This is a new concept for me, only developing over the last year. As I have gruelingly established my own solid belief system,  I've watched old guidelines stick and others be thrown out the window. New rules have been instituted and the great ones have been engraved in stone. I've never felt so liberated, and I've never felt so content to be myself.

One of the "great ones" is to only support and associate with those that believe in my moral and ethical viewpoints. These viewpoints, of course are equality, activism, and humanist movement. I doubted this stance for a moment in the beginning however, simply because it brings the glaring issue of gender bias to the forefront of my feminist ideals. I was reading several forums and threads this past week on some large liberal websites where women were talking about who they were planning on voting for. There were a lot of comments proudly declaring that they voted for the women on the ballots no matter what (more women in office!)... and I couldn't help but shake my head.

Here's the deal: I don't discriminate based on gender. I just don't. I don't hate someone because they have a penis, and I don't support someone just because they have a vagina. I support, love, and stand behind people who care, do good, promote change, instigate kindness, and encourage action. There are caring men and caring women in this world. Conversely, there are crummy men and crummy women. To assume that every woman has a female's best interest in mind is blind acceptance which ultimately creates more problems than solutions.

We are taught to be nice polite people, and that those who disregard others lack some sort of social and moral upbringing. We are also conditioned to believe that the more people like us, the better. As in, the closer your individual "feedback" rating is to 100%, the better of a person you are. They call this "The Need to Please Disease" and it stems from a complex group of reasons, a large one being low self esteem. When we don't believe in ourselves, we need large groups of others to tell us that we are okay. Unfortunately, while support systems are definitely necessary for a functioning life, accumulating copious amounts of devotees won't resolve the underlying issues. Having a fulfilling life and winning the popularity contest only coincide a perfect world... which we don't live in. The summary? The belief that we must like everyone, and if everyone likes us we will be okay... is Grade A bullshit.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you go out into the world and act like a dick towards anyone you're not in love with. I'm just suggesting that you don't bend over backwards to please someone else because of some unspoken obligation. And on the flip side, I also allow myself to say "fuck you" to those I feel deserve it. Not a defensive or hurt "fuck you", but a genuine dismissal of those I feel are hurting others with their actions. This can come in many forms, from the direct to the indirect. Regardless, I have no problem cutting these people out of my life without hesitation. And this doesn't make me a bad/mean/sociallyinept/bullyofa person. It actually makes me a person with a core and healthy boundaries.

There are of course situations where this wouldn't necessarily be in your best interest; work for example. When the stakes include employment at a place you enjoy (but your boss is an insufferable bigot), you are able to make a choice. You can decide that having a job is more important than your passionate viewpoints and fake a smile during the work week. Or, you might choose your personal beliefs over the place of employment. It's up to you; your personal judgement is key here. Another situation that might not apply is if you are attempting to communicate with a person who's ideals conflict with yours. We all know that the second we become defensive, the other person closes their ears. I have found that diplomacy and kindness is key in these instances of persuasion, even if you disagree with your opponent.

Kingian non-violence philosophy believes that the only way to accomplish permanent change is to "win over your adversary" or to join forces with your enemies in the fight for good. This has proven effective over centuries, but I believe that there is a fine line to be weary of. You want to involve those that you clash with for collaborative reasons, but at the same time you must be wise about who you spend your precious energy on. Those committed to misunderstand you or those who are adamantly uninterested would be an exhausting waste of your time. I personally believe that in those circumstances, dismissal is more than okay, and movement forward is crucial. This whole concept fits perfectly into the subject of toxic loyalty, but that is another topic for another long winded day:)

So here's a radical suggestion: take the time that you invest in pleasing  everyone around you and redirect it towards the people in your life that you admire or love. Better yet, use some of that energy and work on liking yourself. Loving, even. I have a feeling that this shift in direction will have a larger positive impact than you would imagine.

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my premise? LETS GET SOME DISCUSSION GOIN ON UP IN HERE! I'm totally interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences that relate to the above situations! Spill, ladies and gents.

///Totally unrelated: doesn't the model on the right look like a redheaded Anne Hathaway?/// 


  1. I'm still trying to move away from that compulsive need for everyone to like me. When I was younger I had myself convinced that if I could just MAKE people like me then I wouldn't get bullied anymore, & life would suddenly be good, and it's taking a while to repair my thinking after so long spent trying my hardest to please other people & not rock the boat. As I get older I realise that no matter what I do some people are always going to talk shit about me, and it's really not worth my energy trying to win their approval. I'm trying to do exactly what you've talked about: use my precious energy on myself, and the people in my life who I really love & value. Sometimes I fall back into old patterns a bit, but I'm getting there!

  2. Speaking of crummy women, back when I was an ignorant teen there was this person that I thought would be really great. Her name was Leah Vukmir. Since she was a woman, I thought that she would be great! Buuuuuuut she actually wanted to do something nasty with nurses rights or something or another (I'm still not sure of the whole story, but I know that she's shady).

