At work today, in an e-mail, I told someone I liked her. She is always perky and supportive, and is lovely to talk to, and… well… I like her. It felt strange as I typed it and I realized that I haven’t said “I like you” to anyone in a very long time. Probably not since junior high school and I was attempting to communicate with a shy boy.
Funnily enough, I directly tell people I love them all the time. My parents always said it and my sister and I whole-heartedly carry on the tradition. I love my husband’s family, so I tell them. I love my brother-in-law’s family, so I tell them. When my friend from Waterloo called on my birthday, I had no hesitation ending the call with, “Love you.”
I do like a lot of people. Chances are (because you are reading my blog) you are one of them and, if so, I have said I like you – just not to you. For example, after BDN stopped by to wish us a good trip to Italy, I told my gathered family, “I really like her! She’s my friend.”
A good friend from Australia (who has been reading this blog) uses the phrase, “I have a lot of time for them.” I think this is a wonderful way of expressing what really “liking” someone means, and I try to use it myself when it is true. But again, this is being said to a third-party.
I really can’t remember the last time I blatantly told someone I liked them.
I have never been a very popular person. I don’t mean that I’m not well-liked. I can really only think of a few people who have actively disliked me, and there have only been a few people I’ve met that I haven’t liked. In all probability, these differences were due to a misperception by one party or the other. Or maybe I was just being an ass.
When I say I’m not “popular” I’m talking in terms of sheer numbers. As I wrote in this post, I’m an introvert and have always held back in terms of socializing. In school I was always “so and so’s friend” or my sister’s “little sister”. I mainly had friends through association and that was fine with me.
In high school I had a fantastic group of friends. It was guys and girls and we always hung out as a group. Sometimes one of us would be absent or there would be other people along for the evening, but there was a stable main core.
Of course I knew other people – I was in drama and on the ski team, and I was friendly with all my classmates – but I didn’t feel the need to befriend anyone else. Basically, if I didn’t have direct contact with you, I didn’t know you and you had no idea who I was. I wasn’t “cool” and I didn’t care.
But that isn’t what this post is about.
This is about telling people we like them and why we don’t do it more often. Are we just to assume someone likes or dislikes us based on their behavior?
I try to always treat people kindly, this doesn’t necessarily mean that I like them. Maybe I’m just being friendly or polite. I may have held the door for them or am riding in the elevator discussing the weather. I pass the same people in the hall everyday and we exchange pleasantries, but I don’t know them enough to say I like them.
I don’t know the answers to any of the questions I’ve asked, all I know is that today it felt nice to say, “I like you.”