I Like the Way I Am and I Don't Need to Please Everyone

I Like the Way I Am and I Don't Need to Please Everyone
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 February, 2022

I am my authentic self, and I don’t need to pretend to be something I’m not just to please everybody. I have dignity, I am a slave to no one, and I don’t need other people’s approval to be happy.

Everyone must come to this conclusion as soon as they can. It’s something that every adolescent should understand, and that everyone should practice so they can find inner balance and emotional well-being.

I’m not the way you want me to be. Accept the things that define me. Accept me for the way I am, for the way I make you happy. Let’s build a world where neither you or I are obligated to stop being “you and me.

I know it’s not always easy to think this way. Sometimes we think that if not everybody likes us, we won’t be accepted. However, life isn’t built on the need to be liked; it’s enough for us to respect each other.

We feel the need to please our partner’s family, to get along with their friends, to fit in with all of our coworkers and the people in our social circles. However, the first thing that everyone should know is that it’s impossible to please everyone. Every person is unique, and we all have our own way of being, of seeing the world, of living life.

If you don’t like me, at least accept me and respect me. There’s probably something that we share, and despite our differences, we can probably enrich each other in some way. And if that doesn’t happen, so what? What’s essential is that we accept ourselves. Self love is a relationship that should last a lifetime.

I am who I am, and I accept that. I am a gift.

woman riding a bike

You are a gift to yourself, and nobody can tell you otherwise. Only you know what you’ve lived through, what you’ve overcome. Your way of being is the window through which you see the world in all its intensity, with freedom and integrity.

I am who I am, and I don’t pretend to be another version of anyone else, or a puppet on a string. I have a voice and a heart, and I know what I deserve in this life in order to be happy.

We’re not defined simply by saying that we’re extroverted, shy, or introverted. We are an amalgamation of nuances made of experiences, thoughts, and life lessons. We’re made of failures and wounds, but also triumphs and happiness.

The bad things teach us, and the good things guide us. Every experience contributes to our way of being, including the way we’re educated, the values that we assume or renounce, and the people who pass through our lives.

Your way of being is the energy that drives you. You must shield yourself against the things you don’t want in your life, the things that don’t define you.

People who try to fit in with everyone need approval more than anything. Approval makes us feel integrated, but if we’re always seeking approval, we’ll stop being ourselves.

Psychologist and writer Wayne Dyer said that 50% of the people we encounter each day will probably have different opinions than we do. If you find yourself with someone who doesn’t like what you say or do, don’t worry: the other 50% will support you.

As children, we’re taught to please everyone:  smile, shake hands, sit still, don’t do this, don’t do that… We go through most of our lives seeking approval, until one day, we suddenly realize that it’s impossible to please everyone.

woman with striped scarf

Trying to please everyone will make you unhappy

Buddhism has always told us that if you insist on pleasing everyone, the only thing you’ll find is suffering and unhappiness. It’s not worth it. It’s not necessary to please people who are selfish, people who don’t appreciate you, people who lack integrity, or people who simply don’t share your way of understanding the world.

I am a part of everything that I have encountered on my journey. My way of being is my essence and my identity. It’s taken a lot to get where I am and I can’t let myself pretend to be something that I’m not just to make you happy.

If you think about it, nothing could bring you more stress or emotional suffering than trying to please everyone. But it’s true that not being liked can bring us criticism and reproach.

Understand that criticism says more about those who give it than those who receive it. It doesn’t define you, and sometimes it’s nothing more than a reflection of the frustration felt by the person who criticized you.

It’s not healthy to live your life based on what other people think of you or the need to receive approval from everyone. You’ll become a slave to the world instead of being the owner of your own heart.

Life is diversity, and we all have many nuances that make us unique, authentic, and dignified. Love yourself for who you are.

man walking a dog

Images courtesy of Jo Parry and Pascal Campion

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.