We’ve all heard it, us humans are a bunch of social creatures. We love being surrounded by other people. We seek help, support, care, guidance and sometimes even approval from our peer.
But what happens when we don’t feel loved or appreciated? It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of emotions. Is it us? Maybe something we’ve done wrong? Should we change ourselves, our behavior, our thinking?
And then we go into an internal debate, weighing the pros and the cons of our actions. One minute we’re up, telling ourselves that, of course, we were right! The next, convincing ourselves that other people don’t like us because there has to be something wrong with us.
These mixed emotions affect many of us every day. At work, where we are expected to act in a professional manner and to make compromises. We are told that “the customer is always right”. We are measured on how well we fit within the organisation’s values.
For others, it’s in our relationships, at home with our parents or loved ones, or out in our social circles. Nowadays, many of us also have some form of online persona that we maintain on our regular basis. We get likes and comments when people approve of our actions.
And then there are times when we are left to wonder. Why is this person giving us the cold shoulder? Is our boss not happy with us because of something we’ve done? What did our loved ones mean when they said that thing they said? No one liked our latest post, was there something wrong we did?
The biggest mistake we can make is to let other people’s opinions affect us and determine who we are. Each of us is unique, special, talented. When we know ourselves, what we are good at, our values, passion, purpose, what other people think of us should not mean much. There is nothing wrong with compromising, and if we want to belong we often need to adapt. But first let’s accept ourselves and love ourselves. Let’s find out who we are. Because those who do not know us will always have an opinion. Only we know if their opinion matters.