Relationships

Stop trying to make everyone like you.

The reason we argue with the critics and ignore the people who like us is simple:

We want everyone to like us.

We want a 100% approval rating.

I’m here to tell you, it’s not coming.

Not because you’re dumb.

Not because you’re lazy.

Not because you just haven’t tried hard enough.

You’ll never have 100% support for your dream.

The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can start having fun with the people who do support it.

I want 100% approval sometimes. When someone tweets, “I used to like you more a few years ago,” I want to prove to them that I’m still a good person. When someone says, “I miss the funny you,” I want to call them on the phone and ask where our comedic sensibilities parted ways. When someone I’d never met walked up to Jenny and I recently at a farmer’s market and said something really ugly to me based on who they thought I was, I wanted sweep his leg Cobra Kai style.

But karate is never the answer and for all I know, that dude knew the crane kick.

I want 100% approval but then I remember something.

Your ability to do awesome things is proportional to your willingness to be criticized by people who don’t understand them.

The end.

About Author

Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff

16 Comments

  1. Thank goodness I have not had too many haters yet. I know I’m probably doing it wrong. My last blog post created some controversy in a FB group. Someone thought the title was click bait. I guess I am confused what a title is supposed to be if not to get you to read the post? The only problem was “My daughter was born without a face.” was my actual thought when she came out. So I just told the offended, “I appologize” and then like Elsa, I just let it go. (Just when you thought that song was gone, your welcome.)

  2. Jill Peters

    Your work can be the most personal aspect of your life. (Speaking to us introverts.) It already feels vulnerable to put it out there. To be able to have a thick skin with regard to one of the most sensitive arenas of your life is an art and a skill that must be cultivated if you want to move forward with any speed at all. Otherwise you’re trapped like walking in waist high chocolate pudding. The orientation is still there but the progress is not.

  3. Amen to that! This post struck a chord because someone said that very same thing: “Your blog used to be my favorite.” USED to be…. I think you should take all negative comments and review them to see if they’ve got a point or an area where you could improve. But if you find that it’s them, not you…then just keep it movin’. 🙂

  4. This is an awesome post. So true….just not so easy to always live out…at least for me!!

    Plus, I know absolutely zero karate moves. Unfortunately. I could use them sometimes. 😅

    I am puzzled why people are compelled to dish out negativism and critical comments. Really?? Let’s compliment!! And if you don’t like something, simply move on without ridiculing and find the thing that does inspire you!!

  5. Jon,

    Today’s words are crushing. I know you don’t need words of affirmation. You’re probably above the love language of touch, too. So I will simply drop this brief quality time here for you.

    This simple concept, not pleasing all the people all the time, rings true to me on a deeper level. Now I am in the throws of leveling my business up to a place that is new to me. I have had multiple discussions with VC, advisers, and potential partners.

    Simply put, I want them to like me. All of them. I want their words of affirmation. I want them to invest quality time into my business. Heck, I would even allow some cuddling if these guys were to invest into me.

    In this season, I have to adjust my leadership style and am constantly second-guessing myself. In the end, I have reluctantly made the tough decisions, but your words today encourage me that I am doing the right thing.

    Thanks, Jon. Keep crushing. Stay pure.

    Grant

  6. I miss the funny you. I wish you didn’t write stuff like this.

    Of course just kidding. Great post, Jon. Thanks for your authenticity in your sharing. Looking forward to your Dallas visit this Thursday night.

  7. I appreciate this post. The timing of it could not be more perfect. I am currently struggling with this very thing and learning there is freedom in just being “me”. Approved or not doesn’t matter as long as I am doing what God has called me to do. Thanks for the reassurance.

  8. The desire to be 100% approved and accepted is like the desire to be 100% satisfied in your work. Ain’t gonna happen!

    This is a great reminder to accept that not everyone will approve you but to celebrate those that do!

  9. As one of my mentors told me once when I started getting negative feedback, “You must be doing something right!”

  10. Grandma Sherle

    Hope you’ve noticed how many people on TV are using the words “Do Over”
    Congratulations–I haven’t heard it for 70 years when my grandmother
    used it frequently.

  11. Nic

    So true. Well put, Jon!

    To be fair, you’ve handled the haters with much grace.

    I’m not sure I’d have done so well and would’ve most likely gone for the leg sweep!

    This is a helpful reminder from a recovering people pleaser.

    A big thumbs up from me.

    Thanks

  12. This is a hard concept to accept yet so true. I’m such a people-pleaser, but I need to keep telling myself that you can’t make everyone happy. I should probably keep this on repeat since my first book is coming out soon. lol.

  13. Thanks for the article. It speaks to my current situation with one of my clients.

  14. Morgan

    Thank you for such a great post! I found it very encouraging especially at this specific time in my life.

    I’ve been considering just going ahead and trying a few awesome things, like you said. But deep down I didn’t want to face any criticism. This post gave me the courage to take a chance and go for it!!! I’m excited!

  15. This is so true, thanks for this honest article!

  16. Hey Jon,

    I saw you at the Orange Tour in Ocala this week. Great job.

    This post was helpful to me. I have a major confession. I want people (all people) to like me. I do, and I struggle at times with making decisions based on this confession.

    Thanks for the reminders and the tips to overcoming this.

    JE