Not Everyone is Going to Love You & That's Okay!
I once believed that everyone should like me. Why not? I’m friendly, loyal, kind and giving. Not only that, but I was a people pleaser, too. Little did I know that people pleasing was preventing me from being my true self. Anyone who looked close enough recognized and took advantage of my kind-hearted nature.
I’ve changed my perspective in life greatly during the past five years. I learned that, while it is important to be aware of other people’s needs, I was neglecting myself in meeting them. I said “yes” to every invitation, request, favor, yet said “no” to myself based on the belief that I had to always be selfless. This led to frequent feelings of bitterness, resentment and exhaustion.
I began to self-reflect and act on putting myself first, my life began to change… as did some of the people in it. The negative and toxic people who were so demanding of my time and energy became angry as I prioritized my needs ahead of their own. I eventually learned that their behavior was not something I caused, but rather a reflection of how they thought of themselves. It was a lesson on being responsible for your own actions.
As I continued to filter the negativity out of my life (some of which I admit was self-inflicted based on the limitations I placed on taking care of myself), the doors opened for so many more positive people to enter my life. I began to realize that with billions of people in the world, it’s alright if a few or more don’t get along with me, or vice versa.
Social media has infiltrated our daily lives. As a result, people are constantly comparing themselves to others and feeding off their negative behaviors. By so doing, we are quickly losing our own identity. It’s important now more than ever to learn how to love yourself first. This is not to be confused with self-absorption or narcissism, however. Rather, it’s a way to setting yourself up to be of legitimate worth to those around you. Negativity is always going to come your way, but when you stop worrying about the opinions of others…. that is freedom.
Whenever someone asks you to do something, think about how doing it would make you feel first. When we are in a good mood, we tend to agree to do things without fully processing what it is we are asked to do. We may consequently regret agreeing once we understand the task we’ve opted to undertake. Instead, give yourself time to consider what others ask of you before answering, and whether you have the time, resources, ability or wherewithal to accede their request(s). Always remember that, unless surrounding circumstances dictate otherwise it’s not necessary to reply immediately. When I used to say “yes” to everything and everyone, I found myself unable to do as good of a job as was expected, or worse, I was forced to cancel and therefore disappoint the person I initially said yes to.
Become acquainted with your beliefs. Ponder on why, exactly, you come last on your own list. This will be difficult to do. With effort and consistency, however, your life will begin to change in a multitude of positive ways.
When you make a commitment to acknowledge your self-worth, you will discover that not everyone will support you and cheer you on (possibly including close friends and family). In case this situation comes to pass for you, you should master communicating from a place of love. Talk to your close friend or family member and help them understand that if they truly care about you, they would respect any decision you make geared towards improving, respecting and loving. If you continue to experience negativity from them after this discussion, perhaps it may be time put distance between yourself and them.
When I made the decision to become the priority of my life and start my own business, I faced resistance from several of my closest friends and family members. When I explained the significance of what I was doing, however, they listened, understood and supported me in my endeavors. Those who instead opted to be negative no longer have a place in my life, and that’s okay!
We grow up being taught that we must think of others first. Well, I’m here to tell you something difference. I’m here to tell you that you should instead think of yourself first. Think about it; by taking care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually, you are priming yourself to provide that same care to others.
When other people put you down, they do so because of their own inability to or fear of making positive changes within their own lives. Change is hard, but once you put your mind to it, you will achieve it.
Staying true to who you are will cause you to live more positively. Positive energy is cumulative; the more you give, the more you get. The more you get, the more you’ll be able to do in your life!
Sometimes, I encounter people who feel the need to put me down or speak disrespectfully about me. That’s okay. It’s not my character they are referring to with their disrespect, but rather, their own. We cannot control how someone treats us, but we absolutely can control how we respond to that treatment.
Today I live by the mantra that “what other people say about me is none of my business,” and work hard to be the best I can be.
I am happy to be me!