I’m looking at the point in another of my quote images for this article – you might like it, you might not…
I took that photo down at Lyme Regis in Dorset. It was looking over the famous harbour wall known as The Cobb, as the sun went down. I had gone down to try and get some sunrise and sunset shots – to be honest the sunset wasn’t quite in the right position to get the shots I had wanted, so I snapped away enjoying what was there anyway, because as I often say, life happens whether it’s quite as we’d hoped or not!
I quite like this one with the sun peeking over the top, and the idea of angles and light and dark seems to me to make the words go well with the image…
Will everyone like you? No, and that’s ok.
Here’s a more important question…do YOU like you?
Everyone wants to be liked, everyone likes to be liked.
It makes the world an easier and more enjoyable place if people like us. It validates our thoughts, our actions, people smile at us and do things for us, people don’t do bad things to us and so on and so on. It removes a whole lot of stress and problems if people like us.
Phew, that’s a whole lot of reasons for why it’s good for people to like us! Brain science reasons about validation, and practical reasons about how we operate in the real physical world.
So it’s not hard to see why people strive to be liked. We can *get* people to like us if we act in a certain way. If we find out what people want in order for them to like us, and then do that, they’ll like us, right? That’s a good thing, right?
Well, yes and no.
There are some benefits to that approach, clearly. But, and it’s a big but, there are some real dangers, and it’s these dangers which drive the point I’m making.
If we are acting in a certain way to get people to like us, we need to be asking what it is we are doing, and who it is we are trying to get to like us.
As the words in the image say – not everyone will like you, and that’s ok. If you think of the most liked person you know, there will still be people who don’t like them, precisely *because* so many others do!
It’s an impossible wish. It can’t be done, and to overly worry about it is a road to nowhere.
Note that I don’t say we shouldn’t worry about it at all, but that we shouldn’t overly worry about it. It’s a key difference.
If we accept that not everyone will like us, and that it’s ok, we can then ask ourselves about the people that don’t.
Do they matter?
Now, that’s not to be glib. It can really make a difference if some people like us or not, in career or relationships for example, but if we are sucking up to them, or subjugating ourselves, or acting in way we know is wrong to others or without integrity, then we are on the wrong side of that other more important question asked in the image…
Do YOU like you?
You can control whether others like you, but only up to a point, and that point should always be the limits of where you like you! Acting with integrity to yourself is a key foundation to a fulfilled life, and it follows that to act without integrity leads to an unfulfilled life.
Acting without self integrity may lead to ‘success’ in some quarters if others like you, but that success will always be undermined by the knowledge that it was bought by you acting in a way you knew was wrong, or not in line with the real you.
If you act in a way that you know is right for you, that’s in line with your beliefs about right and wrong, about treating others as you’d want to be treated, then you have that solid foundation of ‘you liking you’.
Not everyone will like it. That’s ok.
It could impact those areas of life like career and relationships. That’s ok.
Some people will try and direct you back towards what you know is wrong, holding sway with the consequence of what would happen if they stopped liking you.
That’s not ok.
It’s a clear sign that they only ‘like’ you in so far as it serves them, not you. They could move the goalposts at any time, and then what do you do?
There we have the other key problem in acting out of needing others to like us. Not only is it unhealthy for us, we have this constant dilemma of goalpost moving. You might have to then change the way you act yet again to suit their demands, and then again if they move the goalposts again.
On it goes, and you will always risk being caught in that cycle if you put others liking you above the importance of you liking you. It’s a house of cards that can come tumbling down very, very quickly.
Don’t sign up to other people’s agendas.
Look to the people that like you. Look to the people that you want to like you. Then look at how you act in the world. Could it be that you’re pandering to others? I don’t believe that you should totally disregard others in the way you act, far from it in fact, but could it be that you have forgotten the more important question – Do YOU like you?
Ok, let me know what you think as ever – I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
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