We are all social beings and so we all interact with one another. It is helpful to adopt the attitude that we are all actors playing our different roles in the drama of life. I may be playing the role of a mother, a teacher, a householder and so on. This analogy enables us to understand that everyone is playing their part accurately according to their script. Each one creates his own story. The creator is not his creation. I am not the role I am creating.
If we focus on the role, we create attachments to friends and relatives and become dependent. We then expect them to do what we want them to do. For example, we begin to think that it is their responsibility to make us happy. Our happiness is our responsibility not theirs. Our contentment is our choice. How they treat us is irrelevant. If we expect them to treat us a certain way and those expectations are not fulfilled, we have given away our power of contentment to them. If those expectations are fulfilled, we simply create more expectations.
With no expectations we can then see others as equals and accept them as they are.
When we are true to our own self, we remove any need for the good opinion of others. We have this choice; we can spend our lives approval seeking or we can simply do our best and know that what others think does not matter. If we use our internal wisdom, our intuition, we will know when we have done our best and our self esteem will remain high.
We will no longer feel the need to be competitive, measuring our worth by comparing ourselves with others. We will be free from the expectations of the self and the expectations of others.
This is freedom.