Does this resonate; “I need to watch what I do and say so my best friend never gets upset with me. I want them to like me always”. You can imagine the anxiety especially if the person is someone you hold in high regard, respect or care for. You do everything possible to please them, no matter what.
You don’t have to go out of your way to please someone, to make others happy at your expense, to just fit in and do things for them so you are liked. You don’t have to adjust or be identified with different personalities just to suit those around you. That is a hectic, mentally draining and unhealthy way of relating with others.
Here are ways to overcome your fear of being disliked;
Stop People pleasing
Growing up as children we looked up to parents, family members and relatives. Their approval when we did great mattered most. Growing up like this meant, we relied so much more on what others thought about us. We were conditioned that were not enough without external approval. Without unlearning this, as adults we find ourselves struggling with doing things just for us. We instead seek to do everything to be praised again. We only feel good by doing things for others even it means putting ourselves last.
Be kind because it feels right not because you want to be applauded. Help others only when you can, not that its a must. Helping others when you can’t so they appreciate your effort is plain people pleasing. You are seeking for recognition.
So you need to stop trying to make an impression on people by doing things that are against your ability, your availability, your comfort and things that don’t sit well with you. When your top priority is to gain the approval of everyone, you will be taken advantage of, lose track of your values and esteem.
You don’t need any approval, recognition to know you are worthy. Focus on you.
Learn to say no
No is a powerful way of looking after yourself especially when you feel you can’t help. It is liberating. Instead, No is hardly used for fear of being seen as unthoughtful, non-caring, unhelpful and selfish. You feel by saying No, other people will dislike you.
Saying yes just to please others to your detriment is unhealthy. When you are your true self, saying No with respect and appreciation shouldn’t leave you feeling guilty. Set your boundaries and be able to so say no if you are not able to. You don’t have to go for a night out, a drink, a movie when you feel like rubbish, unwell and not even interested.
Stay true to yourself
Connect with people without pretence – be yourself. Don’t go about presenting your false version. It might work with some people but those who are genuine and after deeper connections will discover what is beneath.
There is no joy obsessing about what other people think and seeking to fit in. Accept yourself. This is the key to self-confidence. You need to find comfort in your own skin. There is nothing wrong with being you. You are enough. Appreciate and be grateful for everything you are.
By focusing on you, you gain self-respect and worthiness which are never the right of others to shape. With realisation and desire to stay true to yourself you will get more comfortable with being disliked if it feels necessary in order to stay true to myself. Now that is a key step from a real people pleaser. Next: Say “no” more.
This is not just an image thing. Most say you ought to feel great when you look in the mirror and see your reflection. You don’t have to be perfect. It is about accepting everything flaws and strength.
If some people don’t like you for who you are, its their loss. Just like you don’t like some people, you lose nothing by losing them. It even gives you space to focus on you, and literally better yourself. A case of good riddance. Its not possible that every human being will like us.
Be free to express your thoughts
If you can listen to others going on and on about their life, day, relationships – what stops you from expressing your thoughts. You don’t always have to be on-point. If you get to listen to others without judging, you too deserve the same treatment. No-one has to agree to everything you say. Some will form opinions, others make judgments but talk anyway. Be fearless and speak your mind.
Live a Life of Your Own Chosen Values
Growing up other people had a direct effect on us. We were conditioned to seek for their recognition. We would only feel important, bee seen as great or cool because others deemed us so.
That was then. You don’t have to seek for recognition, seek for attention or for validation. You don’t have to wait for someone to praise you to know you have done well. You don’t have to stop pursuing your goals because no-one is willing to cheer-lead you. Sadly, if you blindly pursue being liked, you will comprise your values and integrity.
If anyone is to like you, they will like you in your form, shape, style, character and outfit. Genuine friends, colleagues, relatives and family want nothing but make a strong connection with your authentic self.
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