not everyone will like you

Not Everyone Will Like You (and that’s okay)

*I also do not like candy corn AT ALL but it’s okay if others do.
But you know the peanut butter kisses? The ones with the black or orange wrapper that have the molasses and peanut butter taffy inside that sticks to all of your teeth? Those are delicious.

I have been blogging for 11 years. Over a decade of putting my words, thoughts, and experiences out there for the entire world. It has been an incredibly beautiful and healing journey for me. But like everything, it has had its downsides. One of the biggest things I have learned is:

Not everyone will like you and that’s okay.

One of my biggest struggles is trying to balance being very sensitive, being socially anxious, and having a platform of hundreds of thousands of people. I have always lived in fear of people not liking me. For as long as I can remember it has been a source of anxiety for me.

Trying to get other people’s approval no matter what. I remember how much my principal loved me in elementary school and how proud that made me feel. I also remember how I was always the teacher’s pet and how useful it made me feel.

And then I got a job and I went above and beyond as much as I could for years. I always got wonderful evaluations and I always got told that I was a pleasure to work with and those words filled me up. It felt like people really liked me.

Sometimes I feel like my whole life has been based around pleasing other people.

For a really long time, I struggled to people-please via social media. People can be really hateful and even abusive. Every time I encountered one of those situations I would want to people-please. I would have that automatic reaction of “I need to get them to like me.”
There have been times when it’s really gotten to me to the point that I’ve stepped away from social media altogether.

It’s something that I’ve been working on for years and I feel like it’s finally beginning to click.

Here are some things I tell myself:
I do not owe anyone access to my space.
I do not have to defend or rationalize my experiences.
Boundaries in the form of blocking are essential.
I don’t have to put up with negativity for the sake of negativity.
I am not silencing someone or being unfair by choosing not to engage with someone who is unkind.
It is not my job to make someone like me, accept me, or talk to me with respect.

Not everyone will like you, and that’s okay.

And through all of this, I do believe in listening to critical feedback when it’s respectful and kind. I do believe in honoring other people’s experiences/ideas even when they are different from my own. I do believe that there’s space for discussion and debate when it’s done in a way that’s not abusive.

Not everyone will like me, my art, or my words and that’s okay.

I am just over a year into being self-employed. There’s no one “above me” there’s no one to cater to. There’s been something so freeing about it. I’ve felt like this last year has been taking off the weight of pleasing others and creating and working from a space of being my best, most favorite, self.