“It’s better to risk being disliked for living your truth than to be loved for what you are pretending to be.” -Dawn Gluskin
Let’s face it, no matter how hard we try to be the best version of ourselves, there will still be people that don’t like us. Knowing that someone dislikes you can be a hard reality to sit with and an uncomfortable thing to feel. Recently, I made a decision that offended someone in my family and it caused some serious negative reaction and discontent toward me. Processing this internally has taken awhile because my heart was wounded in a multitude of ways. At the same time, it was necessary to feel this so I could stay true to me. Those raw feelings of being disliked were certainly unsettling, but also a reminder of the things I am willing to potentially lose in deciding to stand up for my own values, even if that means I am disliked.
You can be yourself.
The biggest disservice you can do yourself is to please everyone. It’s exhausting and quite stressful. If you try to please everyone, no one will ever really get to know you and that can lead to feelings of emptiness down the road. You also risk losing your sense of self if you are constantly making decisions based on everyone else’s needs and feelings.
You will only get to know yourself better.
It’s important to explore your own thoughts and feelings. When you are too worried about saying the wrong thing, you risk losing the ability to think for yourself. Allow yourself to have your own feelings. You will begin to discover what you really believe in and stand for, and what is important to you. This is critical in the journey to self awareness and growth. We inherently have a sense of what paths are right and wrong for us. When the fear of being disliked is present, you can’t hear your own truth and that will stop you from ever really knowing yourself or choosing the path that works best for you.
You will be more present in the moment.
Solely focusing on saying or doing the right thing to avoid being disliked does not allow you to be in the present moment. Your mind is somewhere else, leaving you no space to truly check in with yourself. This can create a lot of anxiety and fear in social situations.
You will find your own voice.
The more you can practice saying what you mean and allowing yourself to be who you truly are, the more you can confidently find and express your voice. People will form opinions as you speak. Talk anyway. Let your words be kind but fearless. When you are expressing yourself truthfully it feels incredibly free.
It deepens intimacy in your relationships
Not all of your conversations are going to go as smooth as you would like. You are going to disagree with the people you love and care about. Yes, it’s going to feel uncomfortable, but not forever. Chances are, you have said things that people in your life dislike. And, they may even dislike parts of your personality, but continually being your vulnerable and weird self does nothing but strengthen your acceptance of who you are. The people in your life who call you a friend or partner will love and appreciate you exactly the way you are.
You will let go of the expectation to be perfect.
Give yourself permission to not be the things you wish you could be. Embrace the fact that all of your qualities, both strengths and weaknesses, are essential to being human. We are all imperfect and we all say and do things we regret. By acknowledging that some people are not going to like you, you are accepting, respecting and appreciating you in the best way that you can, and that is one of the most valuable gifts you could ever receive from yourself!