Creativity Hello Pip-Life

… And You Don’t Have To Win Everyone Over


Do you remember when I wrote that post called ‘It Doesn’t Mean They Hate You!’? Lots of people read that post and talked to me about it, which was ace. It’s always good, as a blogger, when people want to talk to you about the things you write. (And thanks if you did!)

Today, I’ve been thinking a lot about when people don’t like you much. Or aren’t into your work. And how that feels. And how easy/difficult that can be to reconcile.

As an adult, I’ve always been the kind of person who’s thought ‘If they just gave me a chance, they’d like me…! I just need to show them what they’re missing out on!’

As a child, I wasn’t nearly as concerned with whether people liked me. I pretty much assumed they just would. I figured I was nice and kind and smart. Basically what was NOT to like?

Now that I’m an adult (and a blogger/writer), things are less rose-coloured, of course. I’ve learned that not everyone is for everyone, some people will not give a toss about me and my palaver. No amount of putting my best foot forward is going to change their mind. I must admit that it’s something I’ve struggled with at times.

I think people, but especially women, are struggling with this ‘approval addiction’ (14.00 in this video). We want people to like us. We might think that’s part of being a good or successful person. We may be censoring our lives through a sort of fine, fearful filter of ‘is this going to be okay with everyone else?’

(My friend Catherine says lots of women are living their lives pre-empting the reactions of others… rather than doing what’s true to them. In the end their behaviour is a hybrid reaction to what everyone MIGHT want and there’s very little heart in it at all. And that’s sad.)

But back to the bit where people don’t like you. And how thinking they SHOULD doesn’t mean they will. I didn’t realise this at first. I figured that if you had the best of intentions and were friendly and kind, that the world would fall at your feet. Weirdly, the world didn’t. Imagine it? Gasp.

Once, after a blogging conference, a lovely blogger came up to me for a chat and said something like ‘people give you a ‘bum rap‘ sometimes Pip, but you’re actually really great!’. Um. Once a group of bloggers I was working with accidentally hit REPLY ALL after a couple of them had delivered quite the stinging attack on my work. Er. Once someone trolled me quite mercilessly for a year or so, sending me nasty comments and even nastier emails. Eek. Once someone said my dog dying was karma. Huh? Once someone sent me an envelope full of HAIR with a note that said ‘snip snip snip’. WHAT?!

I mean really, I could go on and on. There are ‘bored’ or ‘uninspring’ book reviews, there are snarky chat threads, there are imagined slights and fabricated wrong-doings. Still. I prefer those to HAIR.

Thankfully, I’m actually starting to feel a lot better about it all. Well, maybe all except the hair.

When I read Dani Shapiro’s piece about not being everyone’s cup of tea today, I realised that I’m JUST NOW starting to be okay with that. It made me want to write about it too. I’M NOT EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA!!!

I now know that it’s totally okay to not win everyone over. I know that I don’t have to see the people who don’t ‘get me’ as some kind of Survivor-like challenge waiting to be conquered.

I don’t even want to conquer anyone, anymore. If someone doesn’t want to understand me or my work, or doesn’t like my work (or me, gulp!) then that’s totally okay. That’s their thing. Go them!

Today, after I’d been thinking about this (perhaps in light of lots of slightly exposing interviews and a new book release), a really weird couple of things happened. The first thing was that I saw my book ‘Sew La Tea Do’ at Savers (the big secondhand outlet). I’d always thought I’d feel sad if I saw my book at an op shop, but I actually didn’t care! They’d even put it nicely in a cabinet with all the fancier stuff.

Later in the day, in a buy and sell group on Facebook TWO OTHER books I’ve written were offered up for sale. (Note that for me, today was the first time I’d seen my books donated or passed on.) But I was okay with that too! Hazaa!

Lives change, interests change, people change, finances change, spaces change and that’s okay.  A more fragile me may have felt that this was some kind of rejection, but people WILL lose interest in what I’m doing or need to cull their books or move onto the work of others and that’s okay! (Maybe I DID leave a comment merrily remarking that those books were nice and really well written, but I was just being cute, I swear!)

The thing is, people are going to drift in and out of your life and work. And maybe some won’t even stop to pass the time of day.  And maybe they might send you some hair (but I hope not) And maybe they have other things/people on their radar. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean they’re missing out. Or that you’re missing out. Maybe it’s personal. Maybe its not. It’s just the way life is.

You don’t have to win everyone over.
I don’t have to win everyone over.
Everything is okay.
I am glad we had this chat.
Love to you.


pip signature

more reading pink

The Good Stuff
Unfinished Business
The Social Club
Twelve Things You Might Like To Watch (Or Rewatch) On TV
Why Slowing Down Is The New Speeding Up
Have Your Pie And Eat It Too!

