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Wrong Belief #9: People have to agree with me, like me, accept me and treat me in a certain way

Oh dear. This belief is a disaster waiting to happen.

In our daily lives, many of us find ourselves bound by the unspoken need for everyone to agree with us, like us, accept us, and treat us in a particular way. The moment someone strays from this expectation, or disagrees with us, it can cast a shadow over our entire day. Of course, it’s natural to have feelings, and unpleasant interactions can leave us feeling uncomfortable. But what if we shifted our perspective to “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and it’s perfectly fine if people don’t see eye-to-eye with me or disapprove of me. I have just as much right to exist as anyone else on this planet.”

Now, what happens when someone says something you don’t agree with?

You don’t have to spend a lot of time being upset! You still get to enjoy the rest of your day, even if you didn’t particularly love that part of it. It’s okay. You don’t have to do anything about the situation! You don’t have to go to any meetings; you don’t have to post anything about it on Facebook; you don’t have to tell your mother; you don’t have to talk about it for days with your best friend. In short, you are still in charge of your life, and whatever they said is not a threat to this fact. Your boundaries do not need to be defended by aggressive action. You don’t need to strike back, or change the person’s mind. You don’t have to do a thing about it. You can proceed on without a hitch!

Let’s take this one step further.

You can disagree with your friends and loved ones and it’s fine. You can belong to different political parties and still love each other. Crazy! It’s perfectly fine if no one on this earth agrees with you or understands you or supports you. If you can learn to love yourself and respect yourself, you can still eat lunch with people. And one more thing, we need you. Your perspective is valuable even if it is “different” (maybe even especially because it’s different.)

Stay with me. I’m not quite through.

Once you have achieved this state of peace, you don’t have to share every thought you have when you know it will make the other person turn purple and have high blood pressure. (Unless you just want to.) You can think your subversive thoughts and perform your strange actions without anyone else having a thing to say about it. I’ll let you in on a little secret. If I shared my thoughts I would be kicked out of every group I’ve ever been let into. I love being subversive…secretly, that is.