And that’s okay.
One of my concerns when my daughter left for college was that I hadn’t shared with her every piece of wisdom she would need to venture out on her own in the big world. Okay, maybe not the big world, but the big college campus where she’d practice how to navigate the big world.
I decided to provide her with a re-cap, in case she wasn’t listening or had perhaps forgotten everything I told her. My last post reminded her to choose her friends wisely. This post, Lesson #3, reminds her not everyone is going to like her, and that’s okay.
Remember when we were standing outside of the theater, having just watched one of your BFF’s perform one of the leading roles in the Nutcracker? Gosh, that girl was insanely talented, and she was one of those friends I would have chosen for you (See Lesson #2 ), but you had chosen her all on your own.
We were standing there with friends and parents, waiting for her to come out so we could congratulate her, and I was talking with a fellow mom. When our conversation ended, you said, “Mom, Mrs. Blonde Hair/Blue Eyes gave you the meanest look when you were turned away. Did something happen?”
Your comment confirmed a gut feeling I had always had about this mom. She was civil and cordial to my face, but I always felt an underlying negativity, a tolerance, even, with me in her presence. The bottom line, I think the woman just didn’t like me.
My first reaction, being the people-pleasing person that I am, was “What did I do to her?” After chewing on it for a while and letting it eat away at me, I finally let it go and forgot about it. Until now, as I remind you of Lesson #3: Not everyone is going to like you. Don’t take it personally.
Despite being this smart, witty, funny, friendly creature, some people still won’t like you. They won’t agree with you, your thoughts or your opinions. They may think your favorite sweater is ugly and that you have no taste in fashion. They may disagree with your politics and think you’re a moron for still loving Katy Perry as much as you do. They may just not get you.
You could drive yourself crazy wondering what you should have done or could do to make them change their minds about you, but don’t bother. You’re not meant to be best friends with everyone you meet.
Sometimes, personalities just don’t click. That doesn’t mean you did anything wrong – and it doesn’t mean they did anything wrong, either, by the way – it just means you won’t be bonding over that glass of wine while watching Netflix. It means this person will never sing Katy Perry songs in your car with the windows rolled down.
The world is made up of a mosaic of personalities and they’re not all meant to fit pretty like a puzzle. Don’t be a chameleon and change your colors, trying for that perfect fit. It will never happen, and it wastes valuable time and energy.
Besides, there’s a tremendous amount of personal power and freedom that comes from being comfortable enough in your own skin to be yourself and make decisions based on what’s right for you, not what’s right for everyone else. It’s liberating, I tell you, and it will make your life richer.
So, smile. Be friendly. Be yourself. Some people aren’t going to like you, but that’s okay, because there are a whole lot of people who are going to love you. These people, they are your tribe. These people, they are the keepers.