10 Reasons to be Okay with Being Disliked

Do You Like Me

“If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness, and, therefore, your excellence.” ~Unknown

We all know at least one hardcore people pleaser. You know the signs: She sleeps out in the rain and gets sick so her friend's dog can fit in the tent. She's 100 percent Republican but pretends she’s Democrat solely because her friends are.

If a friend calls her stupid, she whips up a batch of cookies and makes a card that reads, “I'm sorry for disappointing you.” And despite all her efforts to be liked by everyone, many people disrespect her.

Maybe that's you, maybe it's not—but odds are, you can relate at least a little to the desire to be well-liked. Who doesn't want to feel accepted, respected, and appreciated?

For most of my life, my need to be liked overshadowed all my other needs. I was always trying to manipulate perception, adapting myself to receive validation. It was draining and counterproductive, since very few people actually knew me—the real me—which is a prerequisite to liking me.

I've since learned it's actually a good sign if there are some people who don't accept or agree with me.

I'm not suggesting we should be rude, inconsiderate, or disrespectful. This post isn't about disregarding other people's feelings.

This is about releasing our stress about other people's opinions.

When you’re comfortable not being liked by everyone:

1. It allows you to be true to yourself.

The biggest disservice you can do yourself is shapeshifting to please your “audience” of the moment. It's exhausting (even to watch) and, more importantly, pointless. No one will get to know who you really are, which will leave you feeling empty.

2. It gives you the power to say no.

I believe people are good at heart. Still, it’s human nature to test each other’s boundaries. When you're willing to risk being disliked, you're able to say no when you need to. Your yeses and nos shapes your future, so choose them wisely.

3. You're more comfortable exploring your feelings.

Doesn't it feel good to just be where you are without pretending for someone else's sake? I'm not saying you should act in anger or fear, just that it's pretty exhilarating to say, “Hell yeah—I'm terrified” (or lonely or weak or struggling) regardless of what people will think.

4. Your candor can help other people.

An angst-filled younger me made a fake voodoo doll for a middle school teacher who was hard on me, but forever changed my life (not my proudest moment). It's often the least popular people who strike the deepest chord in us. Be unpopular when necessary and push people to be their best. You just may save someone's life.

5. You can freely express your thoughts.

One of the kindest things you can do for someone else is listen without judging. You deserve that same kindness, but you won't always get it. People will form opinions as you speak. Talk anyway. Let your words be kind but fearless.

6. It prepares you for greater success.

Pick a popular Twitter user and look at their @replies. Odds are they field their fair share of harsh comments. The higher you rise, the more attention you'll receive, both positive and negative. A willingness to be disliked helps you deal with the added scrutiny.

7. It teaches you to offer kindness and compassion without expectations.

It's not difficult to offer compassion to someone who treats you with respect and kindness. What's more valuable for your personal development, and to humanity as whole, is the ability to do what's right because it's right—not because you get something in return.

8. You can inspire other people.

There is someone I know who has the uncanny ability to keep going even when others try to pull her down. I learn from her every day. To this woman, anyone who doesn't appreciate her assertive, over-the-top personality is a reminder that she is unique and unafraid.

9. You can use your time wisely.

If you want to be liked by everyone, odds are you're spreading yourself way too thin trying to keep them all happy. We need to use our time judiciously to enrich ourselves and others instead of worrying about everyone’s perceptions.

10. You can choose to smile anyway.

You could use your energy to make daily inventories of everything that's wrong—the money you don't have, the esteem you didn't earn, the people you disappointed. Or you could commit to being your best, and then just sit back and smile. Life will always be a balancing act. Learn to teeter in serenity.

Do you like me image via Shutterstock

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Kyria

    This is my new favorite article on this site. Thank you for writing it.

  • Love this message. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  • It’s very true & like the message

  • Peggy

    Why have you waited to post this? Are you afraid we wouldn’t like you? Just kidding. This is a fantastic article and just what I needed to read today. Thank you

  • Erin

    Thank you for this message. It came at the most perfect time!

  • Warren O’Bryan

    Amazing Post. Lol at the voodoo doll. After reading this post, I smiled. Being disliked and being assertive was two of my major issues I had to overcome, still working on them both. Thanks for sharing.

  • Deb

    “Learn to teeter in Serenity”,
    love it,gotta let that full meaning soak in.So we aren’t always going to be serene,but
    striving to achieve this state is
    going to be the “good”normal.

  • Sheryl P

    Though it’s very uncomfortable to express an opposing opinion, when people are going to take it personally. If you can agree to disagree, that’s one thing, but if you make an enemy, that’s sad.

  • “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

    I tried. Many times. Each time I set myself up for failure. It became a time-robber. I would give and wait for the response and if none I would give again and again. Same person. Same place. One critical or ambivalent instance could keep me tied up for an eternity. A veritable vortex of expended efforts.

    That caused me to be uncomfortable in my own skin. What was the matter with me? Appreciation, or gratitude, is the greatest giving and sharing experience in the world. Others should know that. Why no thanks for what I do? Surely I am not doing something right.

    Patooey. I know what I am. I do what I can. The pleasure of giving is in the giving. Do it and move on. To do or give for recognition is the basest form of contribution. If I offer something from the heart it is from MY heart. There is no solicitation. It is not from another’s heart. If someone asks for something from me without compensation, I have to take another look. Does the doing have heart? Is it on the same path as I? Does it help me to grow?

