The Need to be Liked

I decided I’d pick up a few books on my way around town the other week, and The Need to be Liked by Dr. Roger Covin caught my eye. I found that this book gave me a crash course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as well as teaching me some interesting information about why we feel the need to be liked in the first place.

Of course there are some things in life that tell you the need to be liked is not of concern…like, a cute puppy for example. Although true, unfortunately we can’t always be surrounded by cute puppies 24/7 so read on and learn a little more about the book that helps you fill in some gaps.

The Clinical Psychologist, Roger Covin explains that the need to be liked affects everyone and has found that it can be a large factor in anxiety, depression and other mental health illnesses. Though it affects everyone, some struggle more than others, but where does that need come from?

R.Covin delves deep into human history to answer that question. Research found that those who worked and lived with others had a higher survival rate in comparison to those who didn’t as it was easier to build shelter, find food and ward off predators in a team rather than alone. This suggests that our brains are hard-wired to need other people to ensure that our species survived. Thousands of years later our brains haven’t changed, and it is still innate for us to search for a partner even though our threat for survival has largely decreased since caveman days.

There is a lot more to the book than just an explanation of our history, it explores the power of rejection and how we cope with the everyday occurrence of rejection. For example, if I invite a friend to the cinema one night and they say no, I might feel rejected and think that it’s because she doesn’t want me as a friend. I may even think to myself, “It’s because no one likes me and I’ll never have any true friends.” Thinking that “no one likes me! Is an example of a core belief, one that I grew up with and feel like it’s imprinted in my DNA. “I’ll never have any true friends” is a common example of “all or nothing” thinking, where I categorize things as completely one thing or another and nothing in between.

Later if I find out my friend had already got plans for the evening I asked her to hang out on, my sense of rejection may lessen, When she asks me to go to the cinema on the weekend, the feeling of rejection may fade away entirely.

I believe Dr. Roger Covin does a fantastic job in explaining both core beliefs and negative thinking patterns in his book. He talks about responding to and preparing for rejection, which I think is something everyone can benefit from learning about. I have to admit, the writing is fairly dry at times and pretty clinical, so if you have a medical background or are studying Psychology – like myself, this is a fabulous book for you. However, if you do want to give it a read I’m sure your counsellor would be more than happy to help with any ‘technical’ terms you may not fully understand. I fully recommend this book!

I find it quite fun to stir things up and read something a little challenging from time to time, but it might be a book you’d like to read privately as some of the people on the sun loungers by my side did look at me like I was a sociopath.


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