Social Question

Jude's avatar

What age was it for you, when you said to yourself: not everyone is going to like me (nor what I do). I have be happy with who I am and what I do. That's what matters?

Asked by Jude (32190points) December 5th, 2010

And, to the rest, you don’t like it (me), oh, well..

I have been there for a long while. I am not out to be a people pleaser.

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23 Answers

Berserker's avatar

Not being an emo, but I realized that pretty young, and I never seemed to care. Whenever someone showed disapproval or discontent for what I was or shit I did, of course I felt scared or sad, but never enough to change. I’d have to say the decisive moment was when I was about 8.
Slept over at a friend’s house for the weekend. On Sunday morn, they always went to mass, and took me along. They had activities for kids and things, we were drawing something, when one lady from the place, seeing I was ’‘new’’ came to speak to me.
So I told her I didn’t like mass and I thought that it was boring. Shortly after, my friend’s mom came to get me, she was pissed. I had to spend the rest of the hour and a half sitting in the church with all the adults.
I didn’t quite understand it at that time, but as of now, I’m guessing the lady told my friend’s mom what I said, and didn’t want me there or wtv, I denno.
However, her husband, my friend’s dad, gave me a smile and then gave me a notebook and a pen. So I just drew the whole time and didn’t listen to anything.
He made me realize that I shouldn’t give a shit what people think.

In my younger years my mom always ragged on me for every single fucking thing, but my dad was quite different, and always championed my black sheep path haha, which really made my mom sore. He woulda got along quite well with that guy who gave me shit to draw with during boring ass mass lol.

Jeruba's avatar

About 13 or 14. Maybe 12. Actually maybe 11. Anyway, a long time ago.

FutureMemory's avatar

This was never really an issue that presented itself in my life til about 10 years ago.

My entire life I’ve pretty much never given a fuck if people agreed with me, or liked my opinions or ideas. But, it was about a decade ago that I realized I can be the most reasonable, forgiving person and there will still be people that find fault with me and how I operate. Some people are just completely unreasonable and so self-absorbed they can’t see things from anyone else’s perspective. With that realization, I stopped being concerned with whether or not everyone I knew liked me – not that I ever sought their approval in the first place, but I no longer concerned myself with making sure they understood I wasn’t actually a dick like they thought – I just told myself, “I don’t need to go out of my way to explain myself, if they’re too lame to understand it on their own, that’s their problem. I can’t jump through hoops because of their shortcomings”.

A good example of this was when I was a supervisor, and despite truly treating everyone fairly, there was always one or two employees that got it in their head I was this big bad evil guy out to get them. There was nothing I could do to change their minds. So, rather than continue to worry about it and hope I could find a way to change their minds, I said to myself “I’ve given it a honest effort, I’m not going to put anymore energy into this. It’s not my problem. They can go fuck themselves for all I care”.

When I was younger, it would really tear me up that someone had the wrong ideas about me, and I would really try to ‘reach’ them – often to no avail. Now that I’m older I just don’t have the patience anymore for bullshit. I expect more from people, and take less crap. This isn’t to say I don’t care what people think – I do – but, what I care about isn’t whether they like me per se, it’s whether or not they understand where I’m coming from. It’s just when someone becomes unreasonable about it I move on. When I was younger, I couldn’t move on.

Facade's avatar

I’ve been trying to make myself believe that since I was young. It hasn’t worked yet.

nikipedia's avatar

I turned 26 yesterday and that still hasn’t sunk in. So, maybe 27? If I’m lucky?

wundayatta's avatar

Hah! You know when the Transporter on the Enterprise isn’t working right and the people sort of phase into and out of existence? Well, that’s how it is with me and the not caring stuff. Only mostly I do care.

I was a first-born (not any more, but that’s another story) and so I had to do everything. The burden of the expectations of my family were on me. All the expectations. Of course, I failed miserably.

