I dislike being the one to break it to you, but even if you consider yourself to have a self-proclaimed degree in people pleasing, there are always going to be people who hate you and what you do in this world.
Hate is a strong word, I know. But the human race is filled with a lot of people who aren’t afraid to not only feel it, but also openly express it — and with pride. And chances are, even if you don’t consider yourself a hateful person, you too have a hatred for someone or something, even if it is something as trivial as waiting in line or as annoying as being bitten by mosquitos.
So with hate being a seemingly integral part of the human experience, what makes you think you could ever get to a point where you are never the recipient of it? And more importantly, why would you ever want to?
Here is my take on this harsh reality, why we need to accept it, and how we can all react to it in a far healthier way than we currently do:
While hatred as a whole certainly bothers me — especially the more radical forms of it — what irks me far more is how so many of us choose to react to it. Rather than seeing it as a challenge to overcome and a means by which we can identify and maintain our uniqueness, we instead give up aspects of ourselves to avoid being seen as “weird” or “different.”
A simple example of this that I’m sure many of us can relate to happens in the car all the time — you’re driving to work, or school, or wherever else, and your favourite song comes on the radio. You, of course, naturally sing along until you come to a red light, where you not only need to bring your vehicle to a complete stop but you also tend to bring your singing to one as well. Why? Because chances are you are going to be stopping alongside several other vehicles who will now have a clear view of everything you do in your car.
Is singing in your car something that you would naturally do without anyone watching? In the example above, obviously. Then why do we let the potential observation and opinions of others hold us back from doing what we’d otherwise love to do?
This is the part of hatred that particularly bothers me, and it’s something that I’ve made a conscious effort of trying to re-wire from the state my self-conscious teenage years left it in.
I know that even if I dedicated a great deal of my time to ensuring that I never “ruffled any feathers,” I’d still rub some people the wrong way, so why bother trying to please anyone at all?
An Important Element to Set Straight
Before I go any further, it’s important that I set something straight to avoid being misunderstood and taken out of context. I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT WE ALL ACT RECKLESSLY AND WITH NO REGARD FOR HOW OUR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS CAN IMPACT OTHERS.
I am simply reminding you of the importance of not giving up aspects of yourself to try and please others, and to instead celebrate and appreciate your individuality.
We all have an internal moral compass to guide us through our decision-making, helping us decipher the right from the wrong, the good from the bad, and that part of ourselves should never be neglected.
A World Filled With Examples
No matter who you currently look up to or are inspired by in this world, I can guarantee that they too are hated by a healthy portion of the population. What allowed them to get a point where you identified them as admirable was their willingness to rise above the hatred rather than let it stop them from pursuing whatever it is that they have now attained success within.
Instead of solely admiring their body of work or expertise, choose to appreciate what got them there and find that same strength within yourself to go after whatever you’d like to accomplish. People pleasing may come with the short-term benefit of avoiding some confrontation, but it has the long-term disadvantage of potentially obstructing you from being yourself, which, in my opinion, is essential to happiness.
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