Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On not being liked.

A while ago now, I spent some time with someone, and thought we'd get along famously.

We were quite different, but had a similar sense of humour and a similar outlook on life. There was much fun and frivolity to be had.

But as the time went on, I got the sneaking suspicion they were not feeling the same way.

And, unexpectedly for me, I began to feel a little bit insecure.



no friends+lolcat pics on Sodahead


Suddenly I was wondering it it was something I had done. Was I not funny enough? Not smart enough? Did I go too far with a joke? Did I unknowingly overstep some kind of personal line? Why was this not working out as I had expected?

Then I wondered what on earth it was that I had expected.

After mulling that over for a while (at 3am mind you, excellent insomnia fodder), I came to the conclusion I hadn't expected anything. It was more that my feelings were a little hurt that someone didn't like me. It was as simple as that. And seemingly, as immature as that.

Then of course, I started the spiral of wondering if I was reading too much into the whole situation, and in fact there was absolutely nothing wrong and I was making it all up. That I had misread some signals and was turning this molehill into a mountain. But my gut was still nagging that there was something amiss.

And then I wondered why I even cared. I am a successful, happy, secure woman with a career and a family and plenty of friends and a charmed life. Why was the (possibly imagined) rejection from a veritable stranger leading me to question who I am and the behaviour I exhibit?

The point of the story is, that in the grand scheme of things, I don't care. Sure it would have been nice to make a new friend, but the truth is, my life is still awesome without them. We can go back to our original aquaintance, which was pleasant enough.

But I'm not going to pretend that at the time, I didn't care. Because apparently, that's normal. Rejection, however slight, stings a little. Sometimes it leads us to re-examine ourselves and that is only ever a good thing. And if I'm to make some changes for the better based on this examination, then I can only be grateful for the opportunity to see them.

But boy, does it suck in the moment.

I don't know whether it's because it brings up schoolyard feelings of being left out and being ignored, or just that navigating interpersonal exchanges can be tricky and filled with opportunities to be confused, but that gnawing, slightly ashamed feeling of being "not enough" is universal.

I am sure this is not the last time I'll ever feel this way. And I know that nobody can make you feel anything without your permission, but feelings are feelings because you can't help them. If we were all rational all the time, there'd be no passion, no creativity, no art. Rationality is the lifejacket that helps you through those irrepressible feelings so at some point you surface from them having learned something.

It's only now that it happened so long ago that I can look back and see with an objective eye the journey I took.

And if it means I can be a better friend to someone else in the future, then it was meant to be.





Wow. that was deep. Back to spinach roll and tea parties tomorrow xx


45 comments:

  1. Whenever I don't click with somebody, I initially wonder what's wrong with me. But then I wonder, what's wrong with *them?* Some people will just never be your people. Their loss. 

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love you and think you are amazing and fabulous and THAT is all that counts...
    Xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. In my 20's I was always gunning for an A+, in everything I did. I wanted people to like me, at whatever cost. I couldn't say no. I was a people pleaser.

    Until one day I realised I was sacrificing my own happiness to be liked. 

    Not everyone is going to like me. And that's ok. As long as I'm a good egg and I like me. Well, that's all that matters.

    For the record, I like you. Loads. And if (when!) we meet I know we'll like each other. I won't keep you awake at night. xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love everything about this post.

    Thankyou for your wisdom.

    I often feel this way, but am spending 2012 caring less about the why's & the why not's.

    Not everyone is going to like me, if we were liked by all, we'd be chameleons.

    Forever changing ourselves to fit with everyone, & be liked by all.

    How exhausting really.

    You're intelligent, & beautiful, you seem to give a lot to your life, & in so many ways, you seem to make your life your art, you have a beautiful family. You're winning.

    And that's only going from my online perception of you :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always think it's something I've done, you know, because the world revolves around me. Then I realize that maybe they were busy, maybe I've misread it, maybe they're also feeling like this.
    I remember reading a feel good poster (at my therapist's office) that said "You can be the shiniest, brightest, crunchiest, most delicious apple... but not everyone likes apples, some prefer bananas."

