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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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