I had an epiphany this morning.
Ever since I could remember, my mom told me how important it was to have a lot of friends. So, I came to associate popularity with my self worth. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it became my mission to make everyone like me. For an introverted shy kid, this was a total betrayal of self. It meant that I had to give up everything that was me.
It now makes so much sense why I married my first husband who criticized everything about me, or why I would have chosen so many friends whom when I stopped trying to please them left my life or why I would take jobs that I hated or say yes to things I couldn’t stand doing.
One by one, I removed all the parts and pieces of me in order to be liked.
Except that it almost always backfired.
Along the way I developed these huge expectations of friends because if I am going to twist myself into a pretzel so should they, right?
So friend after friend disappeared from my life leaving me puzzled as to what I was doing wrong and suffering terribly as to why I wasn’t ‘popular’.
Along the way there have been jewels of friendships who could see past the dismembered of what remained of me but they were rare. My mission was to gain numbers in the popularity polls and I failed miserably.
When I gave up all the pieces of me to be liked I stopped being the one thing I liked about me.
I wonder if any of this might free you up too because I am sure I am the only one who has done this, right?
So here is a process for that: What have you made so vital about being popular or friendship that you stopped being your own friend so you could get others to like you?