I have a friend who bemoans that he isn’t loved. It’s a common problem. And the typical advice, from an all-knowing, all-loved person is, “You have to love other people to get love. Be nicer. Smile. Show yourself to be a friendly person.” But if you do this, the most undesirable, unattractive people are drawn to you.
My friend complained, “Why do I always draw dysfunctional people like water from a well or blank paper.” Actually, those metaphors are my own, but you get the picture. The patronizing advice-giver says, “Like attracts like.” Now, my friend is more depressed.
We are usually aware that people like us or dislike us.
My boss told me, “Being liked isn’t enough.” And she’s right. Apparently, I was trying to be liked so I could be successful—but more likely, she thought I was insecure. So, I worked on myself. Let’s call it professional development. Pretty soon my co-workers were calling me an asshole, and something strange happened—I didn’t care. It didn’t affect how I felt about myself. I knew I had crossed a great divide, into the realm of sociopath (not psychopath, because sociopaths are created by society, hence, socio–psychopaths are born), but, at the same time, I was doing good things for people. I was giving money to the homeless, and I really cared. I saw myself as an outcast. I thought less of myself and more about others. My friends knew I had grown bigger balls, but when I checked, they were still the same size. People respected me, and hated me more.
I quickly became a man who didn’t need a defense, and the attacks multiplied. People are usually nice because they’re afraid of getting attacked. I was ostracized and left in peace. I got a lot more work done, and I was able to think. Nobody talked to me, but everyone talked about me. I had developed a bad reputation, or let’s just say, someone had developed it for me. You could call it a social suicide, but at no other time in my life did I feel more alive.