I’ve warred with myself for years. Be what other people want and they’ll like you, and they’ll approve of you; you’ll have that sense of connection you crave. No, don’t become that person, it’s not who you are and it’s fake; it’ll kill you inside even if it does mean more people might like you.
Each side has a down side. But I’ve started to choose the winner, because I have accepted the following revelation: it’s okay if some people don’t like me. It’s okay if no one likes me. People don’t like me even when I’m trying as hard as possible. So why kill myself trying to be what they want?
If people just don’t like you, then just do and be what you want. Within reason. Validation from others is something rare and special, the unicorn of emotions. The boost from just doing what you want can make up for a lot of it.
You’re with yourself far more than you are with other people, so why not like the person you’re with the most?
I feel like I’m just spouting a cliche in a round-about way. “Just be yourself.” No one ever just accepts those words when they hear them. I certainly never did. You have to come to the notion yourself, and it’s a hard-fought battle to get there. Learning to deal with the discomfort of rejection, of not being liked, is the hardest part. It’s a sort of zen feeling, knowing that other people will dislike you no matter what. In the end, you don’t have much control over it. If, at all.
Stand up for yourself. Go out fearlessly. Walk with your head high. Give ’em hell.