Let’s face it. We all want to be seen as friend material. We all have an inner desire to be complimented and liked.
But the reality is that not everyone is going to like you. No matter how hard you try.
I’ve learned a lot about myself this summer. Mostly good stuff, but some big lessons about myself too – things I know I need to work on. The great thing is, knowing is half the battle.
Awhile back, I had an uncomfortable run in with a mom acquaintance of mine. She kind of called me out on some not-so-positive things I tend to do. And I didn’t like it. After that, I didn’t much like her either. She got me to thinking though… if an acquaintance can see the bad traits in me, what were my friends seeing?
So I posted on my Facebook wall asking for my friends to tell me one trait they loved about me and one they thought I needed to work on. I got a few replies – Monica’s was pretty spot on! – and thought about it some more.
“Oh Ang, I feel like I barely know you enough to tell you something you could improve on. But one thing I LOVE about you is from the moment I met you I’ve felt a strength and grace that I’ve never felt before. I feel like you’re on this earth for a VERY special reason and you are influencing people in an important way.” ~Lindsay, met once at a conference and stayed in touch
“You are a friend because you are good-hearted, patient (with me, at least), and determined. You inspire me because you Know What You Want and you Go For It (kids, work, etc.). What you do well is…love. You just have this…aura about you that makes people trust you, and you make good decisions and give great advice. For worst? You criticize yourself too much, expect too much of the world, and have difficulty dealing with the shortcomings of other people. You don’t annoy me with your editorial stuff because I have the same problem, but I know other people get gripey about it when you tell them what needs to be improved…even if you’re right. How could you be a better friend? You could clone yourself so that there are enough of you to go around for everyone who needs you!! What trait are you lacking? Patience with yourself and those around you who can’t keep up with you.” ~Monica, former next-door neighbor and friend since about 2005.
“Your faith and determination are what I admire. I too have had to face incredible obstacles (raising my boys on my own) and did not have the faith that you have. I have grown in my belief because of you and as a result I am able to weather storms I was not previously able to withstand. I don’t know you well enough to know your flaws. I feel your moments of weaknesses and feel your fear, but know you will weather any storm.” ~Marguerite, a virtual friend who has followed our story since the beginning
“I love you to death, and I mean this in the most loving way. You need one unwind drink. From the outside looking in… you give 500% to everyone. You are the most caring, giving, loving, and devoted person I know. But you need to unwind and relax. I would love to get you drunk, but I’ll settle on one drink.” ~Kinsey, a MOMs friend of mine
It’s funny, after reflecting on it, I realize that while there are definitely some things I need to work on, I also have a lot to offer to people. And, you know what? I got to spend some time with the mom acquaintance that got this whole thing started for me, and after we hung out a bit, we really understood each other better, and we kind of actually liked each other. Go figure, right?
I also learned that my good traits and my bad traits are often the same.
I’m a perfectionist – this is great when something needs to be right, but bad when it makes me procrastinate.
I’m a go-getter, assertive, and passionate – this is great for getting things done, but bad when I go a little overboard and start to become bossy or aggressive or start to interrupt when trying to get my point across.
I’m compassionate – this is great for helping others and giving back, but bad when I start to forget I have limits and rescue yet another animal we can’t take in or offer to help yet another person when my plate is too full.
There are several more traits that are both my good and bad traits, but you don’t need to know all my dirty laundry. 😉
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the bottom line is this… as long as you are aware of what is good about yourself AND what you might need to work on a bit, you’re in a pretty good place.
It doesn’t matter who likes you – because not everyone is going to. It matters that YOU like YOU. That you are being authentically you.
Speaking of liking yourself… I’ve got a post coming for you that I’ll give you a sneak peek of here. It took a LOT of courage and a LOT of liking myself to prepare for this post. It’s about more than what you might think. It’s BIG. I know I’ll get some flack for posting it later this week, but I just simply remind myself… ‘Angie, not everyone is going to like you. Just be authentically you.’
What is one good trait and bad trait you possess? They might be the same! Share with me in the comments below and let’s own who we are and not worry about who’ll like us or not. It’s harder than it sounds, I know…
Angie – I think finding confidence in yourself and being authentic is a lifetime pursuit. I know for me it ebbs and flows with many other things going on in my life. One of my “bad” traits is not asking for help. I was raised to be independent and strong so it’s hard for me to feel like I can’t handle something be it big or small. One of my good traits is that I’m strong willed and stubborn. I don’t give up easily when it’s something I want to do or achieve (I guess that one cuts both ways depending on the situation :-)). I have found that the older I get the less I worry about what other people think of me or whether or not they like me. After all, I don’t like everyone I meet so why should I expect different from others? On a personal note, I love your take on life, your faith and strength in the face of adversity, and what a great mom you are. You inspire girl!
Hi Robin! Thank you for commenting. I agree about it being a lifetime pursuit. The great thing about it though is that the earlier you figure this out, the easier the pursuit is. 😉
Such a great message. I think we all should take the time not only to reflect on ourselves, but to acknowledge that we are good enough the way we are!
I typically ask potential jurors in my cases to tell me three adjectives to describe themselves. So before each trial, I try to take stock of myself and what my answers would be. Like most people, my descriptions encompass my best and worst traits–organized, which is necessary for my work and home life but can be cause me to be rigid and easily annoyed; funny, which not everyone appreciates, and humble–I try not to talk about myself a lot, but that reserve can be interpreted as snobby.
And I do like you!!
Thanks, Missy! So glad that you enjoyed it. I love that you do that before each trial, what a neat exercise. And, of course, I’m so glad you like me too!
We sound so much alike – except maybe not the go-getter part! haha I, too, am a perfectionist with the good and bad as well as compassionate, though I started wearing thin because I did give too much for a long time. Even when my husband was going through his cancer treatment I was helping others and struggling (A LOT) without a word. It can definitely have a negative side. You’re right, though. I recognize it, and I know not everybody will like me, and I’m OK with that. I still fight insecurity from a broken family growing up, but I continue to turn to God for my security and am learning to love myself as I understand how He sees me in the process. 🙂
I bet we are alike! We had a connection from the moment we met online, and I love it! I can’t wait to meet you in person one day. 🙂 And, I understand the insecurity stuff – I have a similar background, and it’s not easy.
Petra Nickerson says
You are so right – you are absolutely stunningly beautiful. I am sharing your blog post with my girlfriends. We are working on loving our bodies post-babies and have a classy boudoir shoot booked to take similar pictures. We will make a party out of it! Now I cannot wait. Thank you for sharing, I know that must have been scary.
Petra Nickerson says
Ha, I commented on the wrong post – sorry 🙂
That’s awesome, Petra! I love that you went to both posts, so I am totally okay with you commenting on the wrong one! I think we all have body issues… I’m glad you shared it with your girlfriends and that you’re considering doing something like this. It’s an amazing experience. If you’re in the Dallas area, be sure to hit Jodi up – she was amazing!
Emily from Nap Time Is My Time says
You don’t know how much I needed to read this. I’ve been struggling lately to make friends in our new community. With each failed friendship, I ask myself what is wrong with me. I see that it may not be me, at least not entirely. Because of your post, I posted the same question to my Facebook wall, we’ll see what type of feedback I receive.
I thought I replied here – but I must have only done so in email. I hope you are getting some great feedback from you post… you’ll have to let me know how you’re doing!