I don’t consider myself an instigator. I don’t try to start fights. Even as a kid I was usually trying to break them up. Still, if something is important to me, or I feel there is a chance to move forward in a better direction, I will share my opinion or present someone else’s. I usually try to find common ground with anyone who disagrees, and I hate debating. Especially on the Internet.
Still, for all of my caution, I’ve found that you just can’t be best friends with everyone. You can’t rationalize with everyone. You can’t even win everyone’s respect. This is a hard truth for me to cope with because I’m not a fighter.
And to be honest, I want to be liked.
I know that might sound weak or corny, but I believe that most people want to be liked. You may not want to be liked by everyone or like by certain people, but even the rebels want to be liked by other rebels. We all want to be respected.
Still, I’ve also realized that not everyone is worthy of my respect. So why do I need to feel like I have to make sure everyone respects me?
I’m not saying that I will now be an instigator or that I don’t care if people hate me. I still want to try to be a peacemaker and common ground finder. I’m just realizing that it’s not always possible and I need to be okay with that.
Jesus went around healing and giving out free food and wine, and the people still killed him. He even said, “John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” To me he was basically saying, “We can’t win with you people.”
A lot of people don’t want to listen, learn and discuss. They just want to be right. Some people love to hate and some people love to argue. To me, neither is worth it.
I need to have the backbone to stand behind my beliefs, and I also need to have feet that know when to walk away. You can’t make everyone happy. You can’t make everyone like you. And that’s all right.
People pleasers, you are free to be disliked. And it’s not as bad as I had feared.