What's Wrong with Me?
Do you ever feel like nobody likes you? I feel that way sometimes, too. I think it's natural to want people to like you. I mean, who doesn't want friends? But I struggle with wanting everyone to like me. And when they don't, it's easy for me to feel bad about myself.
I have this big group of friends, and in that group, there's one girl who hangs out mostly with the guys. Now I was raised with brothers, and I usually feel more comfortable hanging around with guys than with girls. And most of the time, guys feel comfortable hanging out with me, too. So I was starting to feel kind of hurt that the guys were hanging out with this other girl and not with me.
One day, it really started to bother me. I crawled in my bed and just started crying. I was like, "What's wrong with me? Why doesn't everyone want to be around me? Am I just not sweet enough? Am I just not likable?" I came up with all these reasons why people wouldn't want to hang out with me. For instance, I have a strong personality, and I can be very intense. I'm also very honest, and I'll say what's on my mind. That's not always the best thing. Honesty is good, but sometimes I'd be better off keeping my mouth shut. I figured if I changed my personality, people might like me better.
The day after my crying session, I decided I would try to be sweet and quiet—to be the girl everyone would love. But that just wasn't me. And I thought, This is dumb. It finally came to me that this whole thing wasn't about me. People want to be with who they want to be with. Those guy friends of mine weren't choosing to not be around me. They didn't hate me. They were just hanging out with another person. That's the way life works.
I guess what I've learned is that not everyone is going to love me. Not everyone is going to want to be around me all the time. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with me. And it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. People are just different. Sure there are things about me that I need to work on. But I don't have to try to be everyone's best friend. I only need to be the person God made me to be.
Jaci Velasquez always finds a friend in her puppy, a Maltese named Dallas.
1999 by the author or Christianity Today/Campus Life magazine. For reprint information call 630-260-6200.