Acceptance. We crave it. We need it. As much as we need air to breath, water to drink and food to eat. One may not realise this, but the life is spent trying to be accepted somewhere, by someone, for something.
We want to fit in. We want to model ourselves according to what society wants us to be. We do not want to be the outcast ones. It matters more to be socially accepted than to be someone who lives the life to their own liking.
It is not just social acceptance, sometimes in an effort to be likeable to some people in our lives, we tend to give up our personality. Our personal choices and likes take a back seat as we expect that our efforts in satisfying the conditions in an unconditional relationship makes us and them happy. In reality, this almost never happens.
Humans are intelligent species or at least compared to other inhabitants of our planet. Years of evolution has made us capable enough of having a common sense and understanding of what makes us happy and what makes us sad. One of the things that give us immense joy unquestionably is the freedom to choose our life’s path.
From choosing whether you want cheese in your burger to deciding to take that overseas job, you are endlessly presented with choices. Choices which even though others can influence, only you can make. Instead of making the right choice, we convince ourselves to do what others want and suffocate for the rest of the life.
Nobody inherently likes suffering, then why do we tend to do things that we don’t want to?
It might be smart enough to accept that some people aren’t gonna like or trust you in spite of whatever you do. You can try and try and try, but things won’t change. It is a total waste of your time and energy to focus on them. To a great extent, this can be blamed on what we were forced to learn as a child.
You grew up thinking that to be a good child and be loved by everyone, you needed to score good grades in school or you need to show your respect to “God” without even knowing what faith means. These unwanted connections that we create between feeling accepted and the conditions that make you acceptable, run deep in our minds and subconsciously influence every single decision we make as an adult.
The painful fact is that, in this effort of being accepted, we forget something big - living our life. Contrary to popular belief, life comes only once and you have got one chance to live that second, minute, hour or day. Would you rather focus on what you can do, or what you shouldn’t be doing so that you end up not being accepted?
It is perfectly fine to give joy to others at your expense, but it shouldn’t be so that you become addicted to it and forget that you are someone as well.
It’s not wrong to think of your happiness at times. No, it’s not being selfish.