Veera is a published Author (‘Endured’ and ‘#LoveBitesLifeHacks’) and Columnist; a passionate Educator and Counsellor; Poet and Philosopher… but most of all, a lover of all things literary.
One of the more difficult aspects about implementing changes in our life is how we deal with people. All relationships – with friends, family, colleagues or team-mates come with opinions, judgements and approval or disapproval. It’s certainly not unrealistic to seek approval and appreciation from those you know or at least, the ones who matter significantly. Being liked and accepted makes for a happy environment, whether at home, work or play.
Social acceptance is a primal human need. Period. The level and measure of how people regard you and your indifference to it may be different. But underneath it all, the measure of our value in the world we live in, is truly based on the opinion of others. From early times, humans have been hardwired to live in packs tribes, groups and communities. We function best as team players. Our ranks, reputations, standing is overall rated and approved by the group or organisation to which we align ourselves. We seek approval, validation and support from people – but why? It’s natural to feel like you belong, but it’s completely unrealistic to expect a sense of belonging everywhere.
If you want your life to be inspiring, fun, easy, adventurous and meaningful, stop seeking approval from all and sundry. It’s your life, not theirs to live. At the end of the day, it’s you who has to live with the choices you’ve made. And believe me, it’s a whole lot easier, no matter what the consequence – good or bad, when you have just yourself to deal with. Stay committed, play the field. Turn down that promotion, move to a new city, end a long-term relationship and relocate. What does it really matter to people once the dust settles? Your choices, however, the ones you’ve made, adhere to your life. They play out their part and it’s only you who needs to be in the centre court with them, every day. What may be right for someone else may be wrong for you. It’s important to know and recognize that someone’s opinion is often based on what they would do. What may be the best for them could be a disaster for you!
Throughout the course of your life, there’s always going to be people who will like you and people who won’t. You certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. All of us have different tastes. This is a big one .There may be people who may appreciate your quirky sense of humour. Some may find you charming, others annoying. You may come across people who may be a bit overwhelming, too unpredictable. Others may be easy to talk to, while some are downright awkward and difficult to crack. We tend to vibe differently with different folk.
Remember, it’s not personal. While part of how we feel towards people is influenced by them, a lot has to do with our perceptions and backgrounds. Some people are basically unhappy, bitter or cynical with issues that run deep, making them quick to make judgement calls and write off happy and balanced individuals around them. Some people are just not emotionally available for or able to be interested in forming a connect either with you or maybe a large part of the world. They lack emotional incentive or just the energy to cope with relationships. Again a point to note – it’s ain’t You!
Be independent of the good opinions of others. More often than not, people who share their opinions with you are your supporters who may have your best interests at heart. Their intentions may be pure; their opinions downright true believing what is best for you. Even so, you may still need to be independent of their opinions and always listen to your gut, your inner voice. It guides you correctly. It speaks of your desires, yearnings, dreams and goals. Even the ones you may still be unaware of. Basically what it means is to follow your own bliss no matter how warped your decision may seem to an onlooker. It is always better to live a life that you’ve coursed than following the one chartered by others.
It’s all about living with Integrity. An authentic life doesn’t necessarily run a smooth course. There will be bumps and hurdles, mistakes and corrections strewn all through. But living with integrity is living the life you have chosen. It certainly won’t be easy but it will prove itself just right for you. You will naturally veer and align yourself to what the universe chooses to offer you. When you live by your standards and follow your own clarion call, you will do justice to the life that was meant for you.
Often, we find ourselves worried about what others think, losing ourselves in that process. We all live complex lives, but seeking constant approval will sap the energy and life force out of you if you’re always worrying about others’ opinions of you. Have you considered that you could be mistaken about what others are thinking? In fact, often, people don’t really care as much as you worry about them.
We make sweeping judgements about people all the time, based on singular observations. We forget that people are also layered, complex and complicated. Life cannot be viewed in black or white, right or wrong. There’s a whole spectrum in between. Once you realise this, it becomes easier to accept people and be accepted by them. Life is not lived upon opinions – it’s based on decisions. Take another’s opinion of you with a grain of salt – because the only stamp of approval that matters in the end, is yours!