    And I still totally have the Need to Please Disease. But I'm healing =D

    As for the final question, I most definitely agree with you. Yes we have to work together, and probably with people that we don't see eye to eye with, but it's better to spend energy on collaboration than attack. (not as poetic as I wanted it, but eh)

    1. Attacking is never productive. Ever ever.

      Collaboration with the right people is where its at!

  3. 1st: That seriously looks like Anne Hathaway.
    2nd: At first I read KLINGON non violence and was very confused ;)
    3rd: I'm also a firm believer in dismissal and wasted energy on people with bad vibes. I try to send love and kindness to everyone, but I'll admit the people I love in my life get the most of it.

    1. Re "3rd". I love the way you put this. You are spot on. Just because we dismiss someone doesn't mean we hate them. And in the end, its all about intention. I don't "not hate" someone because its bad... I choose to not hate people because that negative energy is bad for ME.

      This topic is so complicated. I don't know why I even tried to encapsulate it in one post.


  4. I used to be terrified of people not liking me or disagreeing or thinking I was too stubborn in my opinions, but I agree with you here. There is no sense in wasting time on people you're never going to click with on the levels that mean the most to you, and that time should be spent doing things and associating with people who make you feel good and strive to be the best person you can be. Some people might think it's rude or isolating to not be close to someone with different ideals than you, but there are times when it really isn't worth it.

  5. Also, it kind of reminds me of "hate-reading" blogs. When you don't like someone or what they write or whatever, but continue reading them not for a viewpoint that's different and makes you think, but because of the internal drama you get from it. I've cleaned most of those sites out of my reader because I realize it's a huge waste of time for me to read people I genuinely cannot stand - even if it can be hilariously entertaining.

    1. Oh man, that is a tough subject and totally relevant to the point I was trying to make! I didn’t address it much because I thought it might be a little over the edge but here it goes: from what I can tell there is an unwritten rule that’s says as a female blogger, we must be supportive of every other female blogger no matter what.

      I disagree.

      Now, before you start sending me hate mail, let me explain: You know how I said that I don’t agree with a woman just because she’s a woman? Well that’s true. HOWEVER what I find is that the majority of people that I connect and identify with ARE women. Which makes sense, seeing as our synapses fire similarly, we are in the same boat in society and we share anatomy that makes us different. So do I support women in general? Fuckin’ A, I do. And a shit ton of them at that! We were born into the same genetic club, so we got lots to talk about and I enjoy the creative, thoughtful, powerful, and unique energy that I get from all of the women in my life (real and interwebs alike). Women as a species are phenomenal and one of the most miraculous things to ever exist. We are all so complex, it blows my mind. But there are always exceptions to every rule, right? I just feel that I can’t support bloggers (male or female) that don’t share some beliefs that I do. Like making the world a better place. This is subjective, of course and is different for everyone, I read hundreds of blogs and love them all. But I too, have stopped reading a select few, because, quite frankly our discrepancies leave me painfully disappointed. I don’t’ need to do that to myself on a daily basis when there are so many other incredible sources out there.

      Now THIS, will probably result in a discussion! Let ‘er rip! Lets hear what YOU think!

    2. Totally with you here. I feel the same way about a lot of the blogging atmosphere - like it's all GIRL POWER LET'S BE AWESOME TOGETHER even though we have completely different ideologies! I can't really do that. If you're a bigot I am not going to read and support you or your blog just because you're a fellow female blogger expressing your creative spirit. I see a lot of the clique-ish circles in the blogosphere and I'm just not that fluffy. I get too passionate and fired up to be able to ignore how someone views other people and the world.

      And I know not ALL of them are like this and I might get heat for saying this, but I tend to just avoid Mormon blogs because chances are we have VERY different world views and it kind of annoys me that they have to have a link to mormon.org in the header.

      I love reading people different than me because I'm always curious about the world but when their views are hurtful to others and going to piss me off it's better if I just avoid it.

  6. This is probably why I don't have any close friends in real life. My husband is my best friend because we share the same beliefs, but since we live in the deep south, it's hard to find people who are of the same mindset as us. I think you brought up an important point that we all have a choice. We're in control of our lives and that means we're in control of who we let into our lives.

  7. what a great post. i definitely need to work on this. i live in the south and am around people who i REALLY disagree with all the time, but usually keep quiet for the sake of getting along. but why do I need to do that? they don't keep quiet instead of offending me.

    1. I don't know if its possible... but could you have discussions? I had a great one with my grandma and mom about religion the other day. We all differed dramatically but there was only positive communication. Wow, right!? Kinda freaked me out;)

  8. Don't let your desire to "only support and associate with those that believe in my moral and ethical viewpoints" turn into a situation where your moral and ethical viewpoints are never challenged. This leads to the epistemic closure associated with the very type of people you want to avoid.

