Need for approval.
We all have it. Some more than others. Most of us from childhood set out to please everyone. Because in return, we want people to like us. To approve of us. And it’s all good until we meet someone who might not like us.
And our worlds come crashing down.
That’s when the need for approval becomes a problem. When we do anything and everything to not have someone dislike us. When we lose sleep over a person that doesn’t like us. When we become pushovers and doormats just so others will like us. It’s when we do things like this, the need for approval is a problem.
I’ve been there.
While growing up, I needed everyone’s approval. I couldn’t stand it if someone disliked me. I would let myself be walked all over just because I didn’t want people to think badly of me. To disapprove of me. I got taken advantage of by some at school and college. I would worry about what others thought of me. A lot!
Until one fine day, a light bulb went off in my head.
I realised I didn’t like everyone I interacted with. So why in the world should everyone like me???
It was completely irrational and unrealistic to expect every single person I meet to like me. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t. Just the way I don’t like some people.
And that was all it needed for me to change that belief. That need for everyone’s approval. It’s similar to how you cannot please everyone. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, what you do, or what you say. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
I no longer worry about what every single person thinks about me. If you don’t like something about me, tough. I can still handle it.
I am not saying people need to go to the other extreme and not give a shit about every single person and be as obnoxious as you can…all I am saying is some of us put too much emphasis on everyone having to like us. And that can be tiring because no matter what we do, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like us.
The reason I am blogging about this is because lately I have had a number of clients who have this as one of their beliefs — that everyone has to like them. They stew over it. Worry about it. Cry over it. Get angry about it.
And when I ask them, “Do you like everyone?“, they are stunned.
Because the truth is, they don’t.
So how can they expect everyone to like them?
So next time you worry about someone at your workplace possibly not liking you [unless it’s your boss or the person having to give you a reference!], ask yourself: Do I like everyone at work?
Until next time,