Is your self-respect trying to get your attention? Is there a little voice whispering in your ear trying to tell you to step back and take a breather on needing to be loved by everybody from the mail carrier to your dental hygienist?
Have you, dear one, forgotten that you are sufficient unto yourself?
Don’t ignore those voices, for they tell you what, deep down, you already know. You don’t need to be universally loved because…
1. There’s Plenty Of Love To Go Around
Not everyone needs to love you. This is in no way meant to be a downer, it’s simply pragmatic. If it makes it easier, flip it around: Do you feel compelled to love everyone you meet?
2. Honesty Is Humility
“Do you feel compelled to love everyone you meet?”
No. No you don’t.
You don’t need to love everyone. It’s enough that there’s you, your manageable circle of good friends, and enough wiggle room to allow a few others in.
3. Not Everyone Deserves You
I know we’re supposed to be compassionate and above name-calling, but let’s rip the bandage off something: Some people are jerks.
Do you feel the need to be liked by, loved by, or to capitulate to jerks?
I sincerely hope not. That’d be a waste of excellent “you” material.
4. No One Is Grateful For Ingratiation
Is self-sacrifice for the greater good something you’re able to perform at the copying machine, knowing that you taking over Lou’s copying means Lou gets to go to lunch 5 minutes earlier?
This does not mean Lou is forever grateful to you, and on some occasion will gladly offer up a kidney.
This means Lou’s going to load up on extra breadsticks for beating the salad rush.
5. You’re Important To More People Than You Realize
None of us tends to keep count, but maybe now and then we should. One of the reasons folks try to be “that special, dependable person” is a sneaking feeling that we don’t matter to anyone.
But just off the top of your head you can probably list ten.
Nephew, mom, best friend, acquaintance you met last year who you bumped into again recently and they remembered the advice you gave them last year and it’s helped them SO much, Lou (you matter to Lou, but not in a way that’s good for either of you. Delete Lou), uncle, new friend, colleague, the list goes on…
You matter. No need to spread yourself thin trying to prove it.
6. Nobody “Makes” You Happy
“But, Angela,” you say, “my bestie makes me happy all the time.” To which I say: “Tosh.”
Others react to and enhance the happiness already inside of you, but they don’t create it. This isn’t semantics, it’s truth.
Which means, if you’re not happy, trying to suck the love from the bones of others only leaves them marrow-deficient and wary of you.
7. Sometimes You Have To Leave The Ones You Love
Personal, spiritual, and emotional growth will, at times, require a strange kind of love; one that is embodied in withholding yourself from others. This can be growth for you, or growth for them.
Either way, it can’t be done if your goal in life is to please everyone all the time. The status quo exists to be shaken up, not endlessly coddled.
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8. The “Super” In Superficial Doesn’t Make It A Good Thing
A lot of the relationships you’ll seek out and maintain as a NULer (Need to be Universally Loved –er) come at the cost of your own inner joy, and will be so thin they’ll blow away without the other parties even knowing you’re gone.
9. Doing Things You Dislike Doesn’t Make You Like Yourself
You own a fair bit of that superficiality. Rather than engage in spraying friendship buckshot all over the place, focus on what enriches you; by extension, you’ll cross paths with people seeking similar soulful gain.
10. It Gets Better
Whatever your “it” is. It gets better.
Wanting to be universally loved is often a cover for feeling pained, weak, lost, or forgotten. It gets better, loves. Remember to thank you for you, because chances are you’re more awesome than you let on.
Do you still think you need to be all things to all people, and when someone says “come” you run, and if they say “go” you leave crumbs for them to find their way to you? If so, it’s time to break out the Big Guns in the form of…
First and foremost, you are your universe. Everything concerning you is created by you. So let’s see what’s there:
Talent. There are things you do unique to no one but you.
Drive and perseverance. Every day you wake up is a new opportunity to successfully love you; to say, “I am alive right now!” with as much amazement as that statement carries.
Every. Single. Day. Which adds up to a lot of days. Which becomes a lifetime.
Respect. Do you respect yourself when friends behave boorishly but you sit in silent witness? Of course not. You feel terrible. You can see your own respect for yourself eroding away.
Know this: in your universe, if situations arise that allow your self-respect to fade, others can also see it going away, and they tend to latch onto that fact and exploit it to high heaven.
So respect yourself. Know your strength. Cosmic, you are. Love yourself.
12. It’s OK To Say No
How often do we forget that? A general rule of thumb is:
If you’re afraid of how someone will react to you if you say no to them, there’s a good chance love wasn’t part of that equation in the first place.
A need to be universally loved is often just another way of saying “conflict avoidance.”
But you know what? There are people who need to be told no; people who shouldn’t get their way; people who should know better, and people who practically scream for a good comeuppance.
It’s OK if you’re the one guiding them to it once in a while.
13. Honesty Is Your Best Policy
Do you really want to rescue the guy down the hall from getting locked out of his apartment for the third time in a month?
Are you really in love with the sculptor model’s inner soul during that art class you take on weekends, the one with the red hair who always manages a ride home from you?
Is there any particular reason you agreed to go out with your buddies after telling yourself how good it was going to feel to have an in-home, bathrobe day?
If you find yourself needing to be universally loved, we’ll leave these questions with you to respond to at your own leisure. Just be honest and show all your workings.
14. You Are Already Universally Loved
That’s the biggest forgotten truth you could ever forget. You don’t even need to approach this from a religious perspective. Despite everything life throws our way, you love you. That’s universe loving universe.
That’s power, acceptance, healthy self-adoration, and even healthier self-respect all in one.
There’s no need to be loved, because there’s no existing in the absence of love. It’s there. Always has been, always will be. Remember that.