Hearing this the first time from a very close friend felt like a punch to the gut, and at first I refused to believe it. Even after years of health coaching, meditations, healing retreats, and daily work in my own heart, I resisted these 7 very simple words, hard.
“Not everyone is going to like you”
I have unintentionally spent most of my life trying to avoid this truth. Countless hours have been dedicated to explaining myself, investing my time trying to win people over, filtering my words, my thoughts, me. Forced connections with people have wasted not only my time but theirs, based solely in the fear that they didn’t like me. I have launched wars on myself over-analyzing every word said, movement made, joke cracked. all in the pursuit to make the whole world love me.
Blinded by my pursuit of validation there have been times I cannot even see or appreciate all the love I do have in my life. And more than that, seeking the love of the world causes the deepest wound of all. forgetting to love myself. I become chained to myself, the vines of self directed hatred rooting themselves so deeply in my heart and mind, I don’t even see that it is my own thoughts slowly suffocating me. Pieces of me break off. Fear takes over. I become a shell of myself. all in the pursuit to make the world love me. all in the pursuit to avoid the simple truth….
not everyone is going to like you.
I know I am not alone in this. It is so deeply human to want to be loved and accepted, so it’s natural to want to avoid being disliked. Part of the fear is because we, as humans, have made being disliked a very personal and deeply painful experience. We have allowed being disliked to equate the depth of our character, a measure against the amount of love we deserve, and a testament against our worthiness.
I have denied the validity of this statement because of the fear I let surround it, because I let it be truth that if I was disliked it was because my character, if I was disliked it was because I was not loveable, if I was disliked it was because I was unworthy. And though it is a constant practice to change the truths my mind believes, I have come to not only accept but welcome and celebrate the fact that…
not everyone is going to like me.
simply because not everyone knows how to like themselves. I challenge you to do a little homework, if it’s in writing, or just in thought, think about or be aware when you find yourself not liking someone. What is it about that person that you don’t like? Is it the words they say to you? Is it behaviors they choose? Is it just a general feeling?
Practicing this homework myself I started seeing a pattern. When I didn’t like something about someone, I started seeing that what it was that I didn’t like, was actually the reflection of the things in myself I didn’t like, that I was seeing mirrored in them. Or I was seeking something from this person that they refused to offer me or offered the opposite, whether that be love, understanding, or validation, they triggered my shit.
I want to offer a deeply personal story in the growth I have experienced in this. I grew up in a house with drug addicts and alcoholics, and there have been many hurtful things that have been said to me throughout the years. One that has deeply affected me, and is one that I still work on daily, was that deep in the throws of my brother’s drug use, he told me often and to my face, that no one would ever love me. I grew up believing this to be true, so every time something even remotely triggered this truth in me, I lost my shit. Like really lost my shit, because I was so terrified that it was true. A few years ago, I found health coaching, started doing my daily “I love myself” meditation, and something started to shift. I sat down for 5 minutes a day, and just repeated in my head I love myself, I love myself, I love myself. And as a adult my brother said those words to me again, and not only did I think in my head well that’s not true cause I love me, but I remember looking at him, and for the first time, seeing the fear reflected back at himself. And it hit me, he hasn’t been saying this to me, what he’s been saying is “I am afraid no one will ever love me.” and I looked at him and said that is not true. I love you big brother.
Seeing this for the first time changed my whole lens of how I interacted with people. In my pursuit of needing love and validation, I wasn’t actually seeing anyone, I wasn’t hearing what they were actually saying. I was interacting from a place of fear, my own place of need, and I realized when I fulfill my own needs of love and acceptance, I can offer that to the whole world.
not everyone is going to like you.
but that does not have to make you not like yourself. In the work I do, when I am grounded in my own self-love practice, I can see that it’s not that people don’t like me but that they don’t like themselves. Not everyone will see is that way, most people will just not like you, and move on with their lives. But what I want to offer, is that being liked is not the point. As long as you live from your values, you do your best to be a good human, and you love yourself, excuse my language but, FUCK what people think about you. If someone looks you in the face and says I don’t like you, challenge yourself to see that is their inner dialogue with themselves and what you can offer them is love and understanding. If someone triggers your fears, I challenge you to love them and yourself anyways. I challenge you to stop your own pursuit of getting love, and to start the pursuit of giving all the love you can.
all in the pursuit of loving the whole damn world.