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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.

    More by this author

    Craig Harper

    Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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    Last Updated on July 15, 2019

    41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

    41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

    Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

    Love is one of those things.

    True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

    True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

    supportive couple

      A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

      strong hug

        A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

        running help

          A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

          feeding kitten

            A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

            It’s having the perfect selfie partner

            mom and daughter selfie

              A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

              girlfriends

                Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

                selfies

                  A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

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                  selfie

                    Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                    dude selfie

                      Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                      It’s all the warm fuzzies

                      12748262703_84c008f4e5_z

                        A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

                        DSC06952

                          A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                          It means having a friend to photobomb you

                          photobomb

                            A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                            old man photobomb

                              A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                              family photobomb

                                Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                                boyfriend photobomb

                                  A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                  True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

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                                  shoulder to cry on

                                    A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                    flood dog

                                      During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                      A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                        A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                        lunch

                                          A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                          hug

                                            A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                            rubble

                                              An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                              sister and brother

                                                A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                                headstone

                                                  A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                  It means taking the time for long goodbyes

                                                  110321-N-BT887-100

                                                    A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

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                                                    national guard goodbye

                                                      A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                      saying goodbye

                                                        A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                        And cherishing reunions

                                                        husband home

                                                          A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                          boyfriend home

                                                            A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                            mother hug

                                                              A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                              True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                              elderly women

                                                                Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                                feeling young

                                                                  A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                  sprinkler dad

                                                                    A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

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                                                                    subway couple

                                                                      A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                      wheelchairs

                                                                        A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                        It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                        silly faces

                                                                          A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                          vote for pedro

                                                                            A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                            True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                            date night

                                                                              A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                              playing violin

                                                                                Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                                True love is timeless

                                                                                old friends

                                                                                  Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                  sitting around a fire

                                                                                    A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                    elderly couple

                                                                                      An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

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