For years after college, I tried to stay away from my parents because I had failed them so completely there wouldn’t have been any room for a sign on that edifice. After a half dozen years or so, I realized I was never going to get my father to see that my values were just as valid as his; that a life for living was just as good as a life for succeeding. So I gave up, and just decided to be ok with being me.

That lasted for a while. Not sure how long. Perhaps until I became a father, or perhaps until I became all balls-up in the brain. All of a sudden, all that sense of having failed came back, only being depressed, I couldn’t shake it. I took it seriously. Even though a few months before I remember thinking that I had become set in my ways and I no longer cared what anyone else thought of it. I was just going to do it (whatever it was) because that’s what I enjoyed.

The transporter started acting really wonky again. Often times I’d be left out there in never-never land, unsure if I existed or not. When I did come into existence I might have a healthy attitude about myself, but more likely I felt worthless; a failure; unable to do much of anything except waste time on fluther.

Of course, everyone else grew up a long time ago. Some came to know this at age 12 or so. Wow! My mind is totally boggled. When I fail, I really fail. An angst-ridden teenager in an old man’s body. If that ain’t reason to overdose on the happy pills, I don’t know what is.

So fuck me! I care what people think about me. Except the rules are that I have to be thought of well without changing who I am. Sisyphus move over. I have to convince people that black is grey and grey is white. And white is made of many colors. In other words, be as confusing as possible while trying to sound like I am saying something that actually makes sense.

So I never believe I’ve made a difference in the way people see things, even though a few people say I have. All I know is that I am this utterly fucked up person who insists that being fucked up is the right way to be. I’m not going to change. I can’t change. But I also don’t feel good about it because I need people to approve. That’s like asking people to drink from the waters of Old Faithful and pretend it’s really Evian. Aaaaagh! Sometimes it seems like putting an ice pick through my eye would be a pleasure cruise compared to trying to reconcile that mental pig’s wallow they call “Wundayatta.”

Pandora's avatar

I’m with @Jeruba, I was about 13 years old. I remember going on a school trip and we ended up at a park. All the so call cool girls where laying about with there boyfriends. I saw a swing set and went to go swing on them. It was a beautiful day. Anyhow, my best friend at the time told me it wasn’t cool because that was what little kids did. Some others chimed in. I said I didn’t care. Childhood will be gone soon enough and I was in no hurry to grow up and pretend to be something I’m not. After seeing me try some tricks on the swings, some of the boys joined. Even the ones with girlfriends. Not before long the guys and myself where having a blast trying to out do each other on the swings. All the girls where on the side looking miserable but too scared to try to join us. Thats when I knew that looking to please everyone else will only make your miserable if your not true to your own nature.

YARNLADY's avatar

I am a very slow learner, I was at least 25 before I started to catch on, and closer to 30 before It really sank in.

deni's avatar

Right now I’m trying to realize that and think that way. I have always had a hard time dealing with people disliking me. I’ll get there someday. Hopefully within a year. Age 22 is goal.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

What?! Not everyone is going to like me? That’s just crazy talk.

YARNLADY's avatar

@CyanoticWasp My good laugh for the day : – )

Brian1946's avatar

I was about 32 when I realized that intellectually, and 47 when I actually felt that way

Brian1946's avatar


“A good example of this was when I was a supervisor, and despite truly treating everyone fairly, there was always one or two employees that got it in their head I was this big bad evil guy out to get them. There was nothing I could do to change their minds. So, rather than continue to worry about it and hope I could find a way to change their minds, I said to myself “I’ve given it a honest effort, I’m not going to put anymore energy into this. It’s not my problem. They can go fuck themselves for all I care”.

Hopefully Obama will have that same realization real soon. ;-)

cookieman's avatar

I think I figured it out when I started college at 17. Sadly it took until I was about 30 until I practiced it pretty well. But I really didn’t get good at it until two years ago (37) when I removed a bunch of toxic people from my life.

It’s been a slow road.