    ReplyDelete
  6. I always think its a mutual thing. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that you aren't going to be friends with somebody, it's not always instant and obvious. But I like taking a look at myself in these situations and learning. I like you 'cos you're a peach!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haha I often think there's nothing wrong with either, we just don't mesh well together. This one sucked because I thought we would. But they'll be missing out! <3

    ReplyDelete
  8. I felt exactly the same way, I took it so personally when somebody didn't like me. But then I realized I didn't like everybody I met either! Swings and roundabouts. That's why this situation caught me by surprise... I thought I'd left that waaaaay behind! And I think we really would get along gorgeously. Thank you xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not everyones going to like everyone..everyone ticks differently.. as long as we have a good sense of self and a couple of likeminded people around us we're sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well yes, I know that usually. But sometimes we look forward to something and are disappointed. It's ok to feel a bit hurt. But at the end of the day we realize we are still ok!

    ReplyDelete
  11. New adult friendships are a weird world! As someone who has moved many times in my life you get used to making new friends, but for lots of people who grow up in one area they never think about it - in other words their address books are full and not taking new business. Which is a shame because I think it is these people missing out on some brilliant friendships. Cause frankly who wouldn't want someone who actually created a blog tag entitled 'I am a wanker' for this post - hilarious, love it! 

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lovely post and I'm sure even the most secure person out there goes through this at some stage. I'm certainly guilty of trying to please, to be all things to everyone, but very slowly I'm learning that you end up losing yourself and not feeling very proud. What's more important is that you're happy in your own skin and like yourself, and if you don't click with someone, then I try and leave it as 'we didn't click' rather than be tempted to look too deeply into it. And when you add children to the equation, then you're hoping all the kids are going to click too, which sometimes they don't. There are so many factors involved! 

    ReplyDelete
  13. I moved a LOT, but I was always the new girl, and always bullied. But eventually I realized I didn't need those people. That's why it was weird to be feeling it all over again! And bless you for seeing that tag, I had a little giggle writing it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. God, I know that feeling well; too well.

    We moved a whole lot when I was a kid, I was ALWAYS new & unsure, then finally when I grew up & got out on my own & found my place in the world I thought I'd seen the back of that feeling; I was happy, had gorgeous friends & was probably too confident, if there is such a thing; but then, as an adult, I moved a few times in the space of a few years & now here I am again, feeling like the new girl & as an above commenter said, so many people have lived here their whole lives that they don't feel the need to make new friendships - that coupled with the fact that I really need to click with someone to bother with a friendship means that I spend a lot of time hanging out on my own or with the kids!

    When you're in that moment it sucks, oh how it sucks, wondering how you can make things smoother, better - yes - make someone like you - but the worst part is afterwards, as you saw at 3am, when you're alone with your thoughts & unresolved questions.

    I'm so glad you are in a place where you can see it for what it was & it's not upsetting you, I'm making my way there too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am hereby nominating you for membership to Overthinkers Anonymous - I am the president so you're in good company ;-)

    As much as I understand the saying "no one can make you inferior without your consent" I just can't get past my emotions sometimes. I'm a passionate person and that meAns I take hard hits sometimes.

    I think you're truly fabulous and I know I'm not alone.

    BTW Glowless I really love that apple/banana saying

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, definitely! At a meeting of a group of yoga teachers recently (well, a party at a friend's place which was attended by yoga teachers only), there was one girl I really liked. She seemed to be a lot like me. I thought we'd click. But the friendship flame only seemed luke-warm and not red-hot. It was confusing and dismaying at the time!

    But now I've moved past it. 

    Last year the penny finally dropped that it's only if I place expectations on other people (friends, family, acquaintances) that I can be disappointed or upset about what does/doesn't happen. If I don't expect anything of people, they can't disappoint me. This is difficult in practice because we get used to people acting in a certain way with us. If that changes, look out! We get so peeved, don't we?

    Lovely post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well written Stacey. You're so right about it sucking when you're in the moment. My mind can carry me off into a vortex of craziness in such moments only to realise later it was all in my head. This happens for me in various situations, not just new friendships!

