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Monday, May 09, 2005

Which is better?

Given the choice, would you prefer to be liked or respected? I know that people respect me, or at least my brain, since where I am known, I am often the voice of authority when it comes to information and / or logic. However, I am not a "popular" person. As I've written about previously, I am not the one to whom people come when they want to hang out or have a laugh.

On the flip side, I know that some of the people who are "popular" are also not well respected. I am thinking of one coworker in particular who is rather popular (has people stopping by his cubicle all the time and so on), but people make fun of him behind his back for being dumber than a brick wall and semi-useless at his job.

I'm not sure which I'd prefer. It's good to know that I'm respected, and it would be best to be both respected and well-liked, but if I had to choose one over the other, I don't know which one I would pick.

Which would you pick?

*UPDATE* Some people have wondered (1) whether I am talking about "friends" when I talk about "being liked", and (2) whether it is possible to like someone without respecting him or her.

As to point 1, personally I'm referring to social popularity, not true friendship. That is, I mean only how many people seek you out for your company, not for real comradeship. Real friends, for me at least, are (and should be) extremely rare. Social popularity is a much more superficial thing.

As to point 2, yes, I think it is possible to like someone without respect. There are a number of people I know whom I like but don't particularly respect. That is, I don't think that they are particularly worthy of being looked up to intellectually or due to their good works or what have you. They are simply people whose company I enjoy for whatever (once again) superficial reason.


  • I don't know which would make you happier. I've never been one of the 'in' crowd, but then not many people appeal to me either - so it's ok. Sometimes I wonder about it though.

    By Anonymous Ruth, at 9:36 PM  

  • I would definitely pick the one that makes me happier. Sometimes I wish I was more popular. I have never wanted to be more respected, but maybe that's because I already feel respected?

    By Blogger suze, at 6:33 PM  

  • Definitely more respected. I could not give a damn if people actually like me.

    By Anonymous Serenity, at 11:11 PM  

  • People do not often understand your motives, experiences and concerns.

    Their perception of you will in some measure be a reflection on aspects of yourself that will react differently as a unique chemical cocktail might with the combination of both of your energies.

    Therefore, I work on just liking and respecting myself.

    The rest takes care of itself after that.

    By Blogger ZenTiger, at 6:13 AM  

  • Ahhh...I guess I have a different standard/definition for "like". I don't like most people. Social acquaintances tend to be people I don't dislike.

    I must also have a different standard/definition for "respect". I don't associate respect only with intellect/accomplishments.

    Anyway, my answer is still I'd rather be liked superficially than respected superficially.

    By Anonymous suze, at 8:51 AM  

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