My blog friend G Sandwich wrote a great post the other day about writing.  Sometimes as a journalist she (and every other journalist in the known world) would need to file copy, so they would “milk” an already written article – basically rewrite the story using mainly the same facts.  The other option is to write a “follow-up”.  This is where the majority of the new story is actually new, but just brings up different viewpoints or more info.  Here’s hoping that todays post is a follow-up and not a milk.

Last week I wrote about saying I Love you unconditionally.   My blogging friend Deep As Thought commented that sometimes she would like important people in her life to say, not necessarily I love you (though I think everyone wants that) but “I like you because ….”  That got me thinking.

Growing up, my Mother was very critical.  In 3rd grade, I remember getting a 95 on a test.  I was proud of myself.  I went home and told my Mom.  her response: “Well, if you’d studied harder you would have had a 100.” ( No- my Mother was not nominated for parent of the year that year, or any year since.)  These words from my Mother never got less harsh as time passed, but guess what, my grades got worse.  I stopped studying and doing homework.  How I managed to escape High School with an average somewhere in the B range is a testament to being somehow smart enough to get through a test. What I lacked in actual book knowledge I made up for in an uncanny ability to figure out multiple choice questions.  In my teenage mind, my Mother was not going to appreciate anything I did, so why should I try? No- I hadn’t yet learned the art of doing things for myself.  Again, my Mom was so controlling, I didn’t think having my own thoughts and actions was possible. She did not like who I was. Thanks Mom.

My Mothers words and actions continued to dominate my thoughts and actions.  This lasted for way too long.  I had a long line of mistakes and missteps that can be directly attributed to my weird relationship with her.  Because at the root of everything, my Mother did not like me.  She did not like what I did.  She had comments about my weight, choice in friends, what I wore, what I read, how I spent my free time.  There was little in my life she did not criticize.  As a child and a teenager and young adult, even as a real adult, it did not feel great to think that my Mother didn’t like me.  It sort of zaps your confidence.  Well, not sort of.  It  totally zaps your confidence.  And if you don’t feel confident, then you really can’t succeed at anything,  you really can’t ever be happy.  You walk around with a feeling of not being worthy of anything.  This is not a great path to be on.  It is a dizzying downward spiral.  It is a spiral that is hard to recover from.

All because my Mother never said “I like….”

We all want to be liked, especially by our parents.  Shouldn’t the assumption be that a parent likes their child?  As a Mother, I know I want my daughter to feel loved, liked and appreciated every day.  I make sure I praise her about the things she does well at, give constructive criticism if the situation warrants it, thank her when she does something nice, and tell her I love her.  (Don’t worry- I screw up a lot too- I’m sure one day she will write a blog and tell you all the horrible things I did…)  But I really try.

So here’s your homework assignment.  Really think about why you like all the people in your life.  Think about their positive attributes that draw you to them.  Tell them.  Tell the people in your life why you like them.

Here’s my list:

  1. I like it when my husband takes out dog out for the 10pm walk, because if I’m home I like to be in my pajamas by then.  He knows this is important to me, which is why he does it.
  2. I like it that my daughter comes home and takes care of school work right away.  This makes my life so easy.  I have never had the dreaded homework fight.
  3. I like my best friend S because she is a vault.  I can tell her anything and she will not even share it with her husband.  Everyone needs a friend like that.
  4. I like my friend G because she will always tell you the truth.  Sometimes I need the reality.
  5. I like my friend M because she is completely realistic.  She knows that sometimes life has to be ugly, and she will guide me through the cold hard facts.
  6. I like my friend A because she is truly the funniest, most sarcastic person I;ve ever met.  No matter what the situation, she finds the humor, no matter how dark.  I need this type of person in my life.
  7. I like my friend SF because he is willing to argue with me.  We differ on certain subjects, and he’s never afraid to engage, even though he’s always wrong.
  8. I like my friend M2 because she loves culture.  I need a friend I can go to a museum, concert or whatever with because those experiences are fun to share

I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.

Tell someone you like them.  It really means a lot.  They will like it.


43 thoughts on “That’s What I Like About You

  1. Great post Waking. I don’t see any evidence of milking here. You make some very important points about parenting and family life, and I agree with all of them. My father was very critical. But I have forgiven him because I know he did the best he could, and thought he was doing the right thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like how honest you are with your thoughts and how you are always striving to be a loving Mom/wife/good friend! Oh, and I like how you make me smile when you get your mail order clothes and find the best ways to organize your house/life! 🙂

    Good news – each time we speak “positively” to our daughters, we reverse the negative words of our mothers! So… you are correct, telling someone what we LIKE about them is really needed – makes them know we appreciate them and we feel good.


