Here’s an important lesson which will help you make friends, develop relationships and generally improve your self-confidence – not everyone is going to like you. In the same way that you are not attracted to everyone you meet, so too will others not be attracted to you. Do you waste your time chasing after friends who are not really interested in spending time with you or boys who don’t seem keen on you? Well then it’s time to change your behaviour.
I spent too much energy in my 20’s trying to make people like me and then worrying about why some people didn’t. It was so easy to dismiss those guys that were flirty but so hard to overcome the feelings of rejection when someone’s response too me was less than awestruck. Through experience I have realised that the pursuit of other people’s approval is redundant. We have no control over another guy’s feelings or tastes so there’s really no point in trying to convince them otherwise. Rather focus on those who like what you’re offering.
Why is it that we chase after guys who are mean to us or dismissive or aloof but fail to recognise those that are kind, open and attentive? For me, it was the need to validation. When someone showed the slightest interest in me then I felt validated. I would then move onto the next person. If the opposite was true then I would chase after that validation until I either received it through exerted efforts to change their opinion of me or I would feel despondent and unworthy of love if I was unable to change their viewpoint. I see this same behaviour in friends of mine who are exceptionally good looking. They thrive off the attention they receive around other gay men but if they don’t receive adequate enough attention or they are not received in a manner they have become accustomed too then they become agitated and anxious. Their sense of self worth is dependent on exterior factors.
The need for validation, sought through other people’s liking of you, puts you in a volatile position. In doing so you are placing your happiness and sense of self worth in other people’s hands. When you realise that not everyone is going to want you, and that it’s ok if they don’t, then you regain your power and the need for validation subsides. Not everyone is going to like vegemite or baked beans or avocado but this doesn’t make vegemite or baked beans or avocado any less attractive to those that do!
Image by Saverio Cardia