Everyone wants to feel loved.
In fact, it is a vital part of being human.
Once a person’s physiological needs such as breathing, food, water, as well as the feeling of being free from danger are met, a person then needs to feel a sense of belonging and to be loved.
Sometimes, however, to be loved for who you truly are is a bit tricky.
Hmm now, why is that?
Human beings are wired to want to be loved, our rationale for us to get validation is for us to act in a way that is dishonest with who we truly are.
Plenty of people have this tendency to conduct themselves in a way they think the people around them would like to behave or be.
We seek validation and to feel accepted by others at the expense of behaving honestly with who we truly are.
For example, a person who is not living with integrity in their life might be a homosexual that is scared of coming out of the closet.
They are terrified of telling their family or close friends because of their fear of being cast out and rejected.
Or maybe it could be a person who lives every day of their lives hiding their true personality.
They act in a dishonest and fake manner around coworkers or close friends because they feel that if they don’t do so, they will not be accepted and might be abandoned.
Well… I am here to tell you how to fix this.
In this article, you will learn how to be loved for who you are, a different perspective on being loved, and why living with integrity around others is vital for a fruitful life.
I’ll start you off by telling you how to be loved for who you are.
Being Loved for Who You Are 101
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.― Ralph Waldo Emerson
First and foremost, if you want to be loved for who you are, you have to actually show the world who you really are.
Again, to be loved for who you are, you have to reveal yourself to the world as boldly as you can.
Let all of who you are shine through – no ifs, ands or buts.
How could you ever expect to be loved for who you are if you are not showing the world your true colors?
This may seem like common sense.
But if it’s so straightforward, then why do so many people struggle with this?
Maybe there are relationships or areas in your own life where you are not being authentic and you would like to sincerely express yourself better.
I understand that vulnerability may feel terrifying.
As I mentioned before, you might have all these irrational fears and reasons why it is unacceptable to be your true self, but don’t worry, I am here to help allay those concerns.
I am going to start off by teaching you about a simple fact of life.
A Basic Principle of Life
Believe it or not, the majority of people would all like to be loved by everybody around them.
After all, being loved by everybody sounds pretty great, right?
To know that every time you step outside, everybody in the world would welcome you with open arms and joyous smiles!
Sorry to burst your bubble, but being loved by everybody is not necessarily a good thing.
Here’s the deal.
Everybody in the world has their own specific preferences or things they like unique to them.
What you like may not be the same thing your schoolmates, coworkers, or anyone else likes.
Sure, there is such a thing as having shared interests, values, and hobbies, but the cold hard truth is that everybody’s lifestyle choices and what they hold important to them… are different.
Case in point, a priest and a stripper may not be the best of friends.
Why do I bring this up?
To illustrate to you that incompatibility is a simple fact of life.
Accept that you are going to be loved by some people and naturally disliked by others.
The problem with trying to be liked by everybody is that you will find yourself constantly changing who you are.
Depending on who you surround yourself with, at the drop of a hat, you’ll find yourself altering yourself to fit their expectations.
This results in you living dishonestly with who you truly are and not having any actual sense of identity.
You merely cannot please and be loved by everyone.
It is impossible — so stop trying.
Learning to accept this fact of life will help you live a more authentic life.
You Have Nothing to Lose
I know what some of you are probably thinking in your head.
“Sure, people have their own preferences…
…b-b-b-b-but if I live more honestly… people will disapprove of me and will leave my life”
Most of the time, this flat-out won’t be true.
It is just some irrational belief most people create in their heads because they are scared or insecure about opening up and being treated poorly.
When you start living a life more faithful with yourself, yes, there may be some people who you begin to rub the wrong way or who may not approve of you anymore.
That is fine.
As I mentioned before, everybody has different values, preferences, and tastes.
You are just not their cup of tea.
That is all.
Let me ask you this — Why would you ever want to hang around someone who doesn’t accept you for who you truly are?
Where’s your self-respect?
Look, if a person doesn’t like you for you… who needs them!
News flash: there are millions of people in this world…
And there are going to be a lot more other people who will love you for who you are.
Stop wasting your time trying to gain respect from these people.
Stop taking your sweet time
I’ll tell you another fact of life.
Our time here on this planet is very limited.
Really think about that for a second.
One day, all our things, the people we know will disappear and not matter anymore.
Not to sound all doom and gloom… but it is important to understand this!
If our time on this planet is very short…why would we waste a single precious second hiding or living dishonestly?
40 years from now, you will either look back on your life and be proud to have lived it absolutely true to yourself… or you will look back and be filled with remorse.
So do yourself a favor.
Start living honestly… today.
A Quick Note
I have to include that there are some of you who have lived under your peers or your parents’ expectations for your entire lives and don’t know who you really are.
Or maybe you really just don’t know who you are quite yet.
How could you fully express to the world who you are, if you don’t even know who you in fact are?
So you want to know how to be loved for who you really are?
Go spend some time alone.
Away from everybody.
All the answers for who you actually are, are already within yourself.
You can unplug by sitting alone someplace for a weekend alone and not using technology or the internet.
Put your phone down…and especially stop using social media.
Reconnect with nature.
Cut out the noise and see what it is like to actually hear yourself think.
The best advice I received as a young teen, and I would like to pass along to anyone trying to expand their perspective on life, is to figure out a way to travel to another country.
Go see the world.
Embrace a new culture and hopefully see that there is so much more than the small community of friends and people you grew up with.
You may be surprised to discover just how big the world is and how insignificant most of the people, things, and interactions in your day-to-day life actually are.
Maybe you will also realize that other people’s thoughts about you may not matter after all.
Time to genuinely be loved for who you are
Stop trying to act tough, or funny or quiet, or loud if that isn’t how you want to act.
You do not have to pretend that you like something you actually don’t.
Stop trying to impress people.
You don’t have to prove anything.
Remember, there are millions of people in the world.
You are going to click with some people and you are not going to get along with some others — and that will be okay.
Life is about compatibility and incompatibility and it is your job to find the compatible.
So, step out in the world and promise yourself to start living honestly!
There is freedom that comes along with expressing yourself wholeheartedly.
If you have deep-seated fears of expressing yourself, I understand that every nerve in your body may be telling you to stay safe and not convey who you really are.
I would like to challenge you to take the smallest step towards better expressing yourself.
It could merely be by talking to a friend you trust and telling them about your plans to better express yourself… but start trying.
Trust me, you will thank me later.
Recall that when you are old and frail, all of those tiny irrational insecurities on why you should not be yourself will dissipate and will not matter anymore.
Don’t be left wondering “what if”.
Instead, just be yourself.