I had to laugh (kind of) when Kristina posted about being "too aggressive" in a work meeting because I'd had this post under construction when I read hers. (If you haven't seen it, go read it! She tackles this topic eloquently and with, perhaps, more relevancy than myself.)
Over the last few years, I've been making the purposeful choice to not care what people think. This seems to be working for me; the result has been that my confidence has grown. It has made me a better teacher, a more honest friend, and a more dedicated hobbyist. (Seriously, once I stopped caring about what other people think, my running improved and so did my writing.)
|One of the biggest mistakes new teachers make? Wanting the kids to like them.|
Are there times I have to compromise? Sure. I work with administration and the curriculum team and that often means interacting with teachers that aren't usually on my grade-level team. Sometimes I have to swallow my personal feelings and be nice and likable because, as someone in a mentor position, that's kind of my job.
Are there times I'm worried I'll get myself into trouble? Of course! I've definitely found my voice over the past couple years, and sometimes it means speaking out pretty bluntly about what's going on at our school or with education in general.
But I've found that I'm happier. There's a freedom to being honest. I like knowing that my integrity is intact because I refuse to just smile and make nice when something is bothering me. I feel stronger. And if it means I'm not buddies with everyone, that's okay. I don't believe in burning bridges for the sake of burning them, and I know there's a time and place to lay on the charm, but I also know the people who can handle me are totally the right friends for me.
So what had me thinking about this? I read this article the other day and it really resonated with me; it confirmed for me that the path I've chosen to take is the right one. We often silence ourselves or defer to others in an attempt to be liked, and honestly? Being liked isn't always worth it. When being liked is all we strive for, it makes us passive. I don't want to be passive. I can deal with not being liked.
I'd rather be respected.
Do you spend time worrying about whether people like you?
I am getting better at this...but it took a lot of time. I think I am finally becoming comfortable saying, just be me...I agree with you, I would rather have respect, than be liked!ReplyDelete
It DOES take time! I'm glad you're getting comfortable just being yourself. Being yourself IS enough!Delete
I agree with you, but at the same time, I'm also trying not to beat myself up too much for all the years I've spent wanting people to like me. It's human nature to want to be liked and accepted. Humans are social creatures and it's a survival instinct, from back in the day when we were super tribal and not being liked meant being ostracized from the community you depend on to survive. Obviously life isn't like that anymore, but still, in a culture that values socialization and popularity so much, it's not a surprise that everyone still feels pressure to fit in and be liked, whether they will admit it or not.ReplyDelete
But, like you, I've finally accepted that in life, not everyone is going to like you. And that's okay. I used to think it reflected badly on me every time someone didn't like me, but that's not true. Sometimes people just don't click. Nobody is liked by every single person they meet. There are plenty of people that will like me, and they are awesome enough that I can forget the ones who don't.
I agree, it's definitely human nature to want to be liked and accepted. I think, though, that I would have been a lot happier in the past if I'd learned this lesson earlier. I always tell my students they don't have to like everyone, and everyone doesn't have to like them. But it's something that, at their age, I didn't really take to heart and I wish I had.Delete
I think, ironically, that people like those who don't care as much about being liked because they're more genuine people!
I wish I were better about not being liked. I think I would get my way a lot more often. I tend to take a very laid back approach to life, but it ends up that I kinda get stomped on a lot. I think your approach is much better. I read Kristina's blog post and I was thinking that she did something that I would probably never do and therefore I would not have made a difference for my employees, while she did. I really respect that and hope that I can get to be more that way.ReplyDelete
It can be really difficult, especially if you're naturally more shy, or a people-pleaser, or a pacifist. Taking little steps toward being more assertive is the key.Delete
Okay, worrying about what other people think should be my second career, except I don't get paid. I am ALWAYS overthinking what I say or what people say to me. I recently was told that there is no emotion in an email only the emotion I put in it as I read it....I received an email at work and I was super worried it had underlying messages...lol. I want to make a conscious decision to worry less, but I always find myself cycling back. Any tips?ReplyDelete
I DO overthink things sometimes and then have to make a real, purposeful decision to just STOP. Worrying doesn't really solve anything, does it? Sometimes it helps to just take a deep breath and say, "There's nothing I can do about this right now, so I'm letting it go. Whatever. If it comes up later and meant something, I'll handle it then." I just know I can't waste time racking my brain for what might have caused a certain undertone or hidden message to be there...and I'd drive myself nuts analyzing it for nothing! Usually if I realize I'm doing that (worrying over an email or text or facebook post etc), I know it's a sign I need to either change my relationship with that person or drop them completely.Delete
Less and less. The older I get, the less I care and the more outspoken I am. I am less likely to put up with people's shit if I don't have to. I have walked out of businesses. I don't think I would have even done that 3 years ago!ReplyDelete