One of the top causes for unnecessary suffering is unquestionably our concern for being liked by everyone.
You might be telling yourself right now that this doesn’t apply to you and that you don’t care at all about adjusting to other people’s tastes and preferences just to fit in.
But in a way, this is something we have all done at some time and we continue to do so on a small scale.
Humans, in order to be part of their social and emotional environments, are programmed to harmonize, to tune in to others; and this often requires having to please others, to be courteous, and to even say “yes” when we feel like saying “no.”
The key to this lies in striking a balance and the assertiveness of your emotional intelligence. We all like to please others and know that people see us as approachable, but that should never cause you to feel trapped in having to please everyone constantly.
In today’s article we want to reflect on this.
The desperate need to please everyone and be liked by all
People need to “be liked,” and anyone who thinks otherwise is incorrect. To be liked means to hone your skills of seduction to attract that potential partner you’re drawn to, for example.To be liked is to project a good image during a job interview so you’ll secure your desired future.
You like people who are similar to you and to make friends, and you can’t deny the fact that sometimes you have to give up a little ground with your family to maintain harmony.
Nevertheless, giving up a little doesn’t mean losing a lot. It just means maintaining a healthy balance so everyone can coexist. If each of us were to only act in self-interest, for example by setting boundaries and building walls, we would lose the meaning of society.
The question that’s probably now going through your mind might be: Where is the limit? Where is this boundary between my identity and what society requires of me to fit in?
We’ll explain below.
That intimate process of self-discovery
Everyone has their own essence, and that essence is nothing more than your personal baggage containing your values, emotions, self-esteem, and self-awareness.
- This personal journey during which you discover who you are is a process that lasts your entire life.
- During adolescence it’s common to develop this need to please everyone. You’ve landed in the world as a social being in search of your first experiences, and you need, above all, to feel integrated.
- This can make a young person sometimes feel a serious disconnect between what they are or feel, and what others want from them.
- Society asks you to be attractive, perfect, and independent. What’s in style becomes homogenized, while your uniqueness and essence are removed. This is wrong.
Everyone has gone through these stages to at last find that inner balance, where you find that you like being unique, special, and different from the rest.
The adventure of being yourself
Far from what many people believe, being yourself isn’t easy. On the one hand, you have the expectations of your surroundings, your family, society, and your job.
- You are expected to be good children, loving partners, and effective employees.
- Although sometimes you’re just experimenting with who you are, blackmail and the expectations of others can solicit things from you that go against your values.
- The adventure of being yourself requires you to experience small confrontations, whether you like it or not. This should not be seen as wrong, however.
Not everyone has the “good taste” to appreciate you
The world won’t end with a “no, I don’t like you;” in fact, this opens up better opportunities.
- If you strive every day to have everyone like you, you pull away from yourself and that personal journey where your self-esteem, balance, and identity are inscribed.
- If someone doesn’t have the “good taste” to appreciate your character, your outrageous laughter, your sense of humor, your sarcasm, and your passion for life, don’t worry.
For each person who grimaces in disgust, there are dozens of others who empathize with who you are – the vitality that defines you and makes you unique. So don’t hesitate to enjoy every day of the adventure of being yourself.