It’s natural to want to be liked. Human beings form relationships, families, communities and societies because of the internal drive to be in communion.
But as positive as that drive to be may be, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. There are times when unity makes sense and is beneficial, and there are times when separation is also sensible and positive.
When you look at a people-pleaser, their deal is to be as un-offensive as possible. In their mind, this is a very positive thing. They may even support this by saying that they just want to be the change they want to see in the world. They’re setting an example for people who are selfish, belligerent and cruel.
While there is virtue in that, what would such a person do in the face of a hate crime? What would they do when they see abuse? What would they do when they spot injustice?
They might think that they would stand up for what is right, but they might not. I have my doubts because I and some of my friends have observed things we were against and we’re as pleasant as peach cobbler.
One has to understand that if you stand for something, you are an enemy to its opposite. For example, I made a commitment a long time ago to seek and spread truth. As a result, this caused me to question religion, society, government and myself. Without this decision, I don’t see why I would question much of anything.
Furthermore, when I saw the logical fallacies, the inconsistencies and the plain old lies, I had to call it out. I became an enemy to falsehood and those who spread it.
People were weirded out by this side of me. I was typically a go-with-the-flow type of person on a lot of things. Nothing seemed to bother me, but that was because I never decided to make certain things matter to me. If you care about something, you will defend it against those who knowingly or unknowingly can damage it.
I was happy that I had no enemies and no opponents but unbeknownst to me, I actually did. I collided with religious zealots, conspiracy theorists and my own issues that I hid from myself, with my people-pleasing tendencies being one of them.
However, what does it mean to be an enemy? It doesn’t mean you want to kill your opponents. It doesn’t mean you want to harm them. It means that you simply disagree.
“Oh, but do we have to call them our enemies? That seems so harsh.”
That’s fair. Based on the list of definitions on the word, an enemy can range from someone who is opposed to another, or someone who is actively seeking another’s downfall.
You can use whatever term you’d like, but ensure that you don’t miss the point here. You will be opposed, antagonistic, adversarial or an enemy to the things that threaten what you value. And that’s good, because you should be.
We may want to be an example to others on the best way to live and what’s best for our relationships, families and societies; but in a relative world, people have a ton of ideas on how to do that.
If you just let people do whatever because you refuse to stand behind your values, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the example you would want to set for other people.
Don’t be afraid to look like the bad guy in the eyes of others. They simply see you like that because they value something different. But if you believe in something, go and defend it. If you don’t, you might lose it.