You Can’t Please Everyone

Many of us like to be liked. We like to be popular. We like to have the approval of other people. We like it when people agree with us. This is nothing novel. But there is a price to always wanting to be liked and I believe that price is huge. Many times we sacrifice saying what we really mean; doing what we believe is truly right, and living the life that others want us to lead rather the one that we believe is our purpose.

One of the best thing about my upbringing is that my parents, from a young age tried to dispel notions that being liked by everyone is a good thing. So I’ve grown up believing that if you’re liked by everyone, you’re probably doing it wrong. It seems to me that the best way to know you’re actually living your lif, the best you can, is that you’ve ruffled some feathers, had an unpopular opinion or two, and maybe even made a few enemies. Not that should ever be the intention, but I think by virtue of living your life rightly, it should cause you to repel others.

Pleasing everyone has got to be exhausting, if not impossible. I think even trying to, doesn’t make much sense and will probably cause one nothing but stress. People are different; people were raised differently, and people choose to see life in their own eyes. So we have to be mindful of that but that doesn’t mean that we have to subscribe to other people’s lenses. Knowing and better understanding people is one thing, trying to become how they would have us be, is another.

Pleasing everyone can only lead to frustration and unhappiness and inauthenticity. It is of no value to one’s self or to a world where encountering people who challenge us is really what causes us to think differently. You can listen to people. You can learn from them. You can be agreeable and you can agree to disagree. But if you’re liked by everyone, you’re probably doing it wrong. I don’t really have much else to say on the matter; it’s not a subject that I believe requires heavy contemplation. Then again, that’s just what I think. Feel free to disagree. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Jochen Spalding

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