Humans crave acceptance at a deep level. Whether that be from family, friends, or colleagues, the feeling of being ‘in’ is embedded in us. Being ‘liked’ is something that is also transitioning into our digital lives, with an unfortunate number placing a lot of validation on quantity over quality. Yet no matter how much you struggle to find yourself in an inner circle, I’ve got news for you; not everyone will like you (get used to it, as that’s okay).

We’re built with an innate need to seek approval. Though our body has evolved to be fit for purpose, our minds are still playing catch up. We need to be part of a group to feel safe and secure, especially with predators lurking.

Our minds still apply such thinking to our modern, digital world. We instinctively want people to like us, as that social bubble gives us an element of support in this new environment.

So before you start thinking “I wish I didn’t care what people think so much” remember, it’s not just you, it’s a product of evolution.

 

But I still care what people think?

Three friends standing and chatting together.
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

Ever heard the phrase that people say ‘it’s good that people don’t like you because it means you stood up for something”?

To be honest, you may not have ‘stood up’ for anything. You may have been ‘you’. Yet that was enough for someone in their warped thinking that you’re not for them. Chalk and cheese. Polar opposites. For no other reason than that’s just what they feel.

Honestly? That’s life.

Everyone’s got their own background, experiences, and conditioning, which is different from yours. An example. You could remind someone of one of their exes. It’s reminded them of a negative past, and because of their entrenched mindset, that projection goes onto you.

They’d scrutinise every little thing negatively, and there’s very little you can do to change it. You may try, but with some, you’ll get nowhere.

Now, that doesn’t mean be spiteful or angry back, quite the opposite. You can be you, polite, cordial even.

Imagine, because of your overthinking, you’ve judged their personality wrong, and the ‘cold shoulder’ you’re getting is actually a shyness from a lack of social confidence. Underneath, you could have someone yearning for a good mate.

Direct your energies wisely, but always err on the side of being a good person.

The sooner you accept that’s the way of the world and that not everyone will like you, it becomes easier.

Let’s take you as an example. Do you like everyone? Honestly, everyone? Even certain celebrities you’ve formed opinions of?

There are certain people that you simply don’t vibrate on the same level with, and that’s cool. No need for negativity towards them, just keep moving. This is life, you won’t like some, and some won’t like you.

It’s tough when there’s a discrepancy between who you want to be liked by and how they act towards you. Yet if you’re not valued, are you sure that’s the type of person you want in your life?

Don’t fight a losing battle when others deserve your attention more.

Although not worrying what others think is a near-impossible task, it’s important to focus your energy elsewhere on those that deserve it.

When you begin to see that not everyone will like you and that it is okay, you can begin to see benefits in your life around you.

 

Why you shouldn’t worry that not everyone will like you:

More mental space for your own thoughts

A woman overthinking at the beach and thinking about ways on how to clear her mind.
Photo by Kristijan Arsov on Unsplash

It’s hard enough grasping for our own thoughts and to make them coherent, let alone work out others.

Trying to second guess and understand everyone’s subtleties will leave you overworked, tired, and in a more confusing space than when you began.

Instead of wondering why someone doesn’t like you, focus your energy on yourself. Where can you win? Where can you be better than yesterday?

Your thoughts then begin vibrating on a higher plane, and you’ll find yourself with a growth mindset before long.

 

Less perceived influences

A woman holding her hand up to the camera.
Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

If you’re worrying about what others think, they then control a part of your decision making.

“Should I do this to keep them happy?” “If I look like that, they’ll like me more.”

You’re selling out your unique soul for a shot at being likeable, to someone who doesn’t even notice what you’re doing.

Your spark will be a lot brighter when it stands tall and proud, not limited to a dim flicker like every other flame.

 

You can be you

A bearded man wearing sun glasses, smiling at the river.
Photo by Kirill Vasilev on Unsplash

When you’re trying to be everything for everyone, you end up being nothing for no one. Because, yep you guessed it, not everyone thinks the same way and therefore, not everyone will like you.

Be unequivocally you in all aspects of your life. How you dress. Who you are. How you approach life.

There are loads of ways you can phrase this, but the most ‘nail-on-the-head’, British way of describing it is:

“You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Unless you’re a mug”.

Don’t be a mug.

 

Allows you to say no to others

A man with a hat staring hard at the floor.
Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

Your priorities begin to align when you focus your energies in the right place.

You’ll stop forcing yourself into social scenarios you don’t want to be in. Or, maybe, you’ll stop being too kind and offering help with little thanks (not as though that’s a bad thing, but again, when directed correctly).

You have your own schedule, and that is not dictated by others. Especially those that wouldn’t give you the time, when you’d carve out entire hours for them.

Free yourself up by saying ‘no’ to the wrong people and begin saying ‘yes’ to the right people.

 

It prepares you well for future challenges

A group working on their laptops.
Photo by Headway on Unsplash

If you allow yourself to be treated like a doormat, then, unfortunately, there are people out there that will walk all over you.

Once you begin to value yourself, your time, and your life, you start building a stronger coat of armour against those who negatively affect you. And believe me, both in your professional and personal life, there’s enough of them out there.

Resilience is not a buzzword. You have to go through sh*t and get dirty to understand the ways to avoid it next time. It sucks and is very cliche, but going through the tough times provides lessons you won’t forget.

 

Those skills will be vital in all future challenges.

We’re built to seek security. To seek approval amongst a group.

But it’s also important to realise that the group you’re seeking validation from, the ones not returning your energy, is not the only group out there. It may seem tough, but valuing yourself enough to know when to be polite and to focus your input elsewhere, will set you up for success in the longer run. You’ll be more focused on the things that matter and you’ll have a better group of people around you than before.

Don’t be something for everyone. As not everyone will like you, and that’s okay.

 

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