    I would suggest modifying that very slightly to "only support and associate with those that RESPECT my moral and ethical viewpoints."

    It's only when your ideas and ideals are constantly tested that they deserve your confidence and subscription. I also want to make sure to differentiate "respect" from "tolerate." To me, "respect" means listening to and understanding someone, and where there are differences, to get along anyway. "Toleration" does not require understanding.

    In other words: Unexamined beliefs are a bad reason to discard people. Constantly challenged and refined beliefs are.

    1. Interesting point, with which I actually agree! A topic like this I hard to write about thoroughly in a blog post; I would really need a large book to make a dent in the variables, but I see where you’re coming from. It’s hard to say what applies where, because every person and situation is different in a million subtle ways. I think what I am referring to here in this post is what I have been experiencing lately: a fundamental belief in how to live within a society. I know it’s sounds silly. Let me explain.

      Those that don’t believe in equality, civil rights, and being a good person for the sake of being a good person are people that I will not agree with on any level because our fundamental building blocks are opposite of each other. Those that hate rockabilly music, love hippies, and prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla… I totally respect their differences;) A great example is someone who voted for the conservative presidential candidate. I don’t know if I would connect with them on a fundamental level because our views are obviously different, BUT I WOULD connect with them on activism, I admire those who got out and voted no matter who it was for. A world that cares creates change etc etc etc. So it depends on the situation and the person.

      I agree that in order for growth to happen, you MUST be challenged. You have to right? Sedentary and downstream lives really go nowhere in the end… But we also have the right to choose the world that we create around us, We are not obligated to keep (or reject for that matter) any person based on an expectation. That’s the beauty of it all. So yeah! Find those that reflect your ultimate views (You can still be friends with people who love “2 Broke Girls” even if you really really don’t…) and educate yourself on the world around you. Just don’t invest your energy in toxic resources.

      Am I making any sense at all?

      My words are falling flat today due to a lack of sleep but the main point of this article is that it doesn’t make you a bad person if everyone doesn’t like you, and I’m stickin’ to it. Your life is your own, That is all.

    2. Oh yeah, I forgot the part where I meant to say that I don't really have to seek out challenging viewpoints... they surround me no matter what;) So, easy peasy done! xo

  9. This is something that I have been trying to work on for a while. I used to think that I had to make everyone happy, and would even change my opinion about something if I thought my point of view would make someone angry with me. I would even do this with close friends, and those are the people you should feel safe with. I was very wishy washy about a lot of things, and ended up disappointing myself a lot. I definitely had a problem with low self esteem. Lately I have been improving this aspect of my personality. My partner and other bloggers have helped me to see that my opinion does matter and I don't have to make everyone else happy all the time. There is obviously some compromise involved in some situations, but I don't have to waste my energy on those people who don't deserve it.

  10. Just another reason that I love you.

    I'm constantly butting heads with people close to me who are HUGE people pleasers -- they hate that I can be confrontational. It's just not in me to apologize when I'm not sorry and bite my tongue when I'm passionate about something. I try to be respectful, but by no means quiet. Whats that saying? "I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not" -- something like that.

    However, I do find myself consistently challenged in my work life and life with my inlaws. I bite my tongue a whole lot more than I ever thought I could. Living in Utah means that I'm surrounded by mostly conservative folks and I often have to stay quieter than usual until people get to know & respect me and then sometimes we can have successful discussions on topics that we dont agree on.

    I was actually talking to my MIL & SIL the night before the election and they were saying that equality is great and all, but why do the gays want to use the term "marriage"? That's between a man and a woman. The look on their faces when I told them I could sorta see their viewpoint, but if that was the case, than I didn't want to be considered married. I wouldnt feel comfortable calling it a "marriage" if that's how people are determined to define it. We had a full on civil ceremony with no mention of a deity, so we could just be a civil union. It may be the only time Ive seen them stunned into silence. That's not something I could have said to them four years ago when we first met though.

  11. That model totally looks like Anna Hathaway.

    Hi, I'm Juanita, and new to your blog. I love your thoughts on this matter, and for the most part, I *heart* the title of it -- that's me and I totally relate to that.

    Perhaps it is my upbringing, but I rarely am able to make friends on my own initiative. And even if I try to fake it (in those obligatory circumstances), I am my usual caustic self (that's just my unfortunate nature), and need to constantly remind myself to behave. If only it's something that could come to me as naturally out of habit. Still working on that, but hey, if a person does not like me for who I am, then that's just too bad. I can't find myself wasting my energy on trying to be something that I am not, just to make you like me. Having said that, deep down, I WISH I had an ounce of The Need To Please disease. How do people do it? Hmm...


  12. Proof that being a woman doesn't automatically mean you have women's best interests at heart: Margaret Thatcher. BARF.


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