When I was in my teens, I shared a lot of mutual friends with a girl that attended the same sixth form college as me, and consequently we seemed to spend a lot of time around each other. This would have been fine, other than the fact that she really disliked me. It bothered me and I would go out of my way to talk to her, try and make her laugh and do little things that I thought might please her. It didn’t work – she continued to be cold and distant when she was around me and remained that way until we finished our courses and left. I haven’t seen or heard from her since. Looking back, I can’t believe I wasted so much time and effort – I didn’t actually like her that much to begin with…
The simple fact is that we all like to be liked, even by people that we do not like ourselves. We seek approval, validation and even empathy. We want to be understood, to be praised. Our social media activities are focused on the amount of ‘likes’ and followers we can gain, and the respect that we are often given in the online world will depend how big our numbers are. It’s an inherent, irrational human trait and the overall desire for approval from others can often result in a compromise of actions, behaviour and lifestyle. Indeed, I have compromised myself on many occasions to try and please those around me. It took until I was in my late twenties to realise a few valuable things about people and friendships.
1. Regardless of who you are and what you do, there will always be those that simply don’t like you.
2. That’s ok.
After years of bending over backwards for others I stopped being a people pleaser and started to focus on improving myself for me and me alone. I realised that I was the only person that would remain with me throughout the entirety of my life and that it was my own opinion of myself that was more important that those I spent time with.
Does the knowledge that you are disliked upset you? Here are a few questions you need to consider:
1. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and know that you are a good person?
2. Do you live life with morals that you are proud of?
3. Do YOU like you?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions honestly, then nothing else should matter. Go about your business, continue to be a good person, be there for others when they need it, but make sure you are content with yourself first.
And if others don’t like you? They clearly weren’t worth your time in the first place…
What about you? Do you go out of your way to please others?
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