    After a while people, if they are in frequent contact with me, are to realize that my generosity may be a one shot deal. I am not looking for gratitude or outpourings of recognition. I see something that needs to be done or I feel like doing and I do it. Then I move on. No more time spent looking for signs of thankfulness. My path lies before me and benevolence is along the way, not a way station.

    We can remain forever bowed if we look up only when we receive approval. Service to others is a higher purpose in life, subservience is not.

    Thanks for the reminder, Lori. You remain an inspiration.

    ~ Mark

  • This is just what I needed to hear today.

  • Guest

    I prefered most the 8th. It brings so much joy when we give unconditional love. It seemed a paradox to me once, but it’s a truth.

  • I prefered most the 8th. It brings so much joy when we uconditionally give and love. I simply love those reminders.

  • Anne

    It is so true and most of the time you are disliked not because of you being you but because the person who dislikes is not able to express themselves or be free to be them. So be you anyways, regardless of adversity and find the true beautiful inside of you. Learning this lesson and applying it in practice is one of the biggest success one can achieve and I am truly working towards that. We all can. We can do it!

  • We should simplify and be satisfied with ourself at the first step. If not, we are far from being in charge of our joy. Being dependent on what happens in outside world…. well it’s not in our domain.

  • chocobear

    Love this post. I am a people pleaser and find that whenever I start feeling down, it usually has something to do with my overinvesting in others. I need to step back and realize that I can’t look to others for my value. I have value and must remind myself of that on a daily basis.

  • Hi Mat,
    Absolutely. I broke a long-standing habit of codependency. Once in that rut it is a long and arduous climb out. Once out life takes on a clear and bright perspective. “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” Takes me back to the folly maxim that two halves make a whole when it comes to relationships. I prefer the view that two wholes make a third entity. An “us”. Standing together yet apart, so both may grow, but not in each other’s shadow.

  • Marilyn R

    This should be on everyone’s to read list. I am going to print this and hang it on my cubicle wall at work, and in a location where everyone can read it too. Now how to get people to adopt these and actually put them into action. First time reader, loved what you have to say, now I need to sign up for daily inspiration.

  • jendoe

    Just like learning to appreciate a piece of artwork you may not find aesthetically pleasing, it’s easier to appreciate a person who is being authentic, even if you don’t agree with or personally feel connected to them energy-wise, than one who is obviously putting on a dog and pony show. One you respect, the other you don’t. Great article. It certainly frees up a lot of emotional and mental space when you let go of trying to be on everyone’s ‘like’ list.

  • chickadee

    Oh my gosh. this is my life. no.wonder I am so exhausted always trying to adapt to my current audience. I used to call myself a cammelion, someone that could change my appearance to adapt to any situation. I am not sure I even know what like because It’s always been about pleasing the other person. how do I break out of this?

  • Connie

    I enjoyed this very much, it hit home!

  • Haha good question! I included this one in my first eBook, so I was thinking I wouldn’t publish it here as well, but i had a change of heart. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Thanks so much Mark. I love what you wrote about the difference between service and subservience. What a powerful distinction!

  • So true! If we all bend to please each other, we’d all be watered down versions of ourselves. Who we really are is much more beautiful.

  • Good point, about the person not being able to express themselves. I think we all just want to be who we are, and we’re all dealing with our own internal struggles that make it challenging at times. But like you wrote, we can do it! =)

  • Thanks so much Warren. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Those are two issues I still work on, as well.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed it Connie!

  • I’m glad you enjoyed it Marilyn. Welcome to Tiny Buddha! =)

  • I know all about being a chameleon! I felt the same way for a long time, and it’s something I still work at.

    As for breaking out of this, I think the first step is understanding your own needs and recognizing they are just as important as other people’s. The next step is setting boundaries. You may find these posts helpful:
    I hope these help!

  • I’ve found the same thing, about overinvesting in others. It always frees me up when i stop placing so much emphasis on everyone else’s opinions and requests.

  • You’re most welcome!

  • You’re most welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting! =)

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Dana

    Great post! You make my day! Thank you, Lori!

  • PK

    Quote from the article “An angst-filled younger me made a fake voodoo doll for a middle school teacher who was hard on me, but forever changed my life” –
    Most of em teachers deserve that you know! 😉
    It was quite recently (a couple of years back) I realized this, though I was not consciously inclined to make sure my impression was the best, but sub consciously, I ended up, giving in the constant need to please. It is the need for people to feel that they are liked by all, what they dont realize is that not everyone deserves your efforts.

  • Thanks Dana, and you’re most welcome!

  • I know what you mean PK. There were times when I tried to win over people who had treated me poorly. In retrospect, it seems so clear, and yet at the time, it felt so important they valued me. If everyone didn’t value me, I didn’t value myself. It’s an empowering realization that it’s actually a good sign if not everyone likes us!

  • Wow, this is really good. It’s gutsy and I like it!

  • Another bonus (maybe point #11) — Letting go of trying to be liked all the time, we get to find out who our true friends really are. Some people drop out of relationship with us, and others rejoice in our newly opened up hearts and minds and faces.

    I’ve noticed that this is one benefit of being a “senior” (ha! and being open to happily calling myself that) — somehow it seems so much easier to stop wearing the masks, donning the personalities, of what other people want/need me to be. I’m realizing that life feels too short for such game-playing. There’s such a feeling freedom in it: Here I *really* am, here’s me. At last!

