“Everywhere I go I’m paralyzed,” Gina said. “I’m so afraid of everybody’s disapproval that I can’t make any decisions. Why do I need everybody to accept me?”
“Oh, that’s not complicated,” I said. “All your life you had NOBODY who accepted you unconditionally. That was more painful than you could stand, and it seemed logical to you that the solution to nobody accepting you was to try to get everybody to accept you.”
“Never thought of it that way.”
“Problem is that you can never get everybody to like you. People are just too different. They like different things, and even if you could get most of them to like you, it couldn’t last. It would be utterly exhausting, and in the end all you’d have is a little conditional acceptance. You’d give everything you have for nothing.”
The solution to not feeling accepted is not to win the acceptance of everybody. The solution is simply to be yourself—to be open and truthful—and find the few people who can understand you and who have the ability to love you unconditionally. The unconditional love of just a few people—even one person—is worth more than the conditional acceptance of hundreds.