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  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 9:38 AM

    Hi there Pip,
    I reckon that this is one of the hardest things and one of the most important! That acknowledgement that we’re not always someone else’s cup of tea – and being okay with that. Think that I might meditate on this one a whole lot more – and talk about it with my girls. I remember AGES ago reading some study that said something like in general for no real reason one third of people will like you, one third won’t, and the other third could go either way. I found that helpful too!
    And I am really enjoying your latest book, by the way!
    But HAIR? What the?

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    I was giving my 5 year old daughter a morning cuddle/pep talk about this very thing today (first year at school and already wondering why not everyone is her ‘friend’). I realised at the end of our chat I needed to give myself the very same pep talk, which you have illustrated so well here. Thank you. x

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    Such a good read Pip – what I love about your style is that I can imagine you sharing this stuff over tea and scones, talking gently with a friend who might not realise that she’s trying so hard to have everyone love her and forgetting to love herself.

    HAIR! Goodness that’s all kinds of crazy.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 4:59 AM

    Dear Pip-A-Rooni,
    What a lovely peace. Growing a little wiser everyday. Reconciling, recalibrating, and look – recycling too !!
    I would have swooped on it ! I’m a Gardener who has been working for a lovely shy Peruvian woman for well over a year. We (our Family) went through an awful time this year, and i found myself having a few cups of tea with her before work. Things have picked up again, and as a thank you i gifted her your latest book. You would have thought i gifted her El Dorado ! We are also now booked in for a crochet class ( together. So your book has been the catalyst for our friendship growing deeper, learning something crafty together for a good cause, and sharing the Pip love ! Where one book door closes – or reopens by a 2nd chance of life in an Op shop – Another book door opens !

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 2:37 AM

    Thank you for writing this. I think we can all use a reminder sometimes. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years and I remember that when I first started, everyone was so excited to have a new blog to read and people flocked to it. I got tons of followers right away. Over the past few months, I’ve realized that a lot of those people were really just looking for people to follow their blogs and they must have assumed that by following mine, I’d automatically follow back and help boost their popularity. I had this dawning moment recently where I realized that it’s okay to only read the blogs I like. It never really occurred to me before but it’s a wonderful thing!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 10:49 PM

    Pip, you really are inspiring and share-ware kind. That’s okay if your book is for sale through second hand avenues because the people who go on to buy them really love you and what your about. Imagine a crafty thrifter with tight funds, finding your book would make their day. I’m super sensitive and it hurts when people don’t reciprocate my friendliness and kindness. Also jealousy is just so toxic and gets the better of some people. I think you are the bees knees. Keep on crafting and putting yourself out there and try to ignore the haters. The lovers like us just love you, love crafting, love share ware and just love xx

  • Reply
    Cindy G.
    May 23, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    First of all, if I saw one of your books at a secondhand shop, I’d snap it up in an instant (even if I already have it- I know exactly who I would pass it on to!). And second, while I try to be nice and find the good in people (and often give people way more chances than they deserve), there are plenty of people who just rub me the wrong way. So, when I encounter someone (or hear about someone) who doesn’t fancy me, I remind myself that I don’t always like everyone either! It helps me get past hurt feelings very quickly 🙂

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    Who would have thought? Its nice for people to open up about this stuff because i think everyone struggles with this to some degree.

    Someone once said to me: there are three tribes; the ones who totally wont get you no matter what you do; the ones who will think you are ok but are a bit “meh”. Then there are the ones who totally get you and are easy to hang with and make you feel at home. These are your tribe. Dont bother with the other 2 groups. Nothing will make a difference there. Focus on your tribe.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    Hi Pip,
    I don’t know how you do it, but so often it’s like you are channeling me and so many other people out there. Our feelings, so exactly. But with such honesty, kindness, and a good dose of happiness.
    And I for one find it very helpful. You keep it real.
    Since discovering your totally ace website and blog a few years ago whilst searching for some cool and modern crochet patterns, I have waxed lyrical about it to all my friends. Because I think both you and your work is a fab cup of tea that they need a regular sip from.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    Pip – I just love this post.
    I think it is actually kind of great to let that worry about everyone liking us go.
    I really like to like the peeps I like and then there are some other peeps that I might not feel the likey love for – which saves me a LOT of money in texting everyone and sending them snail mail and going out for coffee (and vice versa).
    Seriously now, I’m glad not everyone is for everyone… I would way rather be genuinely liked by six people than have pseudo buds galore.

