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Lord knows I want to be liked.

I have contorted myself, reinvented myself, and compromised myself with dire consequences, to be liked.
I’ve made decisions that seemed more likeable than the decisions I knew I should have made and watched my well-intentioned attempts to appease go up in flames.

I’ve made a fool of myself trying to be someone I’m not in the name of being liked, recently.

And I know I’m not alone.

It’s human nature. We want to be loved and liked. It’s part of our reptilian brain. There is something in that instinctive tribal wiring that tells us we are safer if we’re appreciated by our pack or tribe.

There are very few words that sting more than, “I don’t like you.”. Worse yet, to hear that someone said it behind your back.

The need to be liked can easily spin off into an addiction of sorts. The deep rooted desire to be popular doesn’t end when you turn twenty. Getting approval feels good. Being admired creates a high. The fear of being disliked itself can drive a person when nothing else will.

However, the reality of that can be very complicated.

Too man times staying on the winning side of being liked becomes a negotiation. It’s really easy to lose yourself in the equation when being liked is the thing that’s driving the agenda or your behavior.

You compromise. You bend a little or a lot. You start to lose sight of yourself, becoming something else, little by little. You start outsourcing your self-esteem when you spend too much time playing the please like me game.

I’ve recently had some experience navigating this territory. I’ve felt the sting of knowing how unpopular I am in certain spaces more times than I care to count in the past few months. I’ve cowered to the opinions of others and made compromises for the sake of being likeable with devasting consequences.

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However, there is another side to this equation that has some powerful implications. There are some massive benefits in knowing you’re not liked, and the chances of being liked have sailed.

Being disliked can ultimately feel like a big ‘ol breath or fresh crisp air.

Once you accept the fact that you aren’t liked, the stress of that struggle instantly subsides. You quit fighting that gut sick feeling that you might get it wrong. That feeling is exhausting. When you’ve settled into acceptance, that stress and struggle dissolve.

Then and only then are you able to stop editing yourself to make yourself more appealing or to meet someone else’s expectations. You can speak your mind without fear of consequence. You can show up as you one-hundred percent of the time. You can look yourself in the mirror and recognise your own face with a crystalline clarity that can only be had when you’re standing alone.

You are free to do what you want to or what you need to do without having to appease anyone else’s interests or concerns about their opinions. You’re not negotiating for mutual outcomes anymore. You are not compromising for the leverage of approval.

You can become opinion bullet-proof, and that is a powerful place to be.

When you accept the fact that you aren’t liked, you can advocate for your interests. You can plan your future. You can make your moves. You clear the board of every player, who isn’t you. That’s a winning game.

Real freedom can only exist when you’re willing to embrace being left behind so you can go your way.

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Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.

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