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Stop Trying to Be Liked and Start Being You

Stop Trying to Be Liked and Start Being You

    I don’t like you.

    Four words we hate to hear. For some reason, we all like to be liked. No revelation there. It’s how we’re wired. We hate it when people don’t like us – even people we don’t really know. Some of us will do almost anything to be liked. We love to please, even at the expense of our own happiness, values, beliefs and standards. We compromise ourselves a hundred ways and turn ourselves inside-out trying to make others like us, but in that approval-seeking process we often forget who we are and wind up being disliked by the one person whose opinion should matter the most; us.

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    Newsflash 1: Some people aren’t gonna like you.

    Newsflash 2: That’s okay.

    That’s right – life ain’t fair and even though you may very well be a fantastic human being, some people will find a reason to dislike you no matter what you do or how fabulous you are. Chances are it’s more about their issues than anything you have or haven’t done. There are people who don’t like me who have never actually met me or had a conversation with me. That’s fine with me. I won’t invest emotional energy into things I can’t change. I will endeavour to be the best Craig Harper I can be and if my best still generates critics and people who find reason to dislike me (which it will), that’s okay. The only person I can change is me, so I’ll focus on improving, educating and developing myself rather than trying to create a fan club or convince people to like me.

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    While it’s normal and very human to have the desire to be needed, liked, loved and important to others, it’s also crucial for our development to get clear about who we are and what we stand for, and to live a life consistent with those values – to like ourselves. Otherwise we simply become frustrated People Pleasers.

    Newsflash 3: It’s okay to disagree with people. Even people you like and respect.

    Newsflash 4: Some people’s overwhelming need to be liked is the very thing that makes them hard to like (there’s some irony for you).

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    Newsflash 5: For many people, their need to be liked is actually a significant barrier to their personal and professional growth.

    When it comes to this issue, you might want to ask yourself these questions:

    1. Do I speak the truth (while still exercising care, wisdom and understanding) even if it’s not popular to do so?
    2. Do I live a life which is consistent with my core values?
    3. Do I operate with integrity?
    4. Do I believe that my motives are good?
    5. Is it my goal to be a positive influence in the lives of others?
    6. Am I happy to disagree with people I like?
    7. Do I (really) like me?

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    If you answered yes to all of the above then you’re doing pretty well. If there were more crosses than ticks then you may want to make a few changes. Soon. Some short-term pain for some long-term gain.

    If you really want to be liked, then stop trying to be liked and start being you.

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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