Recently I was attending a networking event where someone brought up author, speaker, and entrepreneur Gary Vee. As soon as his name came up, all sorts of opinions flooded out!
What I found fascinating about this conversation was how openly people were sharing their opinions of him – and how strongly they felt! Some people loved him, while others interpreted him as being too much.
The fact that he is so bold and opinionated and unapologetically himself makes it easy for people to decide whether they vibe with him or not. Yet someone not liking Gary Vee or resonating with his material doesn’t mean anything about him or his work. It’s simply, I realized, a matter of preference.
I've been thinking about this concept a lot lately, because as I expand and put myself out there, my fear of not being liked is something I have to continually keep in check.
At this point in my life, not being liked is still quite uncomfortable. It’s certainly not fun. But! It's not devastating or debilitating, like it has been in the past. Thanks to the inner work I’ve done around this, it's more of a speed bump than a stop sign. I notice it, but I don’t let it derail my plans.
Something that’s really helped is remembering that what other people think about me has nothing to do with me.
It's genuinely none of my business.
There will be people who don't vibe with me no matter what. No matter what I say or do, they might just not be “my people.” And that’s okay.
When that still feels like too much of a stretch, I think of non-people examples. One of my teachers, Brooke Castillo, uses a metaphor about peaches when she talks about being liked. She explains that some people like peaches, some don't, and that means nothing about the peach itself. The peach doesn't conform or change itself in an attempt to be more liked. It just keeps being a peach!
This reminds me that my job is to keep showing up as the most me version of myself possible – not some watered down version that may be more appealing to a wider range of people.
I find this example especially fun because I LOVE peaches. They're not only my favorite fruit, but one of my favorite foods! I can't even imagine a more delicious fruit. At the same time, Will, my fiancé, isn't a fan. And Brooke, who used this metaphor, doesn't like peaches either.
Meanwhile, I’m over here like - wait, what?! How could you NOT like peaches? You people are seriously missing out!
Now, swap in any person in place of the peach. Maybe there’s someone your husband or best friend loves that just rubs you the wrong way. There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just not your preferred person. If they were a peach, you’d choose a different fruit.
Silly as it may sound, I find thinking of it this way to be so helpful. It helps neutralize whether or not people like each other.
Just the other day, I met someone and could tell they didn't care to talk to me or get to know me. It wasn't anything they said, but energetically I just knew that they didn't like me. Realizing this felt awkward and uncomfortable for a few minutes, but, I swear, thinking of those dang peaches helped!
I decided to think: "Hmm, guess they don't like peaches. No use trying to convince them. I'll go find someone to talk to who does!"
I'm not even kidding. That exact thought process went through my mind, and it helped! I gracefully moved on to another conversation that flowed more easily with someone else.
The next time you encounter someone you don't vibe with, I suggest you give it a try! After all, you have nothing to lose :)
Just remember that being liked has nothing to do with you. Be gentle with yourself in the midst of any discomfort, and then keep on doing you.
Be as you as you possibly can, and you will naturally attract your people.
Because for every person out there who doesn't like peaches, there's someone (like me!) who wouldn't want them (or you!) to be any different.