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Twinkle Little Soul
    May 23, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    Oh Pip. I find it so hard to believe that anyone could not like you and your work? I don’t think I really want to meet any of those people! I love your work, always. I’ve definitely had an issue with doing what I think people want/expect me to do and it’s something I’m working on all the time x

  • Reply
    Kelly Exeter
    May 23, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    Thanks so much for writing this Pip. I too am one of those who thinks if someone doesn’t like me then it’s just because they don’t know me well enough! I’ve never been comfortable with the thought that I might not be someone’s cup of tea. But I’ve just returned from a conference and my key takeaway from the whole thing was the line ‘when you stand for something you are simultaneously magnetic and repellent’. I’ve not stopped thinking about it since I heard it and now that’s my goal for the rest of the year – to get comfortable with being repellent!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    Wow, Pip. So on point. Thanks for the chat. You reminded me I wrote a song about this a little over a year ago so I dusted it off and wrote a blog post to join in your conversation on this! The chorus goes a bit like this:

    But you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea
    And at some point you gotta stop
    Asking what the hell’s wrong with me
    You gotta accept the very real possibility
    That everything is exactly as it should be
    And it really is a case of you and not me

    You can see the lyrics in full over at:

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    It’s so hard isn’t it? I like to think I’m a pretty nice person, but sometimes it’s almost like people think that being nice is suspicious, like it’s a cover for something devious and sinister?! I must confess that being mean seems like hard work, being nice and thinking the best of everyone is just the easier option! I recently lost a friend, and I find myself going around and around in circles, analysing every conversation and wondering what it was that I did wrong, what I said, was I misunderstood?! It’s been such hard work and really, if she doesn’t want to be friends that’s her decision, I just need to keep on doing what I do and trying to always be nice and kind.
    So thanks as always for your wisdom and awsomeness, and I hope you don’t get any more hair in the post, that’s just weird!!xx

  • Reply
    Kate @ One Small Life
    May 23, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    Oh my God! Hair! How creepy.

    I love this post Pip, it made me smile and laugh and is so lovely. But as a serial approval seeker I also think it’s really important. You can’t be truly authentic if you’re always concerned with being on the right side of everyone. I’m 41 and only just working this out. Sigh.

    (I do however love your work, for what it is worth) x

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Thank you Pip for writing this. I really need to print this out and sticky tape it to my forehead! I am an overly sensitive soul but I am addicted to putting myself out there time and time again and trying new things. The thing I fear most in life is not being liked – imagine! I am totally setting myself up to face my biggest fear almost every day of my life. Craziness. But … I am not everyone’s cup of tea either and that’s okay of course! Life would probably be boring if everyone liked everyone and everything they did… I got offended today even seeing a few people I know had left our creative mother’s North Coast networking group… Like Id done something wrong… But maybe it just wasn’t their cup of tea! X

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    Good one Pip. I think about this ‘fear of not being liked’ thing a lot. Yes, maybe it’s more a female thing than male, this need for everyone’s approval? I had an experience recently in China, where I needed something from a university staff member and for some reason, they decided that they hated me and wouldn’t give me what I wanted. I couldn’t understand it – wasn’t I nice and smart and kind (like you!)? Why would they hate me? I really wanted them to know that actually, if they got to know me, I was great! But seriously, this was never going to happen, and you have to not take it personally.
    Especially for someone like you, whose work is out there in the public arena, there are going to be detractors and that’s OK. It means you’ve made it, in a way. Funnily enough, I’ve found the hardest part of starting a blog is knowing how much of my personal life to share. My biggest non-fan is my Mum! She says ‘it’s too personal – I just don’t understand it at all’. And that’s OK too – not her cup of tea! You and your work absolutely don’t need to be everyone’s cup of tea. Trying to please everyone is paralysing…who can be bothered?! Luckily so many people find you to be EXACTLY their cup of tea, how amazing!

  • Reply
    Carly Findlay
    May 23, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Thank you. I needed to read this.
    You are so wise.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 7:23 PM

    God people are weird. The hair thing is way too odd to even try to explain. People can be really nasty when they’re jealous.
    I was always worried about seeing my books in an op shop but it happened and I figured that it was okay because someone didn’t it hate it enough to just throw it away. Handing it on is lovely.
    Also, I think it’s a sign that that part of your life has changed. Shifted into a new form with more words and new wisdom. I have lots of insight on this fact but then again, I am a weirdo, I just won’t send you any of my hair.

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      May 23, 2015 at 7:26 PM

      I was JUST talking to Cam about that ‘shift’ Kate. The weirdo in me thinks the book sightings are a confirmation. x

      • Reply
        May 23, 2015 at 7:41 PM

        Yep. A hippy friend in FNQ talked about it to me today. Also makes us super sensitive. She called it, ‘The craft of living energy.’ Makes sense now I’ve read this post. Craft is energy. The soul needs energy to live and to thrive. Maybe this only makes sense to me? Anyway, I’m saying it’s all good in the hood.

    • Reply
      May 23, 2015 at 8:23 PM

      I love this! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    “Go them”! hahaha you made me laugh. Loved it. Great piece! *Claps*

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