We’ve all been there, wanting to people-please. We say yes to unreasonable deadlines and work late to complete them so that our boss will think we’re smart and accept us. Or we try to be a perfect version of ourselves when we make new friends.
It’s the longing feeling for approval, called validation.
I know I’ve caught myself searching for it. Some days I want to know that I’m liked and accepted. But I realized to have those things you must:
Have standards that help you determine who you choose to accept in your life
Acceptance whether in your workplace or home is a two-way street.
Here are some concepts to keep in mind when the urge for outer validation strikes:
Avoid Being Over-Critical of Yourself; Everyone Wants To Be Accepted
People can sense when you’re trying too hard to fit in or being inauthentic. It’s hard to break the perception that if you cater to a person, they’ll like you. Especially if you’ve had bad luck with a friendship or workplace environment in the past. Your real self, who you truly are, is the most likable.
Let your personality naturally dazzle and avoid identifying your perceived flaws to yourself; it’s wasted energy. You don’t have to try hard to act the way you think you should.
It’s tough to step out of your comfort zone and be you. Most importantly you have to be around the right kind of people to do so. What’s funny is that when you live authentically, then you give people permission to be themselves as well. Everyone wants to be accepted and cherished for who they are. Even CEOs practice vulnerability. This article shows how Richard Branson and others use being vulnerable to run their businesses. It creates a powerful bond with others.
Think Highly of Yourself and Set Standards; You Will Do Great
You have to like yourself to be liked and attract the right crowd. I believe in the Law of Attraction. If you don’t think that you’re likeable or smart chances are you’ll find yourself surrounded by people who don’t either or who have a similar mindset. From his book Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, David R. Hawkins says “The world can only see us as we see ourselves.” Believe that you are a great person to be friends with, a success magnet, and intelligent. Establish value criteria of what you do and don’t accept in a friend or workplace.
Some of this mindset comes with age, but get a head start on this thinking because it is the primer for all the right things in life. It may be helpful to begin your day with 10 minutes of meditation where you affirm your best traits.
You Can’t Please Everybody
There will always be people that don’t like you or who disagree with you. It’s best to stand firm and know who you are then to waste time wondering why they don’t like you when you tried so hard to win their approval.
If you encounter people that give you a less-then-amused reaction maybe it has nothing to do with you, and they’re just having a bad day. Keep on being kind, and maybe they’ll come around. If they don’t come around, then maintain a professional distance because you only want positive energy around you!