It did not matter who you are; I wanted to be your friend. I wanted the whole world to like me.
It is a challenge for me not to be a people pleaser, and I am often at fault for putting people above my own needs, which caused a lot of stress and drama in my life. I quickly learned that I could not have everyone like me, no matter how hard I tried.
When I came in as a freshman, I had no idea how the real-world work since it was my first time outside of my own home and I had to live in a dorm. I had a lot of people judge me because I was different. People would always look at me when I was energetic and bubbly.
One day, I saw a couple of girls giggling and looking at me constantly in class, I asked someone from the class: what are they laughing about? she said, “They think you are weird and are making fun of you.”
I hated being weird because I felt judged for being myself. Being called “weird” made me question my worth. I tried to act normal, stopped making jokes in class, and tried befriending people, but many people just wanted me to leave them alone. It gave me a lot of pain because it made me think, is there something wrong with me? Why don’t they like me?
I became a people pleaser as I slowly lost sight of who I was because I wanted people to like me. I was tired of being alone and abandoned. However, getting people to like you had a cost. They do not want you to become yourself because it could discredit what they want. I learned quickly how people could take advantage of people pleasers. I could never say no and sometimes had to sacrifice my happiness to make others happy.
I had people take advantage of me and try to use me to get what they wanted. If I questioned them or stood up for myself, they would get defensive and try to manipulate me and frame me as a bad guy just for calling them out on their toxicity. I thought I had to suck it up; at least it was better than being alone.
But now I look back and realize that I do not need to be mistreated to know my worth. I am slowly trying to stop becoming a people pleaser and make sure I listen to the voice inside of me when something isn’t right.
Additionally, I began to realize that being weird should not be a bad thing. I think that I am unique, and people do not like different because they believe there has to be something wrong with you if you can’t fit in. The happiness I am trying to find outside is within. I must love myself and understand that there is nothing wrong with me and to embrace how special and unique I am.
However, it is a work in progress. I cannot end it by saying I lived happily ever after learning I do not need others to validate me. I am still trying to find peace in myself and trying to stop myself if I am people-pleasing or turning to the external world for validation. I try to not shut down and fantasize to feel safe. It isn’t easy but you don’t give up if you relapse.
My inner child is in a lot of pain with the constant bullying, cultural clashes, and losing friendships ever since I was a kid. It feels ignored and unsafe. It is hard to feel safe when you have constantly been taught by the world that you are not worthy ever since you were a kid. You cannot help but think negatively, so you must train your thoughts and translate the negative words into positive ones. You need to focus on the good people who believe in you and see the good in you. You have to do that for yourself. Nobody can help you feel safe and loved if you do not allow them.
But I am so grateful that I am taking steps to find ways to love myself, and I never gave up on myself. I am weird, but that is what makes me. I have hope in myself and faith that I will do big things in the world and to help those like me lost in the external world.