Seelix's avatar

I think I first realized it around 11 or so. I was identified as “gifted” and so once every 2 months, I would go to another school for a week for “enrichment” classes with other gifted kids. It kind of changed the dynamic at my own school, where the kids knew that I was always at the top of the class but didn’t consider me any more “special” than anyone else (I didn’t either). Then when I was in grade 8 at a Catholic school and decided that I didn’t want to make my confirmation, that’s when it really hit home. There was nothing the school could do to force me, but they sure didn’t like it.

Like others have said, though, although I know that some people aren’t going to like me or my choices, it’s tough to keep that in mind all the time.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

At 14 or 15 I figured that out.My dad would talk to me about these things too.

Jude's avatar

That’s one of the things that I love about you, Lucy. You aren’t afraid to be you. :)

I yam what I yam!

J0E's avatar

I would guess around 13. I used to get picked on before that, and I didn’t take it very well, which of course only made it worse. I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but at some point I learned to laugh at myself, and to make jokes right back at the people teasing me. Ever since I learned that I stopped being picked on. That’s one of my favorite qualities about myself. I’m comfortable enough with who I am that nothing really gets to me.

Supacase's avatar

I figured it out a long time ago – maybe around 25? I still haven’t been able to put it into practice. My guess is that it has something to do with wanting my mom to like me.

I am able to genuinely laugh at myself, though. I don’t care if people think I’m a little flaky – I just don’t want them to truly dislike me because I beat myself up over what I must have done wrong.

Jeruba's avatar

It always seemed to me that only really insipid people were inoffensive enough not to be disliked by anyone (which is not the same thing as being liked by everyone). I was pretty sure I wasn’t insipid, so I knew I would not be to everyone’s taste. I’d rather be purple and be avoided by all who hate purple but loved by the purple-lovers than be beige and not make any impression at all.

I also knew that I really liked some other people who were not universally liked. Being in a class with them seemed fine to me.

The people who didn’t like me didn’t upset me then and don’t upset me now, although from time to time someone’s evident distaste does make me wonder what the hell I did. Most of the time there’s plenty of civility to cover the rough spots, and from there discreet avoidance takes care of the rest.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It hit late for me, I was about 36 when I actually felt all grown up and not just going through the motions as I’d been doing. Soon after I had a kind of depression probably because I wasn’t used to feeling grown up, adult, aging, looking at life forward as my “2nd half” instead of “The Rest of My Life” but the funk did lift.

CSmg7's avatar

This is something i have realized I need to deal with. This year, at the age of 17, I have begun to realize how desperately I need to change my self-distructive ways. Call it quintessential adolescent insecurities, but I take low self esteem to a whole new level. I am constantly aware of how others view me, because i am constantly aware of others. I will judge people, because i judge myself. I realize a pattern, i think people are going to treat me like i treat others, and i think that people will feel the same way I do because i take things too much to heart. I know now that i can’t base everyone and everything on how i am. If i begin to trust and rely on myself, then maybe i won’t need everyone else’s approval. If i begin to live from within verses from an outsider’s perspective, then maybe I won’t worry so much about the way I am acting. I wish to be everyone’s best friend, because I cannot be my own just yet, so i am desperately trying to compensate. Once i learn to rely on myself, I can learn to rely on the people in my life that matter, and not the ones that I feel I must prove myself to.

People come and go, but we are stuck with ourselves, whether we like it or not.

Rhodentette's avatar

I think I was 10 or 11 when I decided that I wanted a career in the arts (writing or filmmaking – I hadn’t decided which yet) to the dismay of my extended family. My parents were fine with it and simply encouraged me to stay in school and then helped me identify degrees and courses that would be of benefit in my field.

The reactions of my extended family (and some of my parents’ friends) were so extreme that I resolved not to let that bother me in the slightest. I understand that their reactions may have been born out of concern for my future wellbeing, but I felt that they needed to understand that what worked for them (or their children) was not necessarily going to work for me.

Since that experience, it’s always been fairly easy for me to dismiss the people-pleaser in me. Of course, that doesn’t mean I disregard other people’s opinions out of hand, but the people giving them have to have earned my respect before I’ll take them seriously.

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