Not Everyone's Going To Like You
Maria, a friend of mine was a people-pleaser. Her constant need for everyone's approval was toxic; and it's only when she moved to Canada, she realized that being her true self, was enough.
The need for love and belonging ranks third, right after safety and security and before self-esteem on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It’s the need to have friends, a social circle you confide in and a sense of connection and intimacy for you to be able to hop on to the next stage. Interpersonal relationships play a significant role in our lives and are sometimes the defining factor in who we go on to become in the future, but at times, we can take things to an extreme, increasing our dependence on it, harming and prohibiting ourselves to move on to the next need in the hierarchy.
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Mind you, we do not need to fulfill every need to 100% completion before we move on to the next stage. Maslow himself said so.
However, he (Maslow) later clarified that satisfaction of a need is not an “all-or-none” phenomenon, admitting that his earlier statements may have given “the false impression that a need must be satisfied 100 percent before the next need emerges.” (Credits: SimplyPsychology)
Therefore, a sense of detachment always helps—in giving yourself time to adjust to who you truly are and what you unwaveringly believe in. Otherwise, an increased dependency on others for your sense of happiness, satisfaction and importance, risks the chances of you becoming a pathological people-pleaser.
Maria, a close friend of mine was a people-pleaser. She couldn't bear the thought of someone disliking her or thinking poorly of her. This trait had served her well in some areas; she had always been an excellent student, a dedicated worker, and a loyal friend. But Maria’s need to be liked, also led her to compromise on her own values and beliefs.
It had become such a toxic habit that even when she wanted to say “no,” she said “yes,” going along with things she didn’t believe in at all, all in the name of avoiding conflict or disapproval.
It was only when Maria moved to Canada to start her journey as a university student, she began to notice the flaws of being a people pleaser. Her batch mates didn’t seem to be interested in getting to know her beyond the surface level, they weren’t interested in her opinions or ideas because she didn’t bring anything new to the table, and they ultimately found her boring or unimportant.
In an effort to get everyone to like her, Maria pushed everyone away because she didn’t offer a different perspective to what her batch mates had.
Over the next few weeks, Maria began to relax and let her true self shine through. She stopped trying so hard to be liked and instead focused on being true to herself. She shared her opinions, even when they weren't popular, and she pursued her interests without worrying about whether anyone else cared. She still tried to be kind and considerate, of course, but she stopped compromising her values or beliefs just to make others happy. It was scary at first but because it was a new environment and she could try and test things out, the reassurance that everything back home was still the same, kept her going.
Maria was surprised to find that as she became more authentic and less focused on pleasing others, she began to attract more genuine connections in her life. She made friends with people who appreciated her for who she was, not who she thought they wanted her to be. She felt more confident and self-assured, knowing that she didn't have to pretend to be someone she wasn't just to fit in.
And even then, there were a few who didn’t like her, which just went on to strengthen her belief that no matter what she did, there were always going to be people that could never be pleased and she had to be okay with that.
It’s not really a reflection of you, nor of them. Not everyone gels with everyone. And that’s a fact. Don’t spend precious time pondering over what one thinks of you, trying to win them over every chance you get. Instead, think about those who genuinely try to help you, who have an inclination towards your growth and who make you feel good when you’re yourself. Everyone can see your flaws but only those who can sideline them and allow you to shine are worth having next to you.
That’s our four minutes for today.