    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is a great reminder. We often take people we love for granted, becoming comfortable in the known, the steady. We’ve used a blessings jar in our home. It is so easy to get beat up by life and not remember the good side of things. I seal a jar and keep a pen and paper close to it. If something blesses you, you write it on a piece of paper and drop it in the jar. The last day of the year I unseal the jar and we take turns pulling the pieces of paper out of the jar and reading them out loud. It helps all of us to remember all the positive things that happened during the closing year.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you for this post. As mothers we’re not perfect, we’re human and no one gave us a manual but for most of us who have that mother daughter relationship that isn’t quite conventional it makes us a better parent. This post has definitely got me thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “In my teenage mind, my Mother was not going to appreciate anything I did, so why should I try? ” Damn does that ever sound familiar! Why? I get that isn’t an answer I will ever get, but seriously, why? Why would a parent EVER do this to a child? It has messed me up for so long and has been just a giant slug to try and even put a dent in repairing the damage that has done.

    Having grown up that way, I try incredibly hard to monitor how I talk to my kids so that I never inadvertently make them feel the same way, though I know I am FAR from perfect and still make missteps. Thankfully, my kids have, so far, shown themselves to be pretty strong and will call me on it if I mess up too bad.

    Because I’m very much the kind of person who needs to hear things like this (again, thanks Mom!), I think I’m more conscious of trying to tell those that matter to me that they do and all the little things I’m so appreciative of. My Hubby hears it so much he probably sometimes thinks it is just stuff I say, but I tell him anyway. I don’t ever want those that I care about to ever wonder if that care is real and meaningful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know ! How does a parent say things like that and think it’s right! The worst part for me is that if I try to talk about this to my mom, she still 100% thinks she was right. She won’t even consider that this was a bad approach. But I agree. I try to watch what I say to my daughter and how to say it. I think it’s so important to try to be positive and give your kids valuable life lessons and instill them with confidence. Because as an adult, I know how hard the journey has been for me

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “In 3rd grade, I remember getting a 95 on a test. I was proud of myself. I went home and told my Mom. her response: “Well, if you’d studied harder you would have had a 100.”” I thought I was the only one who had a mum to say such! I remember once getting a 100 on an essay, showing it to her all happy, she read it and said, “You could have done better on that paragraph, and you misspelled this word.” Seriously?! I learned at an early age, my mother was not the person to show things I was happy with to, she was great at stealing the joy. Of course I’d still sometime ‘forget’ and show her stuff, immediate reality check, don’t do that. I will say over the years my mum has tempered her critical comments (in part because for years every time she would talk about what a kind and supportive person she was, I’d tell her she was the most critical person I knew. And my mother really likes to be thought of as a ‘kind person’. And because now as an adult before I tell her anything I tell her specifically the kind of response I’m seeking and give her an ‘out’ if she thinks she won’t be able to do that). I grew up thinking I was a complete idiot, such a skewed reality. Thank goodness for good therapy! LOL. I think a large reason I do go around telling people the things I appreciate and like about them is due to the mother-daughter relationship I had growing up and not wanting anyone else to feel the way I felt in their relationships with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. great post. my own mother has never seemed to really like me or my brother. she constantly talks negatively to me about him, so I’m certain she’s telling someone else negative things about me. she’s a very negative and judgmental person. she’s the type of person who never compliments me on my hair, you know the kind…”Oh, did you get your hair cut?” and then crickets…that’s it. There’s never a follow up like “it’s cute”, “looks good on you”. It’s because of this behavior that I think I over compliment my own daughters. And I’m very cognizant of how I speak to them or if I’m not speaking enough to them.
    I don’t even think I have that many good friends anymore. I want people to like me, but I feel like I’m easily forgettable to them. Especially people I have known for 20+ years.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, I can relate to this. I recall bringing home a report card with all A’s and one B+. All my mother said was “What a shame you couldn’t have done better than a B+ in chemistry.” Her biggest concern regarding anything we did was, what will the neighbors say and how will it reflect on her. Truly, though, I think she both liked and loved us, it was herself she couldn’t love. So glad for friends and family who accept us unconditionally, warts and all!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh sister, you hit the nail on the head with this post. I am almost 63 (in 10 days) and I still am waiting for my mom to say she likes something about me. I think it might just be that generation. Always putting “what will others think” above anything else. Funny thing is, my mom will say she hates something about me (usually my hair as I do very weird colors and cuts…right now I am rocking a teal blue faux hawk with geometric shapes cut in the rest and colored in bright dyes!) but she will always want photos to show her friends and often strangers with a weird sort of pride. I will NEVER be the person who she has always wanted me to be and I keep telling her that but I guess she still hopes I’ll change. I always try to tell people, especially my four grands, what I like about them. Because “I love you” is generic.
    I like how you think you are always right! We must be related as I think I am right most of the time, too.
    I like how you write about things I will never experience, since I am a social introvert and rarely ever venture out of my house.
    I like how proud you are of your daughter and are not afraid to “toot her horn”.
    I like how you are not afraid to share your heart with us.

