You will never please everyone, yet as a society we are fixated on approval.
Success and popularity are often measured by your friend count on Facebook or the number of followers you have on Twitter. There are very few people around who are genuinely unaffected by what others think of them. I’m definitely not one.
I’ve been blogging for almost 3 months now and have been on a real high with it all having been made featured blogger a few times on the blogs of more experienced bloggers, having Mumsnet make me blog of the day and also finally getting my first paid freelance writing job. And I’ve been ever so slightly on cloud nine with how everything’s panning out so far.
Then the inevitable happened and I got my first negative comment on one of my posts. The author of the comment decided to declare him/herself as “anonymous” and tell me that I swore too much and I would “go further” if I “dropped my potty mouth.” If I was being cool I’d say this didn’t bother me, I’m over it, one person doesn’t get to dictate how I write etc etc.
But truth be told, it stung, and I turned it over and over in my head for a long time before the effect on me faded a little.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced this. A little comment or dig from a stranger, a loved one even, that really hurt. We all just want to be liked. We all, no matter how tough we appear, just want people to say “you’re doing good.” That especially holds true for mums, because we rarely get told we’re doing ok, hence my post on The Value of a Mum. But somewhere deep down we have to find the ability to realise we will never, however hard we try, be able to please everyone.
I’ve always been a bit of a fence-sitter, peace-keeper sort of person. I don’t like confrontation and I’m a bit weak in terms of going along with something simply to please other people. Let me tell you that this strategy does not work. It’s the worst place to be as usually you’ll end up pleasing no one and become miserable in the process.
In the 33 (just!) years I’ve been kicking around on this planet, I’ve learnt that you have to stand true to yourself. You can’t become a “suitable for all types,” “universal” form of yourself.
Decide what you’re about and stick with it. There are people who won’t like you regardless of what you do and how you do it. No one will like you all the time and we all need to resist the urge to chop and change with the tide of opinion.
I like to think of myself as a nice person. I believe in values and morals, and really try to treat everyone as I would want to be treated. Yes I do swear sometimes, much more on paper than colloquially might I add, but I’ve wasted too many years of my life trying to make myself perfect, trying to please everyone. The problem is that what one person considers to be ‘perfect’ will be vastly different to what the next person considers such. There is no such thing so stop chasing it.
You will never please everyone.
And to my troll who thinks I swear too much – piss off.