There is only one happiness in life — to love and to be loved.

George Sand
1804-1876
French Novelist

Love is a beautiful gift and in a perfect world love will be the basis for everything. But we don’t live in the perfect world. As sad as that may be we all have to deal with the fact that we are not going to be liked by everyone. Love is a wonderful thing but we just won’t find love with everyone and even if we do the other person may not like us. That is great because it lets us concentrate on finding friends and love with those who do love us!

“I must be loved or liked by everyone!”

A common irrational thought!

In fact we are not only going to not be loved by every one but the sad truth is that we will be disliked or even hated by some people. What should we do? Do everything possible to make them like us? Should we return the feeling and hate them back? Try to make their life miserable? Love them all the more and pursue them at all cost? What we do may depend on the circumstances but one fact is certain, some people no matter who we are, or how like-able we may be will be hated, disliked, rejected and even ridiculed by some.  But don’t forget that we will be liked, praised, appreciated and loved by others. To think other wise is a mistake. In fact it is a common irrational thought that can cause us much misery, worry and unhappiness as we try to be liked by every one.

We All Are Not The Same

We may think that we know how others think or feel but we would be wrong. Each person may have certain traits that we recognize and feel familiar with. Perhaps they remind us of some one else. We are all however unique individuals which is very good. The opposite would be very bad. For example some people like vanilla ice cream others like chocolate. Still others like both. Should the makers of vanilla ice cream change their taste to make the eaters of chocolate happy? No, because then where would the lovers of vanilla be? They would want their ice cream back. If everyone liked only vanilla ice cream then we wouldn’t have all the other great flavors. We are not all the same. Some people will love us and others will not. That’s fine because the world would be really dull if we all looked the same and were all interested in the same things and all loved the same people.

Should I Change

The short answer is probably not. The long answer is maybe. Confused yet? Me to but here is an explanation.

Sometimes you may need to change. Let me give you some examples. Someone has the guts to tell you that they don’t like you because you stink, never comb your hair and don’t change your underwear. This might be a good time to think about what they are saying. Is anyone going to like these traits? Probably not because we all hate stinky things and you will never find a person that does. That would be very good then to change your habits so these things don’t happen. Then go about your life happy that you were told something you really needed to know. The future is much brighter now.

Here is another example. Your favorite things are the outdoors. You love canoeing, back packing and hiking. Sleeping outdoors and being bit by mosquitoes. You have all the gear or would like to have it. You have a big aquarium and you love the sound of the bubbling at night when you are sleeping. You have a dog and he loves to be loved. Now there happens to be this person that you invite out and they find out that you love the outdoors, the aquarium and have a pet. “Oh No!” they say you can’t have that stuff around me because I hate the outdoors! I hate those slimy little fish and no way do I want a dog around! Is the love worth it? Maybe, maybe not. That is something you have to decide because there are other people who love dogs, the outdoors and fish. So you have to decide in a way that leaves you comfortable and happy. Would you be happy in love with this person or is it more important to stay as you are and find someone with similar interests.

How likely is it that you will have to change some things to be liked most of the time? Very likely. Why? We all have traits that are bad habits. For example some people are grouchy, angry, mean and generally unhappy. Maybe they hate their job, marriage, children, parents and friends or all of the above. Will your changing ever make them like you? No. They will dislike you no matter what. Even if you became just like them they would hate you all the more. But if you are grouchy, mean and obnoxious to others then these would be good traits to change so that others generally don’t avoid you. You may have some bad habits and not be aware of it. When someone else complains to you or you even ask what they dislike, then that is a good time to really listen and think about what they are saying. Are their complaints valid or is it just a statement of what they don’t like personally. Just say thank you rather than arguing with them. They have given you the golden opportunity to see yourself from their viewpoint and they have revealed to you some of their secrets. You can then act accordingly, understanding much better how to solidify this relationship or relegate it to the less important category.

It Is Irrational To Want To Be Loved or Liked By Everyone

Remember the ice cream illustration earlier? You don’t need or want to be liked by everyone. You have no control over what others like or don’t like. Trying to make some happy will make others mad and leave you holding the bag of blame with everyone. You are a unique respectable individual. Learn to be yourself and have fun. Be flexible and easy to be with but don’t lessen your standards or change your beliefs to make someone else happy because you will end up depressed and unhappy yourself and just think of what you might be missing out on. Spending time with a person you really like.

Just one more word of caution. If you change who you are to pander to someone else and their personal opinions then they will likely lose respect for you. The more you pursue them the more they may see you as cheap and meaningless. They may even start using you as a door mat so don’t lose yourself to make someone else happy. If you have stronger standards and make good decisions, being yourself, they will see you as more valuable and may be willing to make some changes of their own. If not so be it. You don’t want to have close association with people that are hard to deal with if you can keep from it. There are millions of people on this planet that feel differently than you. There are millions of people who agree with everything you feel. There are billions of people yet to meet. Don’t let the fallacy of being liked by everyone drive your life, decision making or happiness.