  • Thanks Leke!

  • That’s a great point, about finding out who are true friends are. And what a liberating feeling to just be who you are. I feel like I’ve made major strides in terms of being comfortable in my own skin, though I know I have a lot more growing to do. Still, it’s nice to recognize some progress. =)

  • Lisa

    Thank you for writing this.
    I am that person too. I have spent all my life adapting to others likes and dislikes only to find that when you are alone with yourself, as I am now, that you do not know who you really are or what your boundaries are. It’s a frightening realisation when it happens.

  • sonierei

    Beautiful post Lori, it certainly resonates with me right now. So often speaking up for what you believe in is equated with being rude, inconsiderate and disrespectful. But as you state, the strength lies in being kind but fearless, the ability to be who you are, with compassion.

  • This is a great article worth reading. I’ve learned not to live up with people’s expectations as we have certain uniqueness and differences to others. If we please people just to be accepted and respected, then we are giving them the authority to control our lives in some way. This should not happen because we must be totally in control of who we are and who we are not.

  • You’re most welcome Lisa. I know that feeling very well. I feel like I’m always growing into myself more fully and understanding what’s me, and what’s me trying to be liked. I suspect it’s a lifelong process!

  • Yes exactly! I think if we can stand up for what we believe in without putting other people down, we’re in a good place.

  • Thanks Del. That’s a great point, about our uniqueness. If we bend to please everyone, we lose ourselves.

  • Chetan

    Nice article!! 🙂

    Keep up the good work.. I also feel that being a people pleaser is really exhausting.. I mean its good to divert your time and focus on other important things in life rather than thinking on how you can make other people like you.. Also when you help others because you want to be liked, then your act of compassion becomes artificial and somewhat doesn’t serve the very purpose of compassion then..

  • aloneforlife

    This is great advice for women but not for Men. Sadly the dynamics of
    being disrespected and disliked are very different. Unlike women most
    Men do not have a support net nor even loving families. They can not fall back onto the act of random kindness from others or attention (usually as a result of their looks).
    No matter what a man looks like, unless he is very wealthy. He will not
    have a support system in play, thus his loneliness is more genuine in
    that he will be completely alone and disliked for reasons more so
    related to his commitments. As opposed to being a ‘bad person’. Men tend
    to be hated more and more thoroughly as people. Asa man one mistake will cost you much more as society tends to judge men much more harshly. So again, great advice for women but not Men.

  • Tinachan

    I agree with in principle, but let’s be honest, things are not this simple. As a woman, I often depend on my network of people for favors like babysitting, job referrals, play dates or simply suggestions on where to shop for better prices. Just not giving a damn is a luxury. Our power/influence ends where other people’s agency starts, and often, especially in these economically hard times, we DO depend on our good repute with those around us.

    I’m not advocating to be a doormat, but I have had real opportunities erased from me because I wasn’t “nice” or “obliging” enough to a certain group (in their eyes), but whose favor I would have direly needed at the time.

    Also, life is not all-or-nothing. We all have inclinations that can present as strengths or challenges depending on the task before us. What we need to do is to diversify our tool set. This will help us act contextually and organically without bending our selves out of shape.

    There are enough people in the world who want to step on others just for the sake of not being stepped on first. So, for a perfectionist like myself, simply avoiding being a people-pleaser just becomes another chore on my to-do list. What’s liberating is balance.

  • Hi Tina,

    I understand your thoughts on this. I actually didn’t intend to suggest we should be unkind to people and not care how they feel about it, but rather that it can benefit us to be okay with it if not everyone likes us. This has been huge for me because I’ve spent a lot of time and energy worrying about being liked and trying to manipulate perception. It was exhausting and counterproductive. As for what you wrote about balance, that reminded me of another post I wrote about the difference between worrying about what people think and caring about what they think. You may find this interesting:

  • vinny

    This made everything worse ugh.

  • Barbara Torres

    I had a teacher in the 8th grade that called my mother in for a “conference” because I didn’t like her. My mother asked if I was misbehaving and the teacher said no that she was worried about me. When mom asked why, rather than tell her I didn’t like her, the teacher said that I did not smile or laugh in class. My mom, who was missing a day’s work because of this insecure creature finally said, “Well, maybe she doesn’t think you are funny.” Thanks mom!

  • How did this make everything worse Vinny?

  • Now that’s funny!

  • Deepak

    Thanks, I really needed this post right now.

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • Jo

    Thanks, I really needed to read this. I have always been a naturally nice person. If I see somebody in need I just automatically want to offer them help. I’m also fairly laid back and I’m happy to go along with what everybody else wants to do. Unfortunatley despite being this way I still end up with a lot of people being angry towards me and this makes me feel a bit upset because all I’ve ever done is run around after them. Some people say I’m silly and should be more selfish, but the moment I start acting that way they get mad because I’m not giving them what they want. In the end I just can’t please them and trying to do so often then causes upset with somebody else and of course not doing what’s best for me. Usually I end up feeling guilty and uncomfortable, but from now on I think I’m going to try and start saying ‘no’ more and ignore the tantrums that follow.

  • Lors

    Good plan. No-one “needs” help from anyone else, but it is nice to have friends who help out when it matters. Why don’t you (as well as sometimes saying no) ask for help, or a favour from your friends? It’s a two way street. And, as you’ve pointed out, friends like to help friends so it can strengthen your friendships.

