“You’re you, and that’s enough.”
This Dear Evan Hansen quote is a common sticker adorning the laptops of many students, but here’s the thing: it’s the truth.
Not everyone is going to like you. And that’s okay.
Learning this lesson is much easier said than done. I’ve been teaching myself this slowly over the years (I’m that classic Enneagram Three), and it’s hard to not care what others think about you. But constant people-pleasing is not the way to go.
Jeff Nalin, a clinical psychologist at the Paradigm Malibu Treatment Center, reports that people-pleasing can be detrimental to one’s mental health, saying, “while genuinely caring for others is an admirable trait, people-pleasing goes one step further, resulting in behaviors that may be detrimental to both our mental and physical health.”
So how can you stop trying to force everyone to like you?
Accept that all you can do is be genuine and learn from your mistakes. No one can ask for more than that.
Life has so much more to it than worrying about impressing people that aren’t going to change their minds, whether that person is your ex-partner, an old friend, or a co-worker or classmate. You can’t exhaust yourself trying to be something you’re not.
Saying that not everyone is going to like you is not an excuse to perpetuate bad habits and toxic traits, but it does mean that your personality isn’t going to jive with everyone you come into contact with.
Psychology Today offers tips for untraining that people-pleasing side of yourself: focus on things that make you happy, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and learning to say no.
Take a deep breath and take time to focus on being you: you’ll find that life is much better when you can let go of what other people think.