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Will people stop liking me if I become less nice?

Karen R Koenig
Psychology

It’s not a matter of people liking you, but of your liking you. The rule of thumb is that true intimates and people who want the best for you will be tickled pink that you’ve finally taken your rightful place in the world. They’ve been hoping you’d see the light and pushing you to take better care of yourself all along. As to other people, well, some will be in shock and won’t know what to make of your newfound confidence, assertion, and pride. When they come out of shock, they will hopefully realize that your changes are for the best - for you and for them. Other people are so focused on themselves that they won’t even notice you’re different. Really, there are people out there, unlike you, who don’t pay much attention to what other people do or think, don’t make judgments, and are happier in their own world than peering into yours.

Then there are the folks whose lives will shift dramatically because you’re coming into your own and standing up for yourself. Many of them will be unhappy, scared, or enraged that you’ve found your voice and your stride. Some will tell you exactly what they think about your selfishness (over and over and over). They’ll sulk and act disappointed, play the victim to try and suck you back into taking care of them, puff up and get all entitled and even more demanding, and try their very best to cut you down to size.

Need I admonish that these are not people who have your interest at heart? If you can, reduce the amount of time you’re with them or stay away from them completely (for now). Gradually, some of these folks will grudgingly come around and accept the new you. However, some never will. Do your duty but no more with them; I don’t care how they’re associated with or related to you. If you have to be around them, be aware beforehand that they’re going to test your limits and be prepared to hold your ground. Rehearse what you’re going to say to them and do something supernice for yourself after you’ve done your duty. Think of it as combat pay!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.