By Toby Moore
For Capital Region Independent Media
It’s a hard lesson to learn, but not everyone you encounter in life will be for you. You’ll meet people who will never see eye to eye with you. They could be family members, co-workers or business partners.
It’s fantastic when you have a relationship with someone who believes in you, compliments you, and sees the good in everything you do. It’s good to be validated, and it’s good to be around people who cheer you on, see your vision, and believe in what you’re trying to accomplish.
It’s a good thing to have these people in your life; after all, I’d never suggest that you spend your time with someone who brings you down, doesn’t value you, and enjoys seeing you fail.
Sometimes, when we surround ourselves with people who love us, it’s hard to understand or accept a situation where someone is the opposite — they don’t like you, don’t believe in your vision, and can’t see the good in what you’re doing. No matter what you do, it seems to be wrong.
When I encountered a person who didn’t seem to like me in my younger years, I’d go out of my way to please them and win them over. I’d talk endlessly with other friends to try and understand the situation. It brought me down, made me feel like something was wrong with me, and gave me a feeling of low self-worth.
Although being around people who aren’t for you is terrible, it can also be a valuable learning experience. When we are only around people who compliment and comfort us, it’s easy to gain a dependence upon people to make us feel good.
We can become dependent, almost addicted to the compliments of others, just like a drug.
I know I used to be like this. If I went a day or two without someone telling me how great I was, I’d wonder if I did something wrong. I especially had this problem as a young actor. If a few people didn’t tell me that my performance was terrific after a show or a film, I would feel low, as if I had no talent.
It was also hard to learn that constructive criticism wasn’t a put-down and that it was good to receive honest criticism.
If you’re this person, you should know that your value doesn’t come from how others think and speak about you.
The fact is, people can let us down, even friends and family. They don’t have the superhuman ability to always be there for you and keep you in a happy state of mind 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you depend on people to give you your self-worth, eventually you’ll be let down.
It’s good to have friends who support you, but it isn’t their job to always keep you in a happy, healthy state of mind. The responsibility ultimately falls on you. Learning self-sufficiency and how to have self-confidence are one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.
I read a quote today, I don’t know who said it: “Not everyone is going to like you, no matter how hard you try, so don’t waste your energy trying to please everyone; instead, focus on being your true, authentic self.”
If someone doesn’t like you and tries to make you feel bad, that doesn’t mean your life has no purpose, or you won’t fulfill your destiny. Your life purpose does not depend on how others think and feel about you. Your real self-worth comes from a higher place and your thoughts and feelings about yourself.
Take the responsibility you may have put on others to make you feel good and put it on yourself. If someone doesn’t praise you, you can praise yourself. Next time someone says or does something that makes you feel bad, you can say, “it doesn’t matter what they think about me; I know I’m valuable and have a purpose in this life, and I will accomplish it no matter what they say.”
When you learn to take responsibility for your feelings, people will probably begin to like you more!
Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy – Nominated A Separate Peace, and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.