I don’t much bother with trying to be popular. I used to bother, and I was very crap at it. In the end I thought “screw it, this is taking up too much bandwidth.” (1)
Life is, imho, much easier when you get on with doing the job you want, and not worrying about getting the credit. Now, this means you almost never will get the credit. Parasites will hoover it up (they are ten a penny), or there’ll be simple misunderstandings or whatever. But in the meantime, just get on and do what you can.(2)
Some who have heard that you are not a nice person etc etc will eventually decide that regardless of whether you are or not, you have a track record of reliability and output and so on. Others won’t come to that conclusion. That’s fine, their loss, move on.
There’s two more examples I can think of. One is the ugly stocky ball-player in the movie “A league of their own” – she’s a great player, but doesn’t look glamorous
And then there’s the guy ER, the bald and unpopular one (3)… He has this scene with Corday where he basically says “I thought medicine wasn’t a popularity contest. I thought it was being about really good at what you do, getting the diagnosis right, saving lives…” And he has come to realise that no, it IS a popularity contest. Shortly before [spoiler alert] getting killed off.
(1) Yes, have clocked that in the wrong hands this can be a great excuse to be a dick…
(2) There’s good stuff in Ursula Le Guin’s “The Dispossessed on whether this self-abnegation is sensible or not. One of the characters, after much thought, decides it is not. Stirnerist!
(3) I never watched that much ER, and so reading the wikipedia article about the Romano character was eye-opening. Man, what a dick!