So one day I was having a talk with my youngest daughter. She was talking about wanting to move back to our old location. She misses her friends there, her school, the relationships we have with people there. I can understand that. Moving is an adjustment. Then she said well some people don’t like me here. And I said….. “So what.” Yes, so what. Period. I explained to her that what’s important is that she likes herself and that the right people who are meant to be in her life love her just the way she is. It’s ok for people not to like you. For several reasons really, but the big one could be because God is protecting you from something in that person that could bring you harm or damage you some how emotionally. Certain people can dampen your sparkle if you let them.
See, all of my life I’ve wanted to be liked. I’ve wanted to be accepted. Growing up a military brat you’re constantly having to start over. But the thought of someone not liking me really bothered me. Like to the point of wanting to talk to them and find out why. As if after learning why they didn’t like me I could then turn around to convince them otherwise! Like who has that kind of time?! And it’s a sign of low self esteem, which I had for many years. When you love yourself and feel great about who you are as a person people liking you is not something you dwell on much or even at all.
We are all made with different strengths and weaknesses. I believe the people that God brings in our lives all serve a purpose. Just like the people He removes served a purpose. But sometimes we open ourselves up to people and situations that aren’t meant for us. We connect ourselves to toxic people, with negative ways of thinking and bad attitudes and then we’re surprised when it starts rubbing off on us. We don’t understand how we went from feeling happy and positive to having a list of issues and problems. And the list of issues and problems don’t just stay with us. They leak over to other relationships. People we once had great relationships with we are now looking at them funny or we’ve now picked them apart with all the things we don’t like about them. It stems from wanting to be liked or loved— self esteem once again. But when you truly love who you are as a person, flaws and all you’re less likely to fall into this trap.
My oldest daughter is one of the quirkiest people I have ever met. She’s been unusual all of her life. But I love it. I love that she’s uniquely who she is and she doesn’t try to not be strange. She walks in her uniqueness and she usually attracts friends that are just as strange as she is and it’s beautiful. What would life be like for us if we all walked in our quirks and weirdness and then built relationships with people who, not only walked in their quirks and weirdness but accepted ours as well?! And the people who didn’t connect with us kept it moving and we were affected none the less? It’d be like magic. While I recognize that part of life is having bad experiences so that we can learn and grow, some of these experiences are self inflicted from poor choices.
I always want to be nice. I always want to be understanding. I always want to be accepted and I want to be understood. As I’ve gotten older, learned a lot of life lessons, been hurt by those I love and been disappointed I’ve embraced the fact that not everyone will like me. And the people I’m in relationship with sometimes won’t like me all the time either! I know all of us have connections with people we love dearly but we don’t always like them or the decisions they make in life. It’s a normal part of relationships. But the people God’s blessed you with love you through the journey just as you love them through their individual journey. And the people that don’t like you continue to live their lives minus you. They aren’t sitting around plotting ways to like you! Lol.
As I was having the conversation with my youngest daughter about being liked I reminded her of something that we all need to be reminded of. Sometimes we don’t like people either! We forget that when we let the sting of not being liked get to us. We meet people and for some reason something in them doesn’t connect with us and we just can’t build relationship with them. What do we do? For the most part we go on living our lives steering clear of them if it can be avoided and we continue on with the relationships we have that are meaningful. Why then don’t we apply that same effort to life when someone doesn’t like us?!
Bottom line…..learn to like yourself and be ok with people not liking you. Recognize what makes you different. Look for relationships that help you grow and that teach you to love yourself. Connect with people who are honest with you without breaking you so that the broken places in you can be acknowledged and you can learn to heal. Accept your flaws. Love the hell out of you so that when someone else comes along and essentially rejects you in all of your awesomeness it doesn’t even matter. God made you and He makes no mistakes!