    And you’re dead right – if someone is unhappy when you say no to them, allow them to be unhappy and move on. They have ownership of their behaviour, not yours!!

  • Joe

    I don’t know whether or not I can relate to this, as a whole. I make others happy. It’s what I do. I am always spread thin, lonely, stressed, and exhausted. But, I do not do it to make them like me. In fact, they can hate me, as long as their happy. I have no regard for what happens to me or my well being, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as they are happy. For me, people classified as “They” can even go as far as the people I have never gotten along with, the people who have bullied me, and the people who hate me. It feels like holding someone on my shoulders in a river to keep their head above water. That someone is pretty much anyone/everyone. Do you think this relates?

  • CP

    Hi, I’m currently being hated by a group of people.

    It’s my fault that I was being hated by them as I started it by ignoring them. I don’t really know how to face them. I treat them as my good friends but they are just behaving like they only talk to me when they needs me. And now, it ended up they hate me, backstabbing me and saying something bad about me.

    In the meanwhile, I posted something rude like bitches and something else on my Twitter, but they misunderstood it as they thought the so called “bitches” in the tweets what I written was referring to them.They then started to hate me. They start to post something bad about me in Twitter, without knowing that I never try to call them as “bitches”.

    I was really frustrated. I never thought that they would actually misunderstand me and hate me. However, after reading this article, I don’t feel down anymore. Instead, I’m happy to have my freedom back to me. I have learned the fact that I am not born to please them in order to get they “likes”. And now, I’m going to live my life, to the fullest!

    P/S : Sorry if my feedback is out of the topic (feel like it is).

  • anon

    Your article has made me feel better at a low point I’m going through right now, thank you

  • Mmmm

    Coming from an alcoholic family where you learn to try and please and never express unhappiness. I have always tried to please or over explain to not let others be unhappy with me but your article has made me see that it OK for others to have feelings of unhappiness and its actually a disservice to not allow them to have their own feelings. Thank you.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad it helped. =)

  • You’re most welcome. I’m sorry to hear you’re at a low point. I hope you continue to find the help you need to feel better!

  • Sarah Y

    Thank you Lori! This post is inspiring! I’ve had problems not to be a people-pleaser for a long time and till to date, am still struggling to show my true self to others. Nevertheless the situation seems better now than before. Still part of me fear of being judged by others. Often, I’ll end up beating myself if I think I had disappoint someone. Perhaps this was due to my childhood experiences as I was often compared to my more successful peers and family members in terms of grades, beauty and knowledge. Besides, negative comments or punishment follows if I had failed to follow a set of rules or even when making mistakes.

    The total acquired experience still stings at some point. Now this post gives me a new breath to be true to myself. There are lots of room for improvement for me in this area. Thanks again Lori!

  • You’re most welcome, Sarah! I could relate to a lot of what you wrote–and I suspect a lot of people can. It’s not easy to get past these kinds of deeply engrained fears, beliefs, and behaviors, and I still have room for improvement too. I think it helps to focus on progress, not perfection. If I am nicer to me today than I was yesterday, I feel I am succeeding!

  • africantigeress

    wow, i so needed this!!!! im such a ppl pleaser, to a fault, i will do it even if it hurts me or puts me out. thank you so much, i really needed to read this.

  • You’re most welcome! I’m so glad this helped!

  • Xydan

    That’s a great approach to relationships. It’s the same one that the poet Kahlil enumerates in his book. I recommend you pick it up; you will probably like it.

  • Thanks, Xydan. I’ve owned the book since the Seventies. It’s a constant in my life.

  • Kyle

    I’ve notice when I try to make myself liked it often backfires one way or another and have come to the conclusion it’s best to just be myself though of course not to be rude.

  • Kyle

    I can’t help but feel as if life is a giant game where we have to see thru the lies and there are secret societies *herding* us in a general direction to get ready for globalism under a fake peace.

  • Kyle

    I often wonder if some of us were put here as a punishment to learn this due to making bad choices before we were born and this is our moment to choose the *dark* side or go into the light and see the truth for what it really is even if we don’t like it.

    I believe this world is a *time out* spot but I am not sure what you’re beliefs are so I don’t want to get into any fights so I’ll leave it at that.

  • Hi Kyle,

    No matter why we were “put here” we’re here and that’s that. What is done is done. That makes each of our life’s purpose the same, to make of it the most we can while we’re here. Find its highest and best use.

    Pursuant to what you’ve stated I can only reply mine is a melange of beliefs, ever-growing and always deepening. I follow one path but make forays on them all, picking up souvenirs to add accoutrements to my own trail.

    Regarding our place here in this “*time out* spot,” my response at the moment is a favorite by Richard Bach, “We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn
    nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same
    limitations and lead weights to overcome.” So, if you’re ruminating on a series of lives, then this covers it.

    ~ Mark

  • Richard

    I have been through a lot in my school life and everything since that because of my looks. I got some ‘friends’ but then they just mocked me. I spent 5 years of school alone. You don’t need friends. The odds are that there is some one who is stupid and annoying and you don’t like them and all your other friends will leave you.
    Just be yourself get good grades it doesn’t matter what you look like, what you sound like or where you are from.
    People said I would get no job and said quit now. Now I’m a airbus a380 pilot for Emirates and earn a lot more money be your self. You shouldn’t care what people think of you

  • Jason Holborn

    “Trying to manipulate perception”; that’s a fine insight.

