A few months back I read a piece of writing by Amy Weatherly that really stood out to me. A friend sent me the link, and I want to share with you the way these words made me feel. Now, before I gush some more about this AMAZING article I read, let me first say that I sparingly use this primo adjective. I hate when it is used excessively; it seems like when everything is labeled as “amazing,” then the truly amazing things get lumped in with the trivial, and it all inevitably glazes over into one big, fat, happy land of triteness.
Anyhoo, to me, this piece was indeed amazing, in every sense of the word. It was about people and relationships…and, of all things, condiments! In particular, Chik-fil-A sauce. The author commented about people’s choices in dipping sauces, and she was exasperated that not everyone liked the restaurant’s signature condiment.
“How could you not like Chik-fil-A sauce?!” the author incredulously asked with true awe and wonder.
So she thought about it. Well, maybe some people do not like Chik-fil-A sauce, but they do like BBQ sauce or hot sauce or teriyaki sauce. And perhaps others (including me!) like honey mustard or another different option. We all have our own preferences, our own flavors (figuratively and literally), our own everything.
So even though their sauce preferences did not align with hers, an obvious, yet striking thought hit her: People don’t always like the same things others do, and it’s not just limited to sauces. It applies to individuals and interactions and relationships, too. And that, all of it, is ok.
So, we are left to consider–and, ok, you can giggle at it as well–that something as simple as a meal in a mall food court, and looking at the sauces people choose, can surprisingly remind us about life and people and relationships. Sometimes you are yummy Chik-fil-A sauce to people around you; they love you, cannot get enough of you and will always be there for you, just like that so-called delectable special sauce that I have yet to try, so I cannot expound with any further adjectives…tee hee. Or, just as they might reject certain condiments right off the bat, even the acclaimed Chik-fil-A sauce, they perhaps do not like you or mesh with you for whatever reason; they will possibly never like you or even attempt to mesh with you. The bottom line: You may not be their jam (pun intended).
How valuable of a lesson is that? Ultimately, not everyone may like you, trust you, respect you, appreciate you or understand your style or sense of humor or whatever…but that is totally ok. You were not put on this Earth to make everyone happy or for everyone to like you. Restaurants provide different dining options because not everyone likes the same things. Undoubtedly, as difficult as it is to embrace sometimes, the brutal truth remains you cannot convince people to like you, love you or even tolerate you. Yes, it might hurt at times. Yes, it might be frustrating at times. Yes, it might make you question why things are the way they are in life. But NO, it definitely does not define you when people are not a fan of yours. And, take a moment to think about all the people that drive you crazy! It’s just…life.
What matters is that YOU are your biggest fan, that YOU embrace you live a life of substance and YOU know you don’t have to prove anything to anybody except yourself (and if you are religious, the man above). If you know the truth, and you know your positive assets and qualities, then that is all that matters. Although we all want validation, we all want recognition and we all want those around us to respect us, if others don’t give us those things for whatever reason, we simply cannot negate all we have worked for or all that we stand for or all that we know we have worked SO hard to accomplish in our lives.
You cannot possibly control whether people like you; it is often instinctual, similar to whether they enjoy–or dismiss–certain foods or condiments. What you can do is revel in those special, supportive, loving individuals in your life who DO enjoy you for you and are thankful for you to be in their lives.
So stop wasting time or energy on whether people like you or what they think about you or what they are possibly saying about you behind your back. Life is too short, and you are way too big of a deal to sweat the small stuff.