We Like What We Like

Posted on Posted in Psychology, Sociology

Is it not strange that we live in a culture where we are afraid to say what we like? A respected working professional, a mother, recently asked for my acceptance when she stated she liked tea over coffee. “Is it weird?” I found it weird that she asked that. It seemed to be such an innocuous preference. The very fact that she inquired either meant she had gotten an emotional response in the past, or she was overly self-conscious about her tea choice.

Variety keeps the world interesting. How boring would it get if everyone liked the same things? Why even bother learning about other people? We find ourselves subject to ridicule when we say, “I like …” We seek acceptance when we reveal what we enjoy.

It is not inherent in our makeup. It is a learned behavior. Those more sensitive to it, learn to keep it hidden. It is a challenge to declare something different than someone else, as though we are saying “I disagree.” “I disagree” becomes “you are wrong.” So what you say you like is either right or wrong. That seems absurd. No one can define what makes you feel enjoyment. No one has that power.

You are allowed to like different things than someone else. You are allowed to say those desires without fear of a backlash. You are also allowed not to like something. Restaurant menus prepare a multitude of meals not for dietary restrictions but because people have different tastes.

The concept of having a like ridiculed seems ludicrous. Keeping it hidden does no one a service. Being able to share a part of you is a connection humans seek from other humans. There is something to be said about bonding with those with similar interests, but to extend to a tea or coffee preference has little value. Be bold. Say with confidence how you feel and what you like.

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