I Want Everyone to Like Me

So, here’s the deal…

I want everyone to like me.

I mean, everyone. The people who read my posts on Facebook, the cashier at the grocery store, everyone I meet at networking events, my former bosses and co-workers, the mail carrier, each of you who reads this newsletter…

It’s true. In my fantasy world I am pleasing to everyone. I’m just the cup of tea that everyone wants to sip with glee! With GLEE, darnit!

Of course, I do not live in this fantasy land. And neither do you.

Most of us want to be likeable (and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing) but our desire to be pleasing to everyone, all of the time, can become a draining and negative force in our lives.

For a very long time, I operated with a belief system that everyone should like me. I measured my success as a friend, employee, co-worker, and and overall human being against this (highly unrealistic) bar.

Guess what this belief got me?

  • Anxiety

  • Horrible boundaries

  • Constant worry that I wasn’t “measuring up”

  • Inability to be truly present

  • Wasted energy in relationships or friendships that weren’t healthy

  • Resentment (or regret) about doing things that I didn’t really want to do

  • Lack of clarity about what I stood for and valued

  • Missed opportunities to be joyful and celebrate the good things in my life

Do you find yourself worrying a lot about how others feel about you or perceive you? Maybe this fear rears its head at work, or in social settings, or in your dating life… 

I’ve worked with many clients who have endured the pain of feeling compromised emotionally, physically, and even sexually, because they were afraid of not being pleasing, polite or “liked.”

Whether it’s saying yes to (yet another) visit from the in-laws, following a career path because of family pressure or having sex on a date when it’s not really what you want, the desire to avoid being disliked can be powerful and can lead us away from our truth.

So, what is the truth?

The truth is, the belief system “everyone must like me” is flawed. It’s unrealistic. And it is only going to set you up for frustration, sadness and the endless pursuit of being “good enough.”

The good news is that we can challenge and change our beliefs! So, in this case, a healthier belief might be: “It is unrealistic that everyone on this planet is going to like me. As long as I am being kind, authentic and living my truth, I am enough.”

Whew! Doesn’t this new belief sound so much lighter? More attainable? And more full of freedom for you to shine your unique light into this world without so much fear of judgment?

Listen, I still love being liked. And I am a believer in kindness, generosity, acceptance, and showing love to others. And, yes, we should never stop pursuing the best version of ourselves. But, we aren’t going to please everyone all of the time.

Sure, in my fantasy land everyone loves everyone. And there would also be no jealousy, bullying, scarcity mentality or comparison culture…but, unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. We can only control how we treat others. We cannot control the lens through which others see us. Their perception of us is shaped by what they bring to the table as a result of their own fears, insecurities and life experiences.

So, give yourself a break. Choose to adopt a belief about being liked that is rooted in reality; one that gives you freedom to be yourself, to find your tribe and to ignore the haters.

And, hey, don’t just take it from me. Listen to this really smart woman in a really fancy robe who also has a message for you. (Not trying to get political, but this tickled me too much not to share!)

Need some help with setting better boundaries, resisting people pleasing or feeling more confident about YOU? Drop me a line at coachingwithamanda@gmail.com and let’s chat!

Amanda is a trained Life Coach and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling. As a recovering risk-avoiding scaredy-cat, she is passionate about empowering women to live and love boldly. Amanda shares her inspiration through personal coaching, corporate training, workshops and international retreats. She particularly loves working with women in the areas of dating/relationships, career growth, and overall self-confidence.  Learn more about Amanda at lifecoachamanda.com

My Single Valentine

(I first published this post in February of 2014, but I think it still stands true and I’m hoping it’ll reach a few more hearts this year. Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies.)

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a male co-worker about relationships and my state of singleness. Okay, if I’m honest, it was one of many conversations I had made this kind man patiently endure on this topic. After listening to me drone on about my horrible affliction for the gazillionth time, he asked with a voice of exasperation, “Amanda, why do you let being single define you so much?”

I remember it like it was yesterday because it struck me deeply and I felt embarrassed.

He was right.

Something clicked and I realized that he didn’t see me as his “single friend Amanda.” He saw me as a smart, funny, interesting woman and he was baffled – and almost angry – that I could not see myself the same way simply because I was single.

But sometimes it’s hard not to fret about our relationship status, isn’t it?

And, on Valentine’s Day, when we are literally getting slapped in the face with heart-shaped balloons, it’s particularly hard to ignore the questions—“Why haven’t I met The One?” “Am I doing something wrong?” “Am I swiping left too much on Bumble?”

So, as I prepared to write this article, I went to the ultimate source for answers— Google.

Whoa! There is a lot of information out there about what you’re doing wrong and what you need to change about yourself to score a relationship: “be more aggressive,” “don’t make the first move,” “wear more skirts,” “don’t be so picky”… does any of this sound familiar?

After reading all the dizzying advice, I started thinking about the tape that runs in the heads of single women. It’s no wonder that women feel a sense of shame and responsibility for their singleness. It’s tough out there, and it’s hard not to look for an explanation as to why you haven’t found the right person.

But, unfortunately, all too often that internal tape turns into negative thoughts and self-blame about not being enough or doing enough to be in a relationship.

I’m not going to attempt to tell you why you are single or offer up a to-do list for how to get a relationship. But, I will ask you this one question: would you do anything differently?

When you look at how you live your life, does it bring you peace and comfort – and maybe even a sense of pride? If it does, then what is it about you that needs to change?

  • If you are open and vulnerable to the idea of love and relationships, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are “putting yourself out there” in a way that honors your authenticity and values, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are waiting for the right fit – even if it means being alone for now, don’t change a thing.

  • If you can accept imperfection in others and yourself, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are pursuing activities that fulfill you, don’t change a thing.

  • If you have relationships that help you to be your best self, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are a source of love and encouragement to others, don’t change a thing.

  • If you take care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally, don’t change a thing.

Listen, I’m not trying to sugar coat the pain that comes with wanting to share your life with someone and that reality feeling out of reach. It’s okay to be sad about it sometimes, abuse chocolate in times of need, or to cry out “what is taking so long?” But, at the end of this well-deserved venting session, I hope you’ll ask yourself “would I do anything differently?”

If you can say no to that question, I hope you’ll take a moment to marvel at your life; a life that you have worked hard to create; a life that is being lived with intention, strength and character.

And, if you would like to do some things differently, I encourage you to think about what you’re waiting for… Are you afraid that if you get too busy loving your life you’ll miss out on meeting someone? Are you letting your fears and insecurities rule your decision making? If so, maybe it’s time to quit letting your singleness define you.

No one can guarantee you a relationship. However, being able to say “I wouldn’t do anything differently” can help ease the sting of the disappointments and will put you in an emotional space that allows you to be open and ready for the many gifts this life has in store for you.

Yes you may be single.  But, girl, you are so much more. Now go out and live like it.

Tired of dating the same way with disappointing results? Ready to get clear on what it is you need in a relationship (not necessarily just what you want)? I have one spot left for my popular Dating with Authenticity and Confidence workshop in Austin, TX on Sunday, February 26th. Change your dating story in 2017! Learn more here

Amanda is a trained Life Coach and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling. As a recovering risk-avoiding scaredy-cat, she is passionate about empowering women to live and love boldly. Amanda shares her inspiration through personal coaching, corporate training, workshops and international retreats. She particularly loves working with women in the areas of dating/relationships, career growth, and overall self-confidence. www.lifecoachamanda.com