I have found that in order to both be a good person as well as a self determinant emotionally stable person, I derive internal validation from virtues, values, principles of how I carry myself in this world - things such as integrity, compassion, courage, etc - and how steadfast I am in holding fast and true to these principles regardless of the situation.
It might not make you everyone's friend, but a successful life in my opinion isn't to gain the esteem and love of everyone, it's to attain self respect which is harder than is sounds. The way I see it, can be summed up by the truth that no matter who you are, you will have detractors,
all the greatest leaders not matter what they fought or died for all had detractors, from Lincoln, to FDR, Churchill etc every single exemplary leader had their percentage of people who plotted and move against them.
You can't make everyone like you or agree with you, live with it and get on with the job at hand is what I'd recommend. On a related note - your driving force shouldn't be to make them eat their words either, to prove other people wrong, running on anger may allow you to achieve your intended goal, but you'll also find - as I did - it can really rot your core and make you into a pretty despicable sonofabitch.