For some people, it’s easy to get caught up in the “people pleasing” mode where all they want to do is make everyone happy. Any form of rejection can send them straight to tears. This seems especially true when you’re younger and trying to figure out what you stand for and who you are. It is sometimes a difficult challenge to stand out and let your voice be heard.
Humans are an instinctively social species. Our distant ancestors relied on one another for survival, so it is completely natural to want approval from our elders and from our peers. However, it’s important that you don’t only do and say what you think everyone else wants you to do and say while you are seeking this approval. The famous Oscar Wilde even said, “be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
As you get older and you “come into your own”, so to speak, it is important that you learn to speak up for yourself and not give a damn what other people think. Why? Because this is YOUR life, YOU have the last say in what path to take, and it’s none of anyone else’s business what direction YOU choose to go in. It is up to you to find your way and make your own mistakes. That is what life and growing up is all about.
Of course it’s probably wise to listen to your parents or grandparents, or at least take what they say into consideration when you are trying to make a major life decision. But taking advice is different from letting people slam you with their negative opinions. When it comes down to it, the decisions you make are up to YOU. Luckily for all your naysayers, they don’t have to worry about messing anything up; that’s a worry that only you should concern yourself with. This is your life, your time, and you need to take charge and leave the negativity behind. Life is too short to sit around wondering if everyone approves. If they are so concerned with what you are doing with your time, then they probably don’t have enough going on their own lives and feel the need to meddle in yours.
As you get older, you will realize more and more what is truly important in life. But I’ve realized that most of the people in my life that have truly and honestly tried to bring me down with their words were bored, unhappy, and wanted to stir the pot and start a fight. A lot of times social media brings out the worst in us, and we’ve all seen it; the dramatic Facebook fight where friends take sides and talk badly about one another. It’s all publicized, usually pretty vague so people who aren’t in the loop really don’t even know what’s going on anyway, and most of the time, no one cares. But if you pay close attention, it normally happens with people who are younger. It’s all about attention, and trying to hurt people’s feelings.
There’s a saying that no one can make you feel anything. It’s all about how you react to negativity. Ask yourself, “does their opinion truly matter?” and if you find yourself answering yes, you need to ask yourself “why?”, because the answer may surprise you. That simple question may lead to many areas of self discovery.
Learning to believe in yourself and trusting that you are being true to yourself is the first key to not caring about what people think. There will always be people who don’t support you, and if you spend your time trying to please everyone, you will be running around in circles and you’ll never get anywhere. Words can hurt just as much as physical pain. And honestly, people who try to bring you down and “care” about what you’re doing really aren’t worth listening to. Your problems are your problems, and their problems are their problems. You need to focus on YOU and let them deal with their own “stuff”. Don’t wake up one day when you’re old and grey and wonder where everything went wrong. Be smart, trust your instincts and chase down whatever dream comes your way. You fail by default if you don’t try to succeed.
If there is someone in your life who feels negatively about you, ask yourself this question: “Do I feel negatively about me, too?” If not, then keep on doing what you’re doing-so long as you are not hurting yourself or others and let those people sit in their negative, dirty aura’s as they watch you from below while you climb the ladder of happiness and success.
“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” –Maggie Kuhn