Most of us are taught to be people pleasers from a very young age, so the idea that there are any benefits to be achieved if you stop caring if people like you is probably a new one for many of us. The biggest advantage is that it frees you to be your authentic self, shaking off the weight of society’s expectations so that you can focus on creating your own unique destiny. We don’t have to be hampered or trapped and held down by anybody else’s expectations. And we get to decide who we want to be, how we want to be, and where we want to be. So there are many advantages to not caring if people like you. I daresay there are some advantages to either being disliked or unpopular, but I will temper that for those for whom that is just too much. Here are a few advantages.
Being True To Yourself
The first advantage to not caring if people like you is being true to yourself. Now, deep down you may want to be popular. You want to be the life of the party, at work or at school, but popular doesn’t last. It is not anywhere near as enduring as being true to yourself, because you can be true to yourself forever, like forever ever, ever. Popularity comes and goes, because popularity is decided by other people. But being true to yourself is all about you deciding to let who you are shine through. Being true to yourself means making smart choices that allow you to look in the mirror every day and be proud of what you see. Not apologetic, but proud.
No Bowing to Peer Pressure
Here’s why you should stop caring if people like you: because then you don’t have to bow to peer or parental pressure. The idea of being ourselves even if people don’t like it is almost unthinkable when we’re children. Of course we bow to our parents’ wishes because we want them to approve of us, praise us, encourage us, and reward us. I can vividly remember behaving myself at a Howard Johnson’s in New Brunswick, New Jersey, so that I would get to go to Carvel for ice cream afterwards. That’s natural.
We’re prone to give in to peer pressure, even when it feels wrong to us because everybody else is doing the same thing.
Millions of people all over the world drink Coke. Okay, don’t @ me. That doesn’t mean it’s a great beverage choice, or a choice that many health-conscious people would make. If you break down the ingredients, go Google it, you can see the videos of how people can use coke to strip the rust off of nails. Why would I put something in myself that could strip the rust off of metal? But there are tons of people who drink Coke Zero or Diet Coke, and they get hooked on the caffeine and the sugar. Because it’s easy, it’s popular, it’s cheap. Everybody else is doing it. See how bowing to peer pressure can actually be a disadvantage? So, if everybody else is drinking Coke and you want to be the weirdo who chooses water, be the weirdo.
Choosing Your Own Goals
Another benefit of deciding to stop caring if people like you is that you get to decide what your goals are. There are people who may have written you off as crazy or misguided or a dreamer, or any number of things. But you can choose not to listen to them and not to care what they think. And then you’re free to set your own goals. Believe in your own ideas and focus on your own dreams. Your dreams were assigned to you for a reason. They are not everybody’s dreams, they are yours.
If being told that you can’t do something is inspirational for you then let the haters hate. And then use that as fuel to achieve exactly what you want to do, exactly what they said you could never do. Isn’t it fun to defy expectations? And on the way to your goals, you will find positive people, and you will create a circle that will support you.
Achieving Your Dreams
Another advantage of not caring if people like you is achieving your dreams. A lot of people talk a lot about what they’re going to do or who they’re going to be, but they don’t actually do it. Have you ever been to a high school reunion? If so, you were probably shocked at the number of people who were super popular and seemed to have the world at their feet. You just knew these people were going to be the most successful when you were in high school. And then at the reunion, you find out they did little or none of the things that they may have said they were going to do. I’m not standing in judgment and saying those people’s lives are out of whack because they didn’t do what they professed they were going to do at 18.
A lot of people talk a lot about what they’re going to do or who they’re going to be, but they don’t actually do it.
Have you ever done this? I once pulled a list out of my high school yearbook of what I said I was going to do by the time I was 30. I wrote it when I was 17 and I read it when I was probably 35. That was not a good day. It took me about an hour and a half to shake off the funk of “Oh my Lord, my life does not match this list!”. And then to realize that my life was better in many other ways, and that 17-year-old me didn’t really know what 35-year-old me would want.
But there were those people in high school who you thought were just going to set the world on fire, and maybe they didn’t. In contrast, there were some people who were disliked, ignored, maybe kind of invisible or even bullied. They used those negative experiences and the hateration to spur them on to success. As the phrase goes, living well is the best revenge. So if you don’t care whether or not people like you, you can achieve your dreams and never stop dreaming.
Being Free from Distractions
Another advantage to not caring if people like you, is that you’re free from time-wasters and never-ending distractions. If you’re not one of the popular people who just goes along with everybody else, but you are brave enough to walk your own path to do what makes sense to you, you’ll save a lot of time and energy, not having to jump through hoops that other people put in front of you. If you don’t care what they think then you don’t have the pressure of trying to meet everybody’s else’s expectations.
You can say no and mean it without worrying about what other people think. Or getting saddled with all the stuff that nobody else wants to do. You can focus on your own career instead of having to save the butt yet again, of one of your lazy colleagues who’s actually earning more than you are. How about you let them sink or swim on their own and you continue to focus on what’s ahead of you?
Choosing Brave, Confident Action
Now, this podcast does have a little bit of an edge to it, but I’m not talking about being mean or spiteful. You guys know me better than that by now. But what I’m talking about is brave, quietly confident action. See, you can live a life full of honesty and integrity without being mean or spiteful to other people. And by doing this, you set an example for others and you attract other sincere people to yourself. You’ll be surprised at the number of times that you become the person whose opinion everybody else respects because you’re such a good example of a person in tune with their genuine feelings and finding success in all areas of her life.
Stop Caring if People Like You
So now that you’ve discovered the main benefits you’ll achieve if you stop caring if people like you, go on, live a little, see how many false friends you can weed out of your life, just by being your authentic self. When the false friends fall away, you have room for the amazing, sincere people who really want to cheer you on to show up and get a seat at the table. Chances are you’ll never even miss those people as you continue to press forward and achieve the goals and dreams that you hold dear.
Give me an example of a time when you decided to stop caring if people like you. Pop into the comments below and tell me your story about a time that you decided not to care and what happened.
There are people who may have written you off as crazy or misguided or a dreamer, or any number of things. But you can choose not to listen to them and not to care what they think.
Your dreams were assigned to you for a reason. They are not everybody's dreams, they are yours.