We all have that need to be liked. Some more than others but nevertheless we all want people to not disapprove of us. In extreme cases, this is basically a disease. A disease to please others.
It has two sides to it: first, we want the approval, and second, we’re afraid of the disapproval.
We’re often afraid of saying our opinion because we might offend someone. Therefore we think we’re nice if we simply agree with the other person. So we constantly try to double down on them, always fearing the disapproval.
We think we’re nice, but it’s not nice at all as there’s an agenda. The agenda is that we mold our opinions and actions to fit the other person – which is essentially manipulation. Manipulation is definitely not nice.
A typical example is the nice guy syndrome – guys who think they’re nice to girls by always putting them first and doing things for them but secretly having an agenda – that if they do all those things, they get something in return. We all know what that “something” is. That is not being nice.
It’s necessary to realize that not everyone will like us. We will also not like everyone, and that’s okay.
Making pictures of people on the street – same thing! Not everyone will like that. That’s okay. We have to be okay not being liked by everyone.
Besides, we tend to overblow the “not liking” part massively. We think if someone doesn’t like our behavior or words, then they must be mad. If you make a photo of someone and they don’t like it, it doesn’t mean they hate you. In reality, it’s not that black and white. Just because someone doesn’t like us, doesn’t mean they hate us.
A good starting point to get rid of this negative behavioral pattern is to try to put ourselves first more. Ask yourself: “What do I like? What do I want to do? Where do I want to go?” etc. It doesn’t mean we’re selfish – we just respect ourselves. It also doesn’t mean we always have to push through our needs. No. What it does is that it creates a good ground for discussion with the person who might have a different opinion.
If you want to know more about this, The Disease to Please by Harriet B. Braiker goes a lot deeper.