Have you ever heard of someone who tried to become friends with everyone?
Even Jesus, during his time, was not able to do so. In fact, He just knew a handful of people who He regularly met with, invested a lot of time and effort and considered them as His friends.
His goal was not to please everyone around Him, rather, to please His Heavenly Father and accomplish the task that was set before Him.
Personally, there came a point in my life where I just wanted to get everybody’s approval – I longed for recognition and was hungry for applause. But then, instead of getting happier, I became depressed and ended up chasing after opinions everyone has of me.
I realized that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t be friends with everybody.
So don’t try it and don’t even think of becoming “Mr. / Ms. Congeniality”.
Not only is it impossible but it also is very deadly.
Let me break it down for you even further…
- It will burn you out
You will be drained emotionally AND physically.
As you accept every invitation you receive and join the coolest cliques to impress people and fit-in, you’ll begin to realize that all these things are nothing but hollow and temporary affairs. Believe me – you’ll get tired of it.
A famous quote from Will Smith writes:
“Too many people are buying things they can’t afford, with money that they don’t have… to impress people that they don’t like!”
2. It is unhealthy
1 Corinthians 15:33 writes “Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character”.
No matter how strong your convictions are and no matter how firm you are in the faith, if you continue to hang out with friends that are not good influences to you, chances are, you’ll end up being like them – you’ll end up compromising your values in order to “fit-in” with theirs.
3. Quality over Quantity
I see a lot of people with thousands of friends on social media but if you ask them who their REAL, CLOSE friends are, it’d probably range from around 5-20 people.
Before I left the Philippines, I had hundreds of friends – friends from work, friends from church and friends from my former schools. We talked and hung out because we always saw and made time for each other. But when I left, only around 10 people (15 max) made time to communicate and catch up.
Having a lot of friends doesn’t mean you know each one in a deep way; people who have gazillions of friends may also have gazillions of shallow relationships.
The goal of (real) friendship is to attain real knowledge of another person, and knowledge takes a lot of time and effort.
4. Not everybody will believe your belief
Everyone has different beliefs and people expect you to respect that – and in your effort to convince them to take part of your convictions, you’ll end up having more enemies than friends at the end of your monologue.
I agree that a debate CAN be healthy among friends, but if your beliefs are compromised because of your friendship, then I suggest you really take some time to really consider continuing your relationship.
5. Beware of butt-hurts
The Urban Dictionary defines butt-hurt as overly or unjustifiably offended or resentful. Butt-hurt people do not know how to take jokes – they take everything you say at face value and take offense at even the slightest displeasure they have with you. Someone will always get offended REGARDLESS of what your say or do.
“The goal of (real) friendship is to attain real knowledge of another person, and knowledge takes a lot of time and effort.”
6. “Haters gonna hate”
Your daily dose of discouragements can all be found in the comments section – this has been proven and tested! Some people will focus on your mistakes rather than your accomplishments and keep a long list of your mistakes and imperfections. Yes, there will ALWAYS be disagreements and opposition and yes, there will ALWAYS be people who will hate you no matter what. So…
Why waste time impressing people who hate you when you can invest in people who desire to build you up?
- User-friendlies are rampant
“What will I gain out of this person?” – Some people choose their friends depending on how a person answers this question. Give them their desired answer and voila–instafriend! I’m not saying that everybody has this mindset, but you have to be vigilant in knowing who your faithful friends are from the bogus bunch.
8. Your self-worth will diminish
Your worth will be dependent on your image – on how people see you and on how people perceive you in public. You will crave for likes on social media and grow anxious when no one responds to your posts. Your whole identity will be based on other people’s opinions – people you can never please and opinions you cannot meet.
“Why waste time impressing people who hate you when you can invest in people who desire to build you up?”
Pleasing other people comes very natural to us because we are social beings, our natural tendency is to belong to a group and find a place in this world – and there’s nothing wrong with that!
However, if your life’s mission is to be “friends” with everybody then that mission will remain unfulfilled because that is virtually impossible, much less ideal.
You just CAN’T be friends with everybody.
I say all these from experience. I hope you avoid the hurt that comes from trying to please everyone. If you have been hurt from falling into this tendency, I’d like to leave you with advice that helped me rediscover my worth and purpose:
- Respect yourself
You are perfect and exceptional in your own little way because God wired us differently – we all have unique DNAs and unique personalities. Stop trying to fit in the world’s mold rather, fit in God’s. You are completely fine; there’s nothing’s wrong with you if people don’t like you back, they just simply don’t understand you. You don’t need to change into something or someone else in order to be accepted.
“Your whole identity will be based on other people’s opinions – people you can never please and opinions you cannot meet.”
2. Choose a side
You cannot be lukewarm/neutral all the time. You can’t stay in the gray area too long; eventually you’d have to choose a side, pick a team and fight for what’s right. If there are friendships you need to sever because they are wrong or unhealthy, then do so. You cannot carry on living a mediocre life by having no solid stance on what your convictions are – you have to choose a side!
Even God hates neutrality:
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16
So stand firm for what you believe in and don’t let anyone belittle your faith and belief.
3. Strive to be positive
In this world of negativity, you must motivate yourself to be positive. People will always have something to say against you – they would hate you, backstab you, gossip about you and even spread rumors about you. But I am hoping that all these negativity won’t discourage you, rather strengthen you as a person. You have to thank the haters for their criticisms – if it’s true, improve it, if it’s not, ignore it. You have to embrace your enemies and kill them with genuine love and kindness.
- Appreciate the people who love you for being you
Spend some time with people who love you for who you are – people you don’t need to impress, people who don’t need your pretenses and have seen you at your worst yet remained to be your friends. People who’ll accept you regardless of your past and regardless of what you can offer them – those are your real friends – find out who they are and treasure them forever.
Forget the shallow friendships – cultivate and deepen your relationship with people who love you the most.
“You have to thank the haters for their criticisms – if it’s true, improve it, if it’s not, ignore it.”
5. Remind yourself who you really need to please
Apostle Paul reminded the Galatian Church why he did what he did:
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
At the end of the day, your end goal is to bring a smile on the face of God – in spite of persecution, ridicule and rejection.
So don’t bother trying to please other people because people will let you down and disappoint you – but Jesus won’t:
“Never will I leave no will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
The greatest Person you can ever please is Jesus – He even calls us His friends (John 15:15).
So stop pretending and do what you do best – be yourself and aim to please the One who loves you the most.