On Being Liked

I’ve started a new chapter in my life. In my situation, that’s meant I’m in an environment with people who have passions that are similar with my own but who have by and large very different life experiences than I. In previous environments, I’ve met more people with similar experiences to my own, but different passions. In either situation, there’s the process of finding common ground; in both, I’ve experienced mild insecurity that people won’t like me. I think it’s a pretty common worry, even if it is in the back of ones mind. I think in part we worry about this, because being liked seems to make us feel more valued.  

So, sometimes people don’t like you. 

One popular reaction to that I find really interesting. Namely, I’ve often heard the proper response to that situation is to not care. Don’t care if people don’t like you. Live your life, do what you need to do; do you, let me do mine. You ought to value yourself above all the opinions of others.

The motivation for that way of handling this sort of situation is easy enough to see. If you care about what everyone thinks of you, you’ll never do anything right. So stop caring, and you’ll at least do some things right. 

However there seems to be something dismissive, even dangerous, about that way of thinking. There are instances where we probably should care that people don’t like you (like if your decisions are causing harm). 

I think there’s a different way of dealing with this situation, at least personally I find to be more constructive. As an aside I should say, it’s not that anyone has openly disliked me recently, but this is a way I handle any mild anxieties I might have about being disliked. Anyway, I think it’s fine to admit it’s unpleasant that someone doesn’t like you, because it is. Due to that, it’s fine to say you care a little. However, the important point is that their liking you or not shouldn’t validate your sense of value as a person. This doesn’t mean that no one shouldn’t validate you. I think as people, we naturally are validated to some extent by the approval/disproval of others. The important point is that they need to earn that privilege. I’ve seen so many people desperate for validation, that they grasp for it from the wrong people. I’ve been guilty of this at some points in my life. It’s a miserable and draining experience.

I care if my family and close friends like me, but that’s because I learned about who to seek validation from and I trust them. If one day they stopped to like me, I’d reassess if there is something about myself that I need to change. That’s why it’s important for me to surround myself with good people I can trust to call me out when I need to be called out. I want to do good things in the world. I have good people around me, and I know that they want to surround themselves with good people. So I know that having people like that who do like me will help me achieve one of my goals as a human-to be a good person. If my circle like me, I know I’m on a right path. 

If someone makes a judgement that they don’t like me- especially by someone who doesn’t know me well, what highs and lows I’ve had in my life, and indeed make superficial assumptions about me based on superficial characteristics-then though their liking is unpleasant, it can also be ok. 

And maybe more to the point if someone doesn’t like me knowing all of these wonderful and horrible things there are to know about me, that realization may be even more unpleasant but that’s ok too. I might be more inclined to reevaluate myself because of why it’s so unpleasant, but nevertheless their dislike doesn’t necessarily invalidate me. This is because I respect myself and the journey I’ve had, and I’ve people in my life who are wonderful people, who do amazing things, who want me to do wonderful things who do like me. 

To the point, I think it’s important to care what others think of you because all of us are flawed and it’s important to know where you go right or wrong. However, the people that do that validating needs to be selective. It’s ok to allow yourself to feel the unpleasantness of the disliking. It makes you human. That dislike though shouldn’t mean you aren’t validated as a valuable person just because someone doesn’t like you. 

Moreover, this way of thinking gives you the tools to challenge your own feelings of like or dislike. Sometimes there are intuitions of dislike that are good to have. Saved myself a lot of grief at some points by listening to that. At other points though, you can be wrong about people. I think in allowing yourself to care, in that acknowledging being disliked is unpleasant as opposed to not caring at all, it makes one more readily able to see when we are wrong.

Bit of a meditation I suppose, but I’ve been thinking about it a little bit.

Sewing Project//Walk Away Dress

I followed the Butterick B4790, or the Walk Away Dress.
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This dress pattern has an interesting history. Released in 1952, The Walk Away Dress was intended to be a flattering but easy to sew dress that could be started in the morning and “walk-away” with it finished at lunch. A practical post-war/post Depression dress for a busy person, but it still allowed for a little bit of vitality to an otherwise rationed fashion.
For me, it took a bit longer than three or four hours. I started the whole process (measuring myself and cutting out the pattern) a little after 11am and ended at 4:45, with the intention of doing some additional final work.  I do think someone with experience could knock this out quickly.
My notes on the pattern: I opted for a size above the size for my measurements. I wanted to leave plenty of room for mistakes and customized hemming. I’m glad I made that choice. I’m not sure that methodology would work on a more complicated pattern, but perhaps because it was simple it worked very nicely.
Fabric: I selected a heavier cotton fabric with bigger print. (Sound of Music, here I come!)
Dress:  I’m happy with the fabric. It happened to actually be some thicker cotton fabric for furniture we had in my family home, but the pattern is lovely for this style of dress. Additionally the skirt keeps a fuller shape because the fabric is heavier but it’s also very breathable and very comfortable.
I didn’t do the recommended bias tape along the edges. I felt as though it would have structured the dress in an unnecessary way, given the pattern and how the fabric lays. Instead, I hemmed all of the edges.
I brought in the shoulder straps by an inch pinched in on both sides (keep in mind I went a size up with the pattern). The bigger size ultimately worked well for the binding, as 1) because this is a customizable dress I could cinch it in at my waist and 2) it left a fuller skirt.
The only thing I need to finalize is how I bind the skirt to the front. I was debating between having the back skirt gather to the sides (I’ll include a photo for that idea below), but ultimately decided having the skirt come fully to the front is more flattering on me. What I’m thinking I’ll do is use clips in such a way that I can have both options available to me. Have it all!
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Additionally I think I’ll take in the bust area a little, reduce the shoulder band, and possibly eventually change the neck line to a more interesting shape. I’m happy with it overall though. I’ll update this post when that’s been finalized.
That’s that! The pattern was easy to follow. Great pattern for beginners. A little disclaimer-I’m not an expert. Just documenting what I did with this. This is my third sewing project from scratch.
With thanks to my sewing partner, Mish.
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Observer Effect//July 2018

 

 

Sometimes, I have evenings when I look out into the small piece of infinity that I can see and then look back down around me. Sort of strange how massive existence is, but how little of what we have here there seems to be. Worst case scenario, this is it. At most of these realized moments I know whatever this is that I am experiencing, that it’s not so bad. It’s tough, but I’m really happy I’m living out whatever this is. Indeed, lucky to live in the way I have been able to live out my life so far.

Of course, usually in those moments I have a burrito/ceviche and my dog next to me, laughing at some inane joke, but ya know what I mean.