Remember when you was a kid and you desperately wanted to be everyones friend?

Are you still like that now?

Do you crave “being liked” or at the least “not being judged”

I have struggled with this over the years. I like to think I don’t care what people think of me but I do….not as much as I used to, but I still need to remind yourself from time to time that you are never going to be everyones cup of tea, because then you are just a mug.

(Love that joke…but goes down better in person)

So it got me thinking, if not everyone is going to like you how do you rationalise that, how do you use that fact to your advantage both in business and in life?

How can we remind ourselves to stand out and not worry about fitting in, without the fear of judgement or worst still the inevitable conflict that comes with being visible and available to so many more people?

As a business owner, a very visible one at that I have put myself out there for judgement, ridicule, opinion, and scrutiny.

Appearing on TV brings all the crazies out on social media,

“Oh look a fat person telling us to be healthy”

And when I started charging properly for my services, or saying no to freebies,

“Oh your just too big for your boots, who do you think you are”

People lash out, sometimes because they are just dicks, sometimes because what you are doing is triggering them, and often because people just can’t see the value you offer to them…or you have different values than yours.

And that is OK

I think there are 3 main reasons people can’t always be your cup of tea and why you shouldn’t try to be, and here they are…

Values

We all have a set of values. Things which are important to us. Some of these are core values we have had since childhood, the things which drive us, which help us navigate the world, and some which come later in life as our world around us shifts and changes.

Someones core value might be equality, but that will mean something different to me, as what it will to you, because our stories are different. So even if we have similar values, we can express them and understand them differently.

And just because some values are less important to you, it doesn’t mean they are not important at all, or that you can’t appreciate their importance in other people, it just mean we focus our energy in the places which matter to us most.

And a big lesson for me is you can’t force people to care about the stuff you care about, but you can outline why you think the way you do and hope people at least respect your position on things.

Communication

We all believe we are wonderful communicators. But often things get lost in translation. We read into what we see according to a range of factors, how we are feeling about ourselves, the influences of others, and sometimes because it serves a purpose to read something in a certain way…because it helps us create evidence for our own views on the world.

Edward De Bono said,

Communication is always understood in the context and experience of the receiver, no matter what was intended

He also said,

Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic


Which means we have a duty to give people the benefit of the doubt and not make rash decisions around meaning. So much conflict is to be had through misreading of information, and the assumptions about intent.

Timings

Things change. Your world view shifts. Your priorities may be different. From year to year, month to month, week to week…what we want, need and expect from the people around us can completely change in an instant, and sometimes it takes a while for the other people to catch up.

But we can’t go around making sure every individual we have a relationship with knows where you are at on everything, we just have to do our best to be authentically ourselves and hope people come along with us if it feels like alignment.

People come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime…and you have to make peace with that, because otherwise it can drive you mad.

So my advice is just be yourself, do your thing, shine brightly, try not to piss people off on purpose, say sorry when people need to hear that, give people the benefit of the doubt, and try to live within the integrity and guidelines you set for yourself.

That will attract the right people to you.

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