The Courage to be Disliked

Recently, I read something in a book that has rocked my world. 

Out of ten people, two will love you, one will dislike you, and seven won’t pay attention to you. Focus on the two that love you, not the ones that dislike you or the seven who don’t care. (Paraphrased idea from a book I read, The Courage to be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi.)

This may surprise some of you, but despite my strong and assertive personality, I have always struggled with being liked. 

For example, people unfriending me on Facebook or unsubscribing from my blog or saying negative things about me when I am not around are often given way too much real estate in my mind. 

No one enjoys hearing they are disliked because it feels like a form of rejection. At the heart of being human is a deep desire to feel loved. It takes a concerted effort to become comfortable with hearing over and over again that people don’t like you. Being a bold, outspoken female, I’ve heard it regularly since elementary school.  

Remembering that no matter who I am or what I do, 10% of people will not like me, and seven are never going to care, makes it significantly easier for those comments to roll off my back. 

When my insecurities sneak up on me, I redirect my attention to the twenty percent. 

If I approach every room I walk into, or every post I make on social media, or every email I send out as an attempt to just reach the 2 in 10, life becomes so much easier. 

The other beautiful side of this mindset is that it helps to remove the temptation of focusing on myself. When I have insecure thoughts or take actions (or inactions) out of my fear of what others will think, I am completely and exclusively focused on myself.

However, when I constantly remind myself that my only desire is to serve those 2 in 10, then I can give all my energy and attention to the people I am trying to help. 

May we all learn to release the 10% of people who will never like us no matter what, and to release the 7 in 10 who just see us as another warm body in the room. Instead, may we all double down on serving that 20% who is asking for more of what we offer in the world. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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