If we spend our lives seeking approval from other people, then we are only going to waste our time. The truth is that not everyone is going to like us. There is always going to be that someone who doesn’t like us because that’s just how life works as I’m sure you’ve come to understand by now. So therefore, we shouldn’t take it as personally as we do because not everyone can like us. The sooner we learn this, the better it will be for us to drop unnecessary baggage and reclaim our power.
The best advice I have heard and applied is to just be yourself and never change for anyone.
When we be true to who we are, we will naturally invite the “right” people into our lives. They will just feel drawn to us because we are coming from an authentic place and they will like that. Whether we are aware of it or not, we get put off by people who are trying to act like someone else, trying too hard to be something they’re not. We might even tell them that they should stop trying too hard and just be themselves, or at least think it in our minds.
In truth, everyone just wants to be accepted for who they are. Everyone just wants the freedom to express their authenticity. No one really wants to go out of their way to change how who they are to impress other’s. This is unnatural and creates inner resistance.
Of course, if a certain way appeals to us, then by all means it’s fine to change certain behaviours or ways of thinking etc etc. But to change because we want to seek approval from other’s is a really unhealthy strategy which will leave us dis-empowered and insecure.
We know deep down that it doesn’t feel natural to do this. But we have an underlying need to be accepted by others so we do all we can to try and please people. We think that doing this is the only solution. I don’t believe it is a solution. I just feel it’s something which exists because of our conditioning growing up in a culture that is deeply insecure.
I think another reason we people please is because we do it out of fear. The fear of being judged by others for expressing our true selves. What will they think of me if I say what I truly feel is authentic to me. What will my parents think of me if I decide I want to do a music course rather than the finance course they want me to do?
We try and close the gap of this fear by people pleasing, and for a short time it might actually work. But in the long run, that authentic voice inside of us will start to pop up and torment us more frequently because we are not following our hearts.
We use this as a distraction to take our attention away from our the root cause of people pleasing. The root cause of people pleasing is the fear of what other’s think. The feeling that we’re not enough as we are. This results in low self-esteem and general insecurity.
The only way we can overcome the fear of what people think is to allow ourselves to be comfortable in our own skin. We can never control what other people think of us, it’s an impossibility. Accepting ourselves as we are is a must. I’ll write more on this topic later.
I believe the best solution is to give up trying to people please. Give up trying to change how you currently are. That is unless we actually want to change of course. And the desire to change is healthy as long as it’s not inauthentic.
The truth is that the more we try to get people’s approval, the more unhappiness we will experience. It might seem like a “cool” or noble thing to do, but in reality it just moves us further away from our true selves. Moving away from our authenticity can only lead us to misery in the long run.