A guide to stop worrying about being liked.

It’s taken me such a long time to grasp the concept of not worrying about being liked. Whilst I’ve always been a somewhat black and white, opinionated person, this still hasn’t stopped me from being a person who makes sure to please people. For what reason was I doing this? I’m a little unsure to be honest. It’s probably a combination of wanting to be part of a group and the inherent need to have connections with other people. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line I guess I really stopped caring whether or not people liked me or not. Not that I actively went out there to make people dislike me, but I just represented my self and my attitudes just as I felt they required to be represented. I spoke to people just as I would expect to be spoken to, but I never shied away from saying what I exactly felt.

The other thing I decided to do was stop being the friend who maintained friendships. What I mean by that, is that I would no longer be the one who was leading the friendships. Where there was reciprocation, I was more than happy to be part of that healthy relationship, but by no means was I going to be the one who kept making contact in efforts to maintain friendships. There is one simple test that can be done to assess most of your friendships. It’s as simple as stop contacting them. There was of course friendships I knew within my heart were still genuine, even though contact had subsided between us, I always knew there was a place in my heart for certain people. But for others I just tried this test and well the results speak for themselves.

The problem was, there were many friendships that I felt I was the one maintaining the connection. I suddenly thought, why am I the one doing all the leg work in this situation? This is going to sound harsh, but there is a point in life where you just realise that most people just don’t really think about you. Do yourself a favour,  think about yourself and whether or not you spend much energy thinking about others, little to none right? It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the reality that we are all consumed with our own little worlds. It’s not that we don’t care about other people, we just have a limited capacity to really have any meaningful thought about others. It’s not an active thing, it’s just how it is.

Life is way too short to worry about who likes you and who doesn’t. These are quite juvenile thoughts and behaviours and there is a point in life where you simply grow up and act accordingly. Whilst the majority of people are stuck in the world of the vain society filled with fakery and false relationships, I’ve opted to no longer be filled with such a mindset. Whilst I still have many long term friends, I have made many new special connections based on the fact I’m actually interested in being connected to this person. I rarely waste my time with people who I have zero connection with, because there really is no point. We are both wasting time. It’s tough being honest about these kinds of things, but my gut is fairly good in figuring out who I enjoy spending time with and those that I don’t and I’m not really sorry about that.

Whilst saying that, it doesn’t hide the fact that there are some that I did genuinely enjoy the company of that unfortunately failed the connection test. The only thing that this does is tell me that I obviously invested more time, effort and emotion into a relationship that was purely one sided. It’s sad but true. I don’t take it personal and have nothing against these people, it’s just the nature of life and we all lead busy lives and can’t necessarily fit everybody in.  There is a great chance that I am also one of these people to someone else. I’ve also been active and told many I was friends with exactly how I feel about the situation and whilst that’s been uncomfortable, it’s also been extremely gratifying and empowering to let that pent-up angst out against people who I can only classify as pretender friends. It’s amazing how most of the time that it was a mutual feeling. Honesty always wins.

I just started wondering why I was actually writing this and realised, it really was a self actualisation moment and wanted to share to see if anyone else had this same life evolution. Worrying about people liking you. It kind of sounds stupid when I think about it now. The reality is, I’ve learnt that just being true to myself and portraying that, the right friendships will evolve out of that, because there will be certain people who are drawn to who you are, exactly just as you are. These friendships are truly the best ones, as it feels seamless and natural, I have many long term ones along with some new friends that I share this feeling with. There is zero point in spending time with people who do not respect you or bring you down because my time and their is so precious.  It’s a simple thought process but have only started to realise it, the older I have gotten. The reality is you should live the life you want, not the one that makes others happy.

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