Dying To Be Liked

Before I caught the typo, this post was accidentally titled, “Dying To Be Licked” – which probably would have made for a more interesting post, but probably would not have helped my business as a motivational speaker. Then again, if it gets more “likes” on Facebook (Or should I say “licks”) then who’s to say? Which is, oddly enough, what I want to talk about today. Not licks, but likes.

Being the picked-on kid growing up has given me the eternal perspective of the odd man out – the one hanging out to the side who doesn’t know anybody. I spent my life wanting to be liked. I know how it feels. And God help me if I ever lose that compassion for the one on the outside of the circle. And without meaning to, I’m sure, Facebook has now created another system of cliques (excuse the technological pun – I’ll explain later if you don’t get it) where you can actually count your likes, collect friends, unfriend them, and let the world know that you think Susie Q is a terd.

And so I fell into the trap of checking every day to see how many likes I have. Okay, checking every minute. Making it my hope to get to 500 likes. I’m not sure what happens then, but I’m pretty sure it involves balloons dropping out of the sky. It didn’t hit me until this morning that I have gone back to high school. And I have spent my life promising I would never go back there.

Long story short (too late) – I am almost at 500 likes and guess what. I don’t feel any different. Not one bit different. Not one bit skinnier. Not one bit prettier. Not one bit more well adjusted. I am the exact same person I was 446 likes ago.  I’m not sure what my point is, except maybe to tell the person with one like, that it really really doesn’t matter. One good friendship is as valuable as a hundred surface ones. And maybe it’s to tell that “you’re in my group and you’re not” person to get over yourself.

The world feeds us so many wrongs. And one of them is that it’s all about getting to the cool kids’ table. And it’s not. Every table is a cool kid’s table. And often the GREATEST blessings are found there. It’s not about how many people like you. It’s about how likeable you are. It’s not about whether you made it to the inner circle. It’s about how you loved in the place that you found yourself. And (brace yourself because I’m about to go all church-y on you) Jesus didn’t come to seek out the most important. He came to seek out the lost. Shame on me for every moment I choose the cool kids’ table over the lost. For in that moment, I am the one who has lost.

Okay. This self-lecture is over. You can get back to work, or whatever it is you were doing. I just needed to vent. Thank you for listening. Now I’ve got to go check and see if I’ve hit 500 likes on Facebook. I should probably move my car so the TV crews can get their vans in the driveway.

I love you, whether I like you or not. :)

Your wacky motivational speaker just trying to do good – one day at a time.


cliques (as in social groups of inclusion) – clicks (as in types on a computer keyboard)


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. Nice one Kelly! As I think back over the conference I wonder if I missed talking to people who needed to be talked to.  All well, that second round of sleeping pills is kicking in and I’m going dowwwwwwwwn

  2. Lovely post, Kelly. I just put a beautiful picture of you up on Facebook that I know you’ll like! Seriously, I hear what you’re saying. Moving around to new schools growing up I wanted so badly to be liked which resulted in some poor choices. And I wouldn’t be speaking my truth if I didn’t share that I still want to be liked. Only difference is I won’t make choices that will hurt me in order to make it happen. Yet, it still hurts when I feel someone doesn’t. Just get over it faster now.

  3. Vent away, my friend, because what you felt in high school and what you catch yourself feeling now speaks to all of us!  I had 500 moments of feeling like the outsider at NSA this week but I was grounded by the few wonderful friends I had by my side.  Hugs.

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