Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Likeability

I've been thinking about the notion of likeability a lot lately.  

It all started when I fired the babysitter.  I like her but I'm not sure she's likeable.  It could be her age and the circumstances of her life.  She's been through a lot and it's been hard.  There's nothing unusual about having a hard start in life but why is it that some people manage to make the best of it while others just get a big chip on their shoulder?  Her refusal to snap out of her victim space long enough to see the opportunities around her was starting to grate on my nerves.

I'd seen the writing on the wall for a few weeks.  There were signs that this agreement was ending. I really wanted a peaceful ending, one in which I could express my gratitude for her contribution and wish her well with her next step.  I wanted to be likeable in this ending with her.  In fact, my desire to be likeable prolonged the inevitable for a week or two as I put off the final showdown.

Finally, I mustered up some grace and tried to talk to her about what wasn't working.  She just shut it down.  She was not going to go gracefully and seemed oblivious to the many ways she was setting up getting fired.

This goes back to likeability because for me, part of what makes me like someone is their ability to talk about stuff without being defensive or making excuses.  Just listen to me girl, and reflect on it a bit before jumping into defense mode.

If this girl were just a little more likeable, she'd still have a pretty good job in Julia Land but is that a good thing?  Do we sometimes use our likeability to charm others into doing what we want?  How often do we end up in uncomfortable situations because we want to be liked?  On the flip side, how often do we burn bridges simply because we weren't likeable in that moment?

What does likeable mean to you?  Do we compromise ourselves in order to be liked or is being liked a way to power?  Let's all ponder this a bit as we adjust to Neptune in Pisces.  Boundaries are going to get more fuzzy now and we might start to see the dark side of what we once loved.  Be prepared for disenchantment and feelings of being victimized.  Believe me, there's a part of me that felt entrapped by the girl.  That's when I knew without a doubt that it needed to end.

I'll be talking about this and more Thursday night in the Stonestreet Cafe at 12radio.com.  Who knows what will come up during the show.  It's just me in the Cafe this week, so feel free to call and discuss the topic du jour or get a reading...all at 6pm PST/9pm EST.  Call 1.218.862.1300 ext 124290.

Until we meet again,
BE LIKEABLE without compromising your integrity.

xoxo
-Julia

3 comments:

michelle said...

Perfect.

Thank you for knowing and sharing!!

Amie said...

I get where you're coming from. What an uncomfortable situtation to have to deal with. Kudos for doing the right thing for your family.
I have spent most of my adult life up to this point focused on trying to keep myself likable; trying not to make waves. Now, I'm burnt out from it and want to hide away from people all together. Ugh.

Julia Stonestreet Smith said...

thanks michelle and amie for adding to the discussion. i was so busy focusing on what's NOT likeable about this young girl that i may have lost the other side of the coin.

in our attempts to be liked, we often put ourselves in untenable situations.

i got TONS of letters from people saying they're tired of trying so hard to be liked.

wow. we so need connection with each other that it seems we'll behind ourselves into pretzels to do it.

not the babysitter though! that girl was not interested in pleasing anyone at my house.

i still love her though, despite the teenage, depressive, it's all about me energy.

so interesting!!

xoxo
-j