I’m glad there’s a study that finally shows something I’ve suspected for awhile now:
This type of self-critical thinking explains what’s called the “liking gap.” The liking gap describes how we systematically underestimate how much other people like us. In a study by Dr. Erica J. Boothby, at Cornell University, and her colleagues, the researchers asked people how much they liked one another after they interacted, across a variety of contexts: in the lab, in a college dorm, at a professional development workshop. It turns out that across all of these contexts, people’s ratings of the degree to which they thought they were liked was less than the degree to which they were actually liked. This was true even for people with high self-esteem.
Many of us, especially those of us with childhood trauma in our backgrounds, are so critical of our own mistakes, so hyper-aware of our shortcomings, that we don’t realize that very few people in the world even notice to begin with, mostly because they are too busy analyzing their own behavior for shortcomings.
There’s a good chance that people really do like you, and want to be connected in some way to you. And we know, the biggest tool we have in dealing with mental health issues is human connections.