    I “made a fake voodoo doll for a middle school teacher who was hard on me, but forever changed my life”.
    – this should become a full post one day!

  • Thanks so much–and perhaps I will write that post. I was an angry kid…I made a couple of those dolls back then!

  • TheOneNobodyWants

    I accepted a long time ago that I will never be liked or respected or even accepted for who I am so I decided to just stop trying. Trying to be something you’ll never be is pointless. On the upside? It frees me to do whatever the heck I want.

  • Wisdom72

    It depends on the intent. If doing these things is so others like you, it’s absolutely wrong. If you think you’re a “people pleaser” for the INTENT to help others & bring them peace for no other reason except to attain pure enlightenment, then it’s ok. MOST people are confused of their feeling and intent.

  • Barbara

    I think every boss needs to read this. Even good bosses have employees who dislike them, often just for the simple reason of not accepting half-asked work. It’s true when they say “It’s lonely at the top”, and I found this out the hard way when I found out an employee I generally liked was badmouthing me behind my back and calling me a bitch simply for critiquing his work every week (which as an editor is my job). It hurt, but I realized that I couldn’t just start being more lenient and letting less-than-stellar articles get published just for the sake of being liked. It’s been hard at times, but fortunately there are many others in my workplace who like me just fine. Not everyone is going to like you, but it’s okay.

  • Guest

    I’ve been there so I know how it feels like. Usually, people take you for granted and they certainly don’t remember your acts of kindness if you are naturally a nice person. They will, however, remember that one time where you turned them down or did something they didn’t like. They think that they have the right to your acts of kindness so to speak. I realized that I can’t satisfy everybody so I do what’s best for me now. I mean, who cares if they get angry? So what if someone doesn’t like you? There will always be “enemies” or people who dislike us. I try my best not to react to people like this these days. I shrug it off and ignore them to the best of my ability.

  • Nat so isi

    Yes: be yourself. And let the others adapt. What a fucking easy way to be egocentric. In every relation there is more than one person, that means: everybody has to adapt. FACT

  • Cindy Mahan

    I’m so glad I found this post. My boyfriend after 9 years, hardly takes me anywhere, even for the holidays (Christmas and others). My brother always promises that we will go out for dinner, but he won’t even offer to have me ride with him to a family reunion after I ask politely. I’ve tried to make my Dad proud of me like he does my brother, but he always yells at me. Everything I do never works. I from the South and now live in Colorado and it’s really hard to make friends here. Most women hate me, and the men feel intimated. I am really a good person. I think I have been too nice for too many years. I’ve even been told that. I’ve felt like I’ve been pushed back into a closet until someone wanted me to do something for them.
    Over the years I have learned to like my alone time. When I spend time alone, I focus on me and how I can become a better person. I don’t have to put up with someone else’s drama, and I don’t have to try to meet their expectations in fear that they will get angry. I have time to do a lot of soul searching. I gave up on needing someone just to talk to. I’m doing today what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t. Thank you for the post. It has meant so much to hear it from you. It made me realize that it’s not me, but maybe it’s them that have a problem.
    I love all animals, and they are my everything. I don’t know any different. They need someone too, like I do.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through. As someone who’s moved around a lot, I know how tough it can be to form meaningful, lasting friendships.

    I too love spending time around animals. They’re purely present, with no judgment, just completely in the moment, and there’s something so calming and comforting about that.

    Sending good thoughts your way,

  • Curiousgal

    Really enjoying reading this. Any advice or articles on being sidelined and unfavourably compared to a sibling.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed it! There aren’t any posts about this on the site, but perhaps I can offer some advice if you elaborate a little on your situation. You may also want to share your story in the community forums to get insight from the whole community.

    It’s free to join here:

    Then you can access the forums here:


  • Violetta

    Don’t you cheerful self accepting people forget that even though you may acquire a few true friends, the society at large seldom treats independent people well.

  • jbantifem

    This article was obviously written for women. We men aren’t allowed to be our true selves in public. Whenever we attempt to speak our minds we are downcast and sometimes even arrested. No, we aren’t violent, but we are a threat to the status quo whenever we speak our minds truthfully.

    This concept works great if you’re female. Now you have even more fuel for holding men down. Good for you. *said with extreme sarcasm*

  • Michelle

    Great idea, but not being liked starts to get lonely after awhile. I’m lost in this world. I want people to like me, but told I shouldn’t care and to have self-love. I like my own company and I love myself, but no man is an island and at the end of the day we all need to feel a part of a community. When you find no one who connects with you and shows acknowledgement towards you (even after trying to give that to them) it’s hard to go home knowing that you have no one. This is my conflict.

  • Anna Braccio

    great post! very true! i l loved point #2

  • LJ

    I really love what you said there above. I always think why one of my classmate really hate me and always mad at me when I do something wrong. I know God put as in this situation and He gives us challenges to change us and to deserve what we deserve. We may not have it today, but it the future we may.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your classmate. I think you bring up a great point. Whenever someone has disliked me, I have inevitably grown through the experience. That’s the silver lining to any challenge, really–it generally makes us stronger!

  • Nora

    This is what I neeeeed, people pleasing has led me to a nervous breakdown. don’t do it! You are so beautiful and weird and even if you feel like no one will like you or understand you, someone, somewhere out there loves you. You gotta love you too.

