14: Is it possible to be liked by everyone?

 

I am very suspicious of people who are liked by everyone, and who are friends with everybody. It’s not that I doubt the capacity of human beings to be nice to a wide variety of people or that I am jealous of the fact that they have more friends than I do. But, to me it seems an impossible feat to impress everyone on a personal level. It’s different when you are a famous person and everyone like you. In that case, people only know you for your talent or a slice of your personality and their interaction with you is not personal. In any case, even famous people do not like all their fans.

Being friends with everyone works in two ways. First, you have to genuinely like everyone to be friends with them. This means that no matter what the person is or does, you are okay with them as long as they are nice to you. That idea itself is preposterous to me. What if a person is nice to me, but is otherwise a really shitty person to everyone else. What if a person does really nice things for me but is otherwise a hateful bigot with the most repulsing ideas. How can I reconcile with that? It is said that in order to judge a person, look at how they treat their subordinates; meaning that don’t judge a person simply based on how they interact with you. So, when a person is friends with everyone including the people you know for sure are rotten, it draws suspicion. Then there is this familiar argument that even the worst kind of people deserve friends. So, what’s wrong if someone is friends with everybody? The argument is fair, but in reality, if you choose to be friends with such people, you are either ignoring their worst attributes or you may be telling them that they are wrong but they aren’t listening to you. In both cases you are turning a blind eye towards an integral part of them, and are complicit in their wrongdoings.

Second, in order to be friends with everyone you have to be liked by everyone. It’s rare to gain universal likeability if you are true in your portrayal of yourself. Nobody is perfect and there will be something about you that someone may not like. If everyone likes you, then in all likelihood you are faking it; hiding your vices and attenuating those qualities that people may like. It’s problematic because you lose your transparency hiding behind that opaque wall of positivity.  Vulnerabilities are important as they make you less robotic and more human. It’s important to admit our worst qualities as much as it is to flaunt our best ones. It’s important to offend some people, in order to stand up for the right cause. In my experience, most people who are friends with everyone, don’t usually do that. That is why, you should always approach such people with caution.

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