    Thank you for this important reminder. I am off now to write notes to my three older grands (7,6, 4) to tell them what I like about them.


    1. Thank you so much for all the kind words! I love all the honesty in your posts and comments! I love when people accept who and what they are, because that’s what we need to see. A confident content person is a treat to come across, and great to be friends with! FYI….my friend sf loved the part about me being right! First thing he said in his email to me this morning!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You know what? You have totally inspired me! I am going to make a list for each of my family members (lucky I have a small family, or this could take awhile!) and let them know what I like about each of them.
    Thank you for the reminder to be kind to everyone, not just those who “should know” that I love and value them. Merry Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks. My mom was truly my best friend growing up and I was very spoiled. There was never another bestie who believed in me and my brothers as much as she did. Today, I ran into one of my students from a decade ago who remembered me as her elementary teacher. I was dumbfounded as she remembered my name. I left without asking her if she was in college…surely very very bright but today she paid me the best compliment.


  12. Great post. I’m sorry your mom didn’t like you. Mine was tough to love, but I always knew she loved me, and I’m sure she felt the same about me. For my kids’ Christmas gifts this year I made scrapbooks. I’m not a crafty person, so said books are no works of art, but I had the brilliant idea of having their dad (Studly Doright) write a foreword in each of their books, and I wrote one of my own. In these we told our kids things we’d never really said. I cried reading my husband’s words. He cried reading mine. I hope they both know how much we love them.


  13. You hit the nail on the head! It is important to people to be like and appreciated for who they are. We are different things to different people and there are certain people that hold places in our lives that are unique to them. Thanks for stating what should be obvious, but maybe the fact that it is obvious makes it easy to overlook.


  14. I agree. My mother used to say, “I love you, but I don’t always like you.” I understood what she meant, but it never felt good to hear that, because, as you so clearly explain, we all just want to be liked…for something.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Another very interesting post. I have discussed this very often with my sister. When we were kids, we hardly got an appreciative remark from our mom. Even when we got a 100. We were never appreciated for our looks or the talent we had. We grew up as these less confident, not-so-good (in our head) adults. We had to later on work real hard in order to discover ourselves and gain our confidence.
    Knowing my mom, the reason she did (or rather did not) what she did (not) is because she did not want to raise two snobs. According to her kids who get used to too much appreciation tend to think no end of themselves. According to her, no matter how good you are, there is always room for becoming better. You get appreciation from outside, but at home it is the duty of parents to keep the kids grounded.
    This was her philosophy and neither of us agree to it. We make sure that we give our kids enough appreciation so that they grow into confident adults.
    But like you said, when they grow up and write their own blogs, they will have a list of things that we did wrong.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’s hard when parents can’t even think about what you say. I wish my mom was more open minded to her actions in the past, and in the present. I know my mother would like us to be closer, but she just doesn’t get certain things, like I want to be talked to, not at. Communication is so hard

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I enjoyed reading your post. I, too, have a mother who has or had an issue with controlling me and criticizing me throughout my teens and all the way up into my 30s. I detached myself from her mental and verbal grasp in my late 30s. We have gotten along pretty well since then, but it may have to do with the distance between us (she lives in LA and I in PA). Nevertheless, I, too, have forgiven my mom for her hurtful words. Also, you are right about everyone wants and needs to be liked (and loved, really). Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 I like your post very much. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think that all the time. I also try (although I often fail) to say three nice things to people at work (love that top, look at those great boots, etc.). We need to practice more. PS I LIKE YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

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