  • Just me

    Your points really helped me today – I always feel very left of centre and not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m very grateful for having a few wonderful people who love me as I am but there are times people are ignorant to me and dismiss me making me feel insecure and even worse … Me allowing myself to feel that way. Thank you for you lifting words, they made a difference to me today :0)

  • Jenna

    I live by the golden rule. I treat others as I would like to be treated. You start off by treating people with kindness. Most people are very self serving.
    It is rare to find people who are giving and thoughtful back. Those people exist and I am infinitely grateful for them! You just be open and kind and don’t get attached if someone clearly is showing they don’t value you or like you, etc.
    I am a very open person. Some people can’t handle my need for deep conversations. But that’s great, because some people love to ask the bigger questions in life!
    You must have a set of personal boundaries of how you will allow yourself to be treated. People may not like you but they can sense you respect yourself and are not going to tolerate being exploited.

  • Ann

    I am sorry to hear of your story! I can relate to what you are saying. I have found that the more we need something, the more we push it away. If we are lonely, we might be giving off a sad vibe.
    It is hard not to focus on being lonely but once you truly get to a place inside of yourself that says I am 100% ok with being alone and I am going to be fine, things will turn around.
    Have faith and ask for the universe to start sending people your way to create that community you desire.

  • ann

    I am from Colorado and value people like you! Don’t give up. If people can be themselves it can inspire others to do the same. There are others who feel the same as you.

  • aditya fantage

    I talk the way very very much. and my classmates doesn’t like it and i’m the topper of my class but they (my classmates) talk behind of me and said that i don’t even study,
    while i study hard for my exam and now i’m crying

  • Jocelyn McAdoo

    So what is the answer when you aren’t trying to please all the time, or to be someone your are not? You just want to connect, but find that as comfortable and sincere as you are, you find no one who cares to share their time with you. What makes people not like you??? Because I think that no matter how much anyone tells themselves that they don’t answer to anyone but themselves, they need that connection. Otherwise we wouldn’t all be searching for, reading and commenting on articles like these that tell us its ok not to be liked. Because what they are talking about is not really not being liked, but being socially accepted, which is completely different.

  • Arnt Joakim Wrålsen

    You might want to know that another blogger has plagiarized this article, point by point, without giving credit to Tiny Buddha.

  • Hi Jocelyn,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re lacking connections. Having spent a lot of my life isolated, I know how that can take a toll.

    There are lots of reasons someone might not like us, but what I’ve learned is that there are people out there who will accept us, just as we are. To find them, though, we have to get better at recognizing when someone isn’t one of those people so we can let go and move on.

    I’m sure there are people out there who want to share their time with you. It’s just a matter of reminding yourself that it’s not your fault if other people don’t want that – it doesn’t mean anything about you. If you continually reinforce this belief, it will be easier to keep trying, stay open, and eventually find people you click with.

    As for where to find your people, I recommend starting with your interests. For example, I’ve found lots of likeminded people at yoga studios, and when I grew up, I found them in community theater. Is there anything you enjoy doing that you could get into, to try to meet new people?


  • Thank you so much for letting me know! It happens a lot, actually. I will contact them now and ask them to credit the site.

  • shirley angel

    Tq. Really inspiring for me.feel down now for being dislike because i just being real about myself 😉

  • J.Whittler

    Hello to everyone out there! This is my first time ever speaking out about how I feel so sad and invisible. All of my life , I’ve known for some reason that , “I”, was and am worthy of so much but I have never been able to achieve it. I too have always been a people pleaser. I sometimes realize that I’m doing this and I immediately, stop doing it. However, there are a lot of times I continue to try and please others and I fail, horribly. This therefore, sends me into a state of what is wrong with me…thinking. I dwell for days on scenarios of what I could of said or done somehow differently, to the point in which I have made myself, physically sick. I have CHF ( Congestive Heart Failure and PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease). Both of which are death sentences for me, if I don’t get this craziness under control, soon!! One example, is I recently started working at a new job and I really thought that things would be better for me but once again, not the case. I am a janitor at a school. I recently, experienced something that was really rude by a group that is there after school everyday. I went to my school principal with this information, hoping she would be able to rectify this utter nonsense. It worked for one week, then the groups, two “wantabe” supervisors started to make it a personal issue with me and a co worker. I have now noticed that there are teachers and others alike who are treating me, like I am scum now. Granted, there are a few teachers who I thought were being real and friendly to me, early on but …was I ever wrong. I now get angry glares or just plain out rudeness blasted at me. I am so hurt by all of this. I want to can I turn this around? Or is it too late? Believe me when I say, I know down , deep in my heart that “I”, am a good person. These people like all the others, just don’t know who I am as a REAL person, in my everyday life. I , sometimes wear my heart on my sleeve so this makes me very easy to get over on. When I get hurt or attacked by someone, I immediately shut down and don’t speak to anyone that I feel has offended me. I can see where people may think that I am being rude but it is a form of control and protection for me. Please SOME ONE out there , please help me get through this. I am so sad and alone.

  • J.Whittler

    Hey is there anyone out there that can offer me some REAL advice?

