“I’m Not For Everyone And That’s OK”: The Island You Didn’t Know Existed

Pop culture terms and phrases come and go. Some move along rather quickly while others stick around for what can seem like an eternity.

No cap.

One of those phrases is, “I’m not for everyone and that’s OK”.

I was raised to treat people with dignity and respect, so I do try my damnedest to live my life in a way that honors others, sometimes to my own detriment.

I’m human and imperfect of course, so there are days where kindness ends up taking a backseat.

All of that to say even as nice as I try to be, people still don’t like me.

Believe me, I don’t like everyone either.

Everyone doesn’t like everyone, so in it’s simplest form, everyone IS NOT for everyone, and that’s OK because that’s how life works.

The beauty in life is that we all have different personality types, but that beauty does not necessitate the ability to get along with everyone we come in contact with.

People who then feel the need to announce a phrase laced in redundancy are doing so as a personal OK to continue in toxic behavior.

That’s not OK.

[Insert “Who gon check me boo?” GIF HERE]

It’s the sibling of “Well that’s just how I am.”

Well what if how you are is hurtful to the people around you?

What if who you are isn’t helping you be a better person?

Aside from our personal dreams and aspirations, I believe the greater goal for us being here on Earth is to help each other. We are to love each other and support each other. This is religion to me, and this is an integral part of what life is about.

Our current culture though, especially with the prominence of social media, promotes an “island mentality.”

An island built solely by one individual.


The water that surrounds the island, the land that is the island, and every living breathing thing on the island was created by one person with no help from anyone else.

Island mentality is the act of separating oneself from the masses in order to be perceived as different and more powerful. While differentiation is not a bad thing, some people make its execution unhealthy.

Terms like “Self-Made” and quotes like “It’s lonely at the top” all denounce the true meaning of life and the reason why we are here in the first place.

Terms and quotes like these play into island mentality and are also some of the most irrelevant and ill conceived notions that have ever been uttered.

No business is built by one person. No healing can be done alone. If anyone is “lonely at the top” it’s because they’re not doing their job of sending the elevator back down to bring others up.

One may think that pretending personal goals have been accomplished independently of anyone else is power and will fill internal lack, but it won’t, and nothing could be further from the truth. Anything we are able to accomplish in this life is done in part with the help of others, even if in the smallest way.

This is in no way to negate personal efforts. There is of course great power in being able to bring something from the mind to reality, and people who have created their own business, or who have come to a place of healing from trauma, or who have succeeded in the fruition of any personal goals deserve accolades for their personal achievements.

Yet, the fulfilling of person goals does not equate to healing. We have lost many a great person to internal pain. Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and Robin Williams all had internal turmoil that their amazing personal achievements could not overpower.

Pushing people away so that one can continue to act out and then labeling it as “OK” is not healing. It only confounds the internal issues that already exist.

Some people who say “I’m not for everyone and that’s OK” think there is nothing wrong in the first place, which is a green light to be crass and abrasive and separate oneself from others. Of course, being in total denial that there is a problem leaves no room for improvement or growth.

But hey, who wants to grow? That’s hard work! Just being me is easy!

Actually it’s not.

Walking around leaving a path of emotional destruction is hard in that it takes negative energy to push people away, and at some point the destruction has to be cleaned up, and that has to start from the inside out, not the outside in.

The irony in this is that bad behavior has become a trend that is rewarded. From clap backs to reality TV and narcissistic celebrities, all the way up to the highest office in the country, some people have an unnerving attraction to those who are acting out of their issues. It’s the proverbial train wreck with a two fold result. It allows the lifting up of toxic people as an example of how one should be, and it gives toxic people fodder to continue acting out.

Praise for people who quote themselves as not being for everyone can be unhinged. These people are put on pedestals because they are being them self, and on the surface it may look like a good thing, but sometimes closer inspection will find hurt and pain that is being masked as power and self confidence.

Some people who say they aren’t for everyone use it as the greatest personal power play. It gives them permission to stay the same and not have to grow. They stand in who they are with pride, and are encouraged by the “likes” and other forms of external applause it gets despite that fact that their actions are like a cancer eating away at their relationships, and ultimately their emotional health.

What of “being yourself”? There’s more to it than living and thinking who you are is just who you are.

Part of being yourself is internal pondering and self checking. Why do I act the way I do? Why do I respond to things in a certain way? What in my upbringing is impacting my attitude as an adult? Are my actions hurting those that care about me? All of these are questions that truly get to the heart of “being yourself”. Continued growth is part of the process, and sometimes the results allow things to remain the same, but sometimes things must change in order to be a better human being.

If your goal in life is to “not be for everyone” on purpose so that you can continue to live unhealed, then honestly you’re not for everyone, and you’re no good for yourself, and that’s not OK.

Writer of life, Actor, Host/Comedian, and Spoken Word Artist. The last great Atlanta native.

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