve suppressed wanting to be seen all my life. I can’t emphasize enoughhh how much your blog resonates with me and addresses the biggest things holding me back: compartmentalizing, all or nothing thinking, being afraid to just surrender.. So much good stuff
Also- not directly related to the article, but an insight that has helped me a lot in personal growth is to notice contradictions in thinking/wants/behavior as polarities that arise as a result of needs that are being unmet. I assume once the need is met, the polarities will collapse. Not meeting a need is a result of misunderstanding a fundamental truth about life (that truth is unique for every person) and that your need and whatever else your sacrificing it for are not incompatible. I guess that’s very much what your blog is about. We deserve to have it all. mini rant over