Trying to Get Everyone to Like You Is A Sign of Mediocrity

At every level of potential and success, there are naysayers who seek mean-spirited gratification at your expense.The hatred you receive the closer you are to what you want is discouraging, but it’s also something else. Dale Carnegie said “[W]hen you are kicked and criticized, remember that it is often done because it gives the kicker a feeling of importance. It often means you are accomplishing something and are worthy of attention.” That was in 1939. Back then, maybe it took actual success to bring the detractors to the surface. These days, it’s enough simply to be ambitious.

Not all criticism is bad. None of us is perfect; even experts have room for improvement. 

But there’s a difference between criticism that leads to improvement, and the unjust sort that intends to bring you down to the hater’s level, or hides his or her insecurity at the threat your ambition or rising success poses. It hurts to hear negative things about something when you’re emotionally involved in it. A different set of eyes and deeper experience might see things you’ve missed or didn’t know to consider; things that might derail or hinder your efforts if they remained unnoticed. Still. You know when critcism is constructive, even if you need a moment or two to get over it when the truth stings. 

If you want to avoid criticism altogether, then do nothing, but the only opinion you can’t escape is your own. Can you live with holding back becoming the person you want to be even though they, who want otherwise, aren’t there when you look at yourself in the mirror watching as the sun sets on your potential–just to avoid the caustic opinions of people who don’t matter? Can you, really? Life is too short. There are missteps, false starts, and restarts, but we all run this race only once. Success is impossible without an amount of unjust criticism. That’s liberating. Knowing you can’t please the people who bring others down to build themselves up means you should go all-out doing what you want. Do it for yourself and the people who really matter in your life.

One of the pioneers of human stress research noted that we dread condemnation as much as we desire approval. Remember, then, that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment.


6 Responses to “Trying to Get Everyone to Like You Is A Sign of Mediocrity”
  1. Gnetch says:

    “Unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment.”

    I’ll remember that.

    You sound angry.

    But not as angry as me. :p

  2. B. says:

    Good advice. No reason to limit your life based off someone else’s jealousy, insecurity or anger.

    Haters gonna hate. ^_~

  3. Rachel says:

    Goshdarnit, “B” went for “Haters gonna hate” before I could! This is what I get for not commenting earlier. -.-

    But “If you want to avoid criticism altogether, then do nothing, but the only opinion you can’t escape is your own.”—nottt necessarily, when even the act of not doing anything is also capable of gathering criticism. But I understand your point.

    I certainly won’t let the naysayers get me down, and neither should anyone else. 🙂

  4. “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation…”

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