It’s Okay If You’re Not Liked

It’s Okay If You’re Not Liked

Today’s food for thought is about being liked, and focusing energy on being liked. Consider:

It’s okay if everyone doesn’t like you.

I spent a lot of time trying really (really!) hard to be pleasant to be around, someone others would want to have as a friend, to be liked by everyone. Pass on rocking the boat or ruffling feathers.

I used to think being liked was one of the most important things in life. Now I’m not so sure.

There have been some benefits. Growing up, I could get along with pretty much any classmate or teammate. Teachers and coaches found me “a joy!” to have in class and coachable. This effort to get along probably made school and those wily and unpredictable adolescent years easier in some ways. I was never really in any friendship or teacher drama, nor do I recall my parents getting reports that I didn’t play well with others.

Now with some more life under my belt — I’m realizing that always trying to be liked by everyone all of the time (and placing my worth on how well I thought I was doing) is exhausting and impractical.

To try and be liked ALL OF THE TIME resulted in rarely (or never) voicing true thoughts or opinions, as well as trying to fit into a mold I’d constructed of who I thought I should be — and this person I thought I should be wasn’t even real. It was also an exercise in insanity and frustration. With over 7 billion people on this planet with 7 billion life experiences and perspectives, I’m pretty confident at least one of them has or has had an opinion that differs from my own.

When I’m trying so hard to be liked, I’m not really being myself. And not being myself? This ends up hurting way more than someone not liking me. (I’ve had that happen and, though surprisingly at the time, I didn’t spontaneously combust.)

Yes, learning to get along with others can be helpful and useful — to a point. When the line has been crossed and that is all you do? Perhaps it’s not so useful anymore because you lose yourself.

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