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OCD Makes Me Obsessed With Being ‘Liked’ and Being a Good Person

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help, visit the International OCD Foundation’s website.

I never quite know how I come off to others, and the word “quite” should really not be in this sentence. I am socially blind, I can’t read social queues and I can’t surmise what people are thinking at all. This is especially prevalent when it comes to what they think of me. 

As someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), I am hypersensitive to most everything regarding the world inside my head. As the world would have it, the diametric always seems to exist for any state — I am thus numb and not sensitive to a lot of things outside my own world. When it comes to others and the way they think about me, I am obsessed.

I have to stop here and mention — and I hope by mentioning it, the opposite is not gathered about me, as this is something I am aware of potentially happening and something I wish not to happen — I am not manipulative. I actually cower more than I actively try to have things go my way. Now, OCD does come with a type of selfishness, which is somewhat outside the scope of this article. That selfishness is not a form of manipulation, but rather a state of mind that cannot be helped when things are not right. The compulsion end of that doesn’t always result in manipulation. 

Everyone wants to be liked. Everyone does stuff to attempt to be liked. That’s not a disorder; that is the human condition. I, however, have an obsession with being perceived in a certain way. Maybe this can be boiled down to the concept of “being liked,” though I also obsessively need people to think of me as a good person all around. 

Having the collection of people who surround me — no matter how close — in this particular state of view of me is stasis. Stasis, for my OCD, is the ultimate goal in everything in life. I do not need adoration; I do not need to be seen as better than others. It is different than that. It is not really “being liked,” in that sense. It is an obsession with being seen as “OK by who this person is, authentic to this person’s being” — “this person” being me. 

That’s all I want, but it is beyond want — it is an obsession. I will do whatever it takes to have people think this way.

For example, I know I have flaws, but if anyone points them out, my brain has a compulsion — and actually carries this one out — to try to quiet anyone who points out said flaws. Rationally, I know these things are being discussed in jest, and I am generally not in a group conversation where my flaws are being exposed to bring me down a notch, but I still can’t be painted with the colors of these flaws.

I’ve been in arguments, mostly with significant others. That is just part of a relationship. Some relationships were worse than others, but that’s life. It kills me. It absolutely kills me. Being right? No! I don’t want to be right… I want stasis. I want to be “OK.” I want to be seen as good and OK. If I am good and OK, there should not be a fight. And if there is a fight, then clearly I am flawed. I’ll take the blame on purpose — whether I believe it or not — to get back to stasis.

I also find my need for assurance I am doing things right by others’ rules to be paramount. I will stop my real work to do other work that shows me following the rules. In my job, and even beyond it, as we have rules for all social connections, engagements and arenas. Following the rules is stasis.

When I come down to thinking about all of this: if I am seen as “OK,” then indeed I am asking for people to like me. People like authentic “OK” people.

So I do want you to like me. 

I mean…

In the end… here’s the deal.

I am blogging about my whole life. 

Most everything about me. 

And I edit.

A lot.

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

Originally published: March 5, 2018
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