By Stephanie Reck
I want to be liked, I want to be accepted, and I want to be loved; but the reality is not everyone will. I don’t know about you, but I am uncomfortable when someone does not like or accept me — it can go deep and speak lies such as, “You’re not good enough,” or “There is something wrong with you.” I tend to think if someone does not like me, it must be my fault. As an over-analytical thinker, I will mull over a dozen reasons or more what I could have done differently for that person to like me. My thoughts go like this, “Certainty, I must have done something wrong for them to not accept me.”
I tried for so long to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be, but eventually, I wore myself out being one way for this person and another way someone else.
Being someone that I am not made me unhappy, unfulfilled, and feeling unworthy to be me.
Often if there is a struggle to be somebody other than yourself to be liked and accepted there is a root of rejection and feeling inferior. Somewhere in your history someone told you or made you feel not good enough, and if you just did this or that you would receive love. Love based on conditions is not love at all.
Conforming to what others want from you to be liked or even loved, is living a lie.
I admit I am a little different. I am an introvert by nature, I prefer solitude over being with a group of people, I don’t enjoy crowds, I enjoy the simple life. I tend not to follow what everyone else is doing. I prefer uniqueness over sameness. I am a well-organized planner. I enjoy structure and routine and can be a bit rigid in these areas. I have a type-A personality which means I am a rule follower, stay on task, and do not often deviate from what I have planned.
As you can see from my list of quirks and differences, I will not mesh well with everyone. I do enjoy all kinds of different people, and relish that God made us all so uniquely different. However, I cannot change who I am to suit other people. I have to be comfortable with who I am, including my not-so-strong points. When people love you, they will embrace your differences, not try and change them.
To embrace and love yourself, you can:
· Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Everyone has strengths, focus, and magnify those.
· Focus on what you are doing right, not on what you are doing wrong. You can’t be doing everything wrong, even if someone makes you feel that way.
· Accept and love all of you — your weaknesses, your quirks, and your strengths.
· Don’t try and be what others want you to be. You will only make yourself unhappy about doing this.
· Don’t copy what other people are doing so you can “fit in.”
When you become someone besides yourself, you won’t feel content most of the time. When you start to hide parts of yourself so you don’t get judged, you start feeling uncomfortable because, in essence, you are playing a role. It takes courage to be who you are without apology or pretense. Love yourself enough to accept you just the way you are.