Not everyone is going to like you. *They* say that’s true. That’s the lesson we learn in early childhood at the sandbox, on the playground, when the birthday party invitations come (or don’t).
You can’t please everyone.
Same idea, different packaging when justifying life choices to family, maybe satisfying coworkers or bosses, how you dress, who you love, where you live… those decisions will not always get the approval of everyone all the time.
Not everyone will love you back.
Still the same concept–stakes are just higher. This usually involves lovers, friends, sometimes family, and spouses.
And I could waste lots of time (most of us do). I’m talking months… or, years. Paining and pining over those who don’t like me because of this or that. Looking to change *their* minds. Or show *them* wrong. Or make *them* see. Or get *them* to understand.
Instead of seeing what is also true.
Ok, so not everyone is going to like you, but there are those who will. And then there will be those who more than like you. They will LOVE you, adore you, bend over backwards and fly over the moon for you. They will believe in the things you believe in. They will care about what is important to you. You will have a mutual understanding and want good things for each other. You may fight and disagree but you will make amends and forgive. You will share dreams and aspirations, encourage and support each other.
So in light of all that, what would I do differently, and what am I doing right here and right now? I have greater confidence in the values and qualities that are meaningful to me. I am more selective when I am faced with internalizing other people’s opinions about me, especially if we don’t see eye-to-eye in significant and fundamental areas. It’s not that I discount or judge them, I just don’t have to discount or judge MYSELF because of their dislike or disapproval.
Dislike and hate is not the opposite of love and adoration. Indifference is. What’s so great about indifference is it requires no energy, no headspace and no obsession. There is so much power there. And what’s more, it clears space for those people who are willing to cross the sky and move mountains for and with you. You need to make space for them, they need to stretch out. And when it comes down to it, I’d rather have one or, if I’m super lucky, two of them instead of a thousand likes.
After much time, I’m selective about how to invest my energy. Not every rejection is worthy of disappointment (some certainly are), but a filter can be a great guide. The faster the filter doesn’t hold up, the less energy I need to spend on it. The more water it holds, the more time it may take to get past the blow. I adjust. I bend, I learn.
The right people will like you.
You will not need to please those people.
The right people will love you back.
And that is all you will ever need.