  • Micah Richard Bender

    I really enjoyed this 🙂 thank you for posting it 🙂

  • You’re most welcome! =)

  • SH Wheat

    That is really True like if u want to be sucessful as Warren Buffet, Sir Alex Ferguson, Lee Kuan Yew, or STeve jobs being disliked is the comfortable thing that any successful person can handle by 100 %

  • Julie Gross

    I’m glad I found this post too. It has helped me to accept that no one will like me. But what’s hurts me is that the people who don’t like me now liked seemed to like me in the beginning and later on started hating me. They turned in to bullies. Its hard because I’m the kind of person who likes to figure things out and I can’t understand what happened. I didn’t do anything to them. They are my roommates and it makes it worse because I live with them. They are teenagers and I’m older than them but for someone reason it still effected me. It’s hard for me to accept sometimes that I will be treated so badly and I know I don’t deserve it. I should be treated better. I learned my lesson. I guess they weren’t what I thought they were and I realize it now. I accepted the change. I need to find positive people.

  • DY Wee

    So true hahahaahahaha those are fantastic top ten reasons. Being disliked has took me quite a while to admit that this is real life and trying to please everyone or try to be please with everything especially trying to get everybody to like you or trying to like everybody is the key to failure or downfall. For successful people like Sir Alex Ferguson being disliked or not being like by everybody is the definitely the most comfortable thing that he has ever felted or experience and its definitely one of the main reasons why he is so successful. Plus this is my quote from facebook.
    “My biggest mistake in life was trying to please everybody throughout my younger years and getting everybody to appreciate me. But I realised thats not the case and thats not how real life works. Everyday is a learning experience especially dealing with other human beings whether they are our peers, colleagues, family members, relatives, family friends, or friends friend,its the choices they make to have an opinion on us and sometimes we just have to release our stress from other people’s thoughts and realise what they said its not worth it and those sorts of people are not worth my time no matter who they are whether they are family friends or friends with my closest friend. What I have learnt is to be true to myself, have faith, don’t lose hope, tomorrow is another day, take everything as a once in a lifetime, and trying to please everybody or trying to be please with everything is a complete waste of time and a recipe of stress and pressure from others. As I move forward I would like to thank everybody who has been there for me, the new people i have met have supported me, Helping me make the good times a stronger memory than the bad times, helping me learn from my imperfections, making things get better especially reaching a dead end in life and learning the difference between forgiveness and trust. finally, as i move forward i realised i have to be myself and not be compared to others”

  • Eric Roxas

    I love this post. Thanks so much for posting this Lori. 🙂 It makes so much sense to me. I would add what I wrote in my poem blog, where I write bite sized insights (

    “There is no greater joy and pride than to express who you really are for the purpose of life celebration.

    There is no greater sorrow and shame than having to hide your true self for fear and insecurity.”

  • Jania Wri

    I love this article! I’ve been struggling with some people at work being negative, operating out of fear and looking at situations through their insecurities. I’m new and came from a very confident team so I am cheerful, happy, positive, excited, and love being me and I’m open about loving what I do. After 3 months of my team blatantly not liking me, it’s wearing me down. I work around several other teams and they all seem to like me fine or at least engage with me respectfully so we can have some meaningful exchanges, but it’s my team I can’t seem to crack… I needed this article to remind me that I am unique and love what I do as a trainer and I could never be me if I worked through fear, anxiety, and insecurity. Thanks for the boost and reinforcement!

  • Hi Jania ~ You’re most welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed this and found it helpful!

  • StarsCollide

    thank you.

  • You’re most welcome. 🙂

  • mplo

    Over the years, I’ve learned that time spent alone is preferable to time spent with people that I really don’t like or can’t connect with at all. I figure that, if I go out of my house at all, whether it be to a movie, a concert, or even to my TKD classes, I’m among people whether I know them, or whether they like me or not. I’m too much my own person to give up any interests of mine, or to give up doing what I please. When I want to go to any kind of event, be it a movie or a concert, I go whether I have somebody to go with or not. I have friends that I see once a month and do things with, however, and have good conversations with.

  • edouard jean paul

    People alway tell lie about me im dont know why people dislike me im feel different . We all make mistake nobody better than you

  • Jay Martinez

    Instead of asking “what’s wrong with me” why don’t you ask “what’s wrong with the people I’m allowing into my life”. Just because someone talks to you doesent mean they’re your friend and just because someone says they’re your friend doesent mean they like you and just because someone is related to you doesent mean they like you nor does it mean you can’t move on. I have my problems. But I could never understand ppl like you who blame yourselves. I’m sure you have your challenges we all do. I had a particularly hard life, I was abused by my mother and kept from my family then abandoned. Then my dad killed himself and left me an orphan at 17. I couldn’t go to college because I had no credit and no perental tax records. I couldn’t get a job because I’m stuck in the worst state with the least amount of jobs. New mexico is dead last. I live in a den in my grandparents house, I’ve been in a debilitating accident that destroyes the vertebrae in my back. It’s bad enough people generally dislike me, and consider me a vagrant and a ” hunch” back as I’ve been creully called, its bad enough that the only two people in my life and sixty years older then me, deaf and only speak Spanish. I’ve been lonely, rejected from society,etc. And I’ve never once asked what’s wrong with me. Because nothing is wrong with me, or you or anyone else who is disliked. Most people are cowards and bullies. There are a lot of good and smart and kind people but those people are essentially us, the unliked. The rest of the world uses us, mocks us behind our back and keeps us down. Despite this I do not become angry or mean or hateful or vengeful. I still help people and do the right thing, even if they hate me. Its not my fault. Assuming you do the right thing, its not your fault either. Just don’t cast blame on yourself unless something really IS your fault. Too many people out there want to hurt and exploit who they think is “week”. Ironically they are the ones who are weak because cowards are the ones who exploit. Don’t Allow coward to destroy your self esteem. While there are good people, most people are ignorant and selfish and possibly insane. It takes a lot of virtue and practice to be a good person and most people are worried more about the next dollar or being first in line to give a crap about being a good person. Remember that. I’m not saying to lose faith in humans, I’m saying to give yourself more credit and realize that people arent worth impressing. Even if you could somehow impress them, they don’t really care about you only your image. The funny thing is people, most people, don’t respect wit or intelligence or talent or values what they are impressed with is conformity and sex appeal and superficial BS concepts like wealth and social class and most recently likes on social media. Money and good looks will buy phony akcnolwedgement and you’ll feel liked, but if you want to be respected and revered, be yourself. And be yourself against all odds and fight for what’s right not matter what any person has to say, admit when youre wrong and grow. Don’t sink in your chair, ever. Be heard. And love yourself because no one is gonna love you unless you hold your own self in high esteem.

