I don’t care if you like me

I don’t care if you like me. 

Likability doesn’t matter to me. I’ll be who I am and say what I think not with the intent of pissing people off, but with the intent of being authentic. The pressure for women to be sweet and nice and likable runs so deep that even I, in my desire to express how much I don’t care, feel the need to clarify: no, I’m not actively trying to make you dislike me.

That pressure actually made me a little nervous to post this, which is all the more reason why I should.

I do not care if you like me. If you find my attitude refreshing and my dry humor fun, that’s lovely. Let’s be friends. If you can understand my introversion and be patient with the time it takes for me to warm up to you, I appreciate that.

But if you find my attitude cold and offensive, or you think I’m aloof, then let’s walk right past one another.

Maybe I am offensive and aloof sometimes, or arrogant in my ideas. That’s fine. I’m not perfect and never claim to be.

I don’t care about likability, even in characters I love.

Thorin Oakenshield and Ifemelu are two of my favorite fictional characters in recent years. Neither are the most friendly or likable, but they have independence and grit.

Thorin, from The Hobbit, is an ass at times. But I love his conviction, loyalty and leadership. His story of overcoming fear, of going forward despite and with fear, is a tale of utmost beauty. 

Ifemelu, from Americanah, does was she wants. She takes what she wants. She says what she thinks. I love women who behave like her. Her story of creating her life is stunning, and I’ve learned from her to take and not feel guilty.

What is so important about being likable? Why must women never piss anyone off? Why should we twist ourselves into shapes to please others? Why are we supposed to spend all of our time serving others? I reject that, all of it.

If you don’t like me for saying this or for who I am, I’m OK with that. I like who I am, and so do my family members and close friendship. That’s what matters.

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