  • bgmnts

    How does this help people who are disliked by almost everyone? Most people are social animals and in my personal experience years of repeated rejection and isolation can utterly ruin any chance of a decent life.

    Being disliked can also be the the least freeing experience possible. Just saying.

  • SkyDriver

    Great post; just what I needed today! 😀

  • Thanks so much. I’m glad it helped!

  • delicate_dream

    Maybe they should consider why they aren’t liked. Maybe it’s because they need a new atmosphere with like-minded people. Well, it could be any number of reasons, but looking at what is within your power to change is a good start.
    First, be a friend to yourself. Check your inner dialogue – are you saying stuff to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a valued friend who needs your support (ie put downs, criticisms, negative thinking)? Reinforce your own good qualities and value you can bring to a relationship. A friend once told me, “You have the power to make someone else feel important.” This doesn’t mean you please them, it means your mere attention is a gift to them.
    Not being a people pleaser doesn’t mean simply holding back. It means being authentic but still open. You aren’t doing things with attachment to outcome (ie make them like you) but because it’s who you are and that in itself has value. This takes courage because it IS vulnerable. It will likely repel phonies and emotionally immature people, which is the desired effect. There is a shift in mindset here of focusing on how you feel and not getting caught up in trying to make them feel. That can be taken too far the other way too (ie arrogance).
    For me, I have to work on my attitude because I often don’t like other people that much. They sense this… I have to come from a place of curiosity and openness, not neediness or dismissal. Because I am indifferent, albeit kind, some find me unfriendly and think I am critical of them. I don’t feel that way, but I also don’t feel open to them and may operate through a mask of sorts.
    So I have never been a people pleaser and tend to repel many people. BUT when I stop and think about it, I often don’t like many of those people anyway. Over the years I have collected a small number of close friends who are super awesome and remind me of what I value in a friendship. Many of the people I repel don’t have the qualities I value. So maybe define for yourself what you would like in a friend, and it’s cliche, but work on cultivating those qualities yourself and / or acknowledge them in yourself.

  • GJ

    Great post!! You’re story is very inspiring.

  • GJ

    Thank you Lori, great article and much needed right now.

  • You’re most welcome, and thanks! =)

  • Iamnot Tellingyou

    Thank you for this!!!

  • Mia Harrington

    Jay Martinez thank you for these words. I needed this.

  • Madeline Moss

    I wish I knew. Having hope and starting to relax finally in a group is so difficult, and dangerous. I’m doing it right now. It seems so natural to want to fit in, and hope is stupid… no matter what happens I somehow think it will turn out differently this time. Putting all your eggs in one basket comes to mind? But then, going the other way is spreading yourself and your time thin. Acceptance in not being liked forever by anyone might be the healthy thing. The smart thing. It’s so hard when you have nothing to live for, when people don’t even want your service. Yeah. I can’t help you, but you’re not alone. Whenever something really terrible happens, and I think, who can I call?, and then realize again, that there is no one, not one person, I crumble. I cry like, I don’t know, it’s the worst feeling in the world. People that give advice don’t always know what this feels like, and how far loneliness and rejection can go. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but maybe their answers aren’t your answers, only something that might help you to figure out what you need to for for yourself. Some people don’t have the choices others do. I sound so generic. And I feel so superior, although I know I’m not. And won’t feel that way any second. Accept that people don’t like you. Somehow. I’ll be doing the same.

  • mplo

    There is sort of a fake peace going on right now; the suppression of dissent and disagreement, with more and more people feeling that “going along to get along” is the only way to go. That, imho, has had some rather disastrous results and has caused many people to be more angry, fearful, frustrated and underhanded with other people.

  • Gorbie

    Dear Kate, It sure is a tiny Buddha wisdom not to be disillusioned —one of the 3 root causes for our Suffering— trying to be liked by everyone. I too am a senior, but unlike you I don’t have the luxury to “be me” as much as I would want to. Being Asian-American I have to be constantly cognizant of where I am in life because I know my actions would be hastily judged due to me not being part of the “majority.” It’s sad, but it’s true as racism and bigotry will never go away. Just saying…

  • mei

    I agree

  • uka22

    I so desperately want to agree with your article, but I just can’t. Because I’m not liked too much by certain people, it just gives me the impression that I’m not good enough for anybody. I’ve tried and failed to make friendships with others, and they’ve failed. It just gives me the impression I’m not friendship material, and I’m just someone that people should avoid or make enemies with. This is why I usually feel jealous of people everybody likes.