    You're a clever soul. And I think you're the bees knees!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wish I could have all the time back from my school years spent constantly overthinking. It can be crippling, girls can be cruel. I longed for the day it would cease to grip me as firmly and I'm pretty happy to say I've managed it for the most part :). But it still happened to me after a 10 year relationship shifted. This threw me and took so much longer to get over but ultimately I know I'm not happy with what's on offer now either.

    I'm not going to pretzel my natural self to gain favour, but on the other hand, if I click with someone great just by being me, it's all the more beatiful. xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. I hate it when that happens and I soooo over think things. I always think it was my fault or something I did and i totally do my head in. I guess we just arent designed to click with everyone and that's ok, more to share with the ones we do get. Does that even make sense? Time to go to bed Sonia -too many wines in the sun today I think.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am an overthinker too. Over the past 12 months and a really great friendship turned disgustingly evil. I first went to protection mode. In the fear that if i let anyone in id get hurt again. Ive put so many walls up so many times that im just over it she doesnt deserve the satisfaction of making me feel like that. Im far from having plenty of friends for that exact reason. But im happy the way things are. Just another adult learning experience :) I keep getting distracted by the label "i am a wanker" lol

    ReplyDelete
  21. like many others have said - I am an over-thinker too. I think we all are really and your reaction to this situation seems pretty normal to me. I would have reacted the same way in this situation and then come to the same conclusion that you did. People come into our lives to serve some kind of purpose - some are for the long term, some for the short. Either way, life goes on with or without them. THis is a beautiful, raw post xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think you just put down in words what we have all felt or thought at some point in our life. I have told my girls that when it comes to friends, aim for quality not quantity....To be friendly to everyone but be blessed if you have one or two genuine friends in your lifelitime. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yeah, I think friends are overrated. What you want to do is find yourself a steady stream of casual acquaintances. Nice and easy, no pressure, no fuss, no muss. You only have to see 'em every now and again and if they ask to borrow money, well, you can cut 'em loose. If you miss the concept of friendship, I say get a dog ;) 

    ReplyDelete
  24. Do you need a cup of tea? It's hot, hot, hot but we can still do tea? xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think you've said it perfectly. It is normal to feel this way, and it's also normal to have that friend space replaced with a genuine one :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. It really is a journey, isn't it? I knew I was sort of being unreasonable, and it was not something I would normally worry about, but over the course of a few days, your head gets back to its normal self and we all move on, better for the experience :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. best label ever, yes?
    She definitely doesn't deserve the satisfaction, but sometimes it's hard to let those feelings go. We just have to work through them until we come out the other side. It takes time xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. haha best comment! I was lucky I didn't dwell on it too long, but it was enough to make me stop and think for a while. It just wasn't meant to be and I'm really ok with it. I just felt a little hurt that she didn't think I was FABULOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know exactly what you mean. High school was hell for me, and I was glad to be rid of it, and the accompanying self-doubt. But yeah, sometimes things come up and although they don't hurt as much as they did when you were a kid, whey still burn a little. The best and worst part about it all was that I was totally me - and they still didn't like it, haha!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Why can't they just see that I'm obviously fabulous? haha. I'm usually pretty good with allowing others to run their own course, and me to run mine, it was just that maybe I was hoping our courses would run together, not that I was expecting them to. I think that's pretty normal. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  31. It's a good place to be, come on over! I love self-reflection, and stopping in the moment to ask myself what the true problem is. I don't have a lot of friends because I'm very much like you. But friends appear when you need them or the time is right, and that's not always when we want them :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I totally agree! I am always myself, and I am proud to say I didn't try anything different so they'd like me. I was just wondering why they didn't. *I* like me, and I'd like to be my friend! We clicked, but there was nothing deeper, and as I said, I'm happy for us to go back to our casual aquaintance, and leave it at that. Plenty of other things and people to fill my life with. Such as gorgeous commenters like you :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Been there - felt that. It sucks but, like you say, it doesn't change your charmed life.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ooooooooooo, I know this feeling! I never fitted in at school, so every time I am "rejected", I think "here we go again..." But then after a while I don't really care.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I do this SOOOO much... maybe I'm not liked very much at all!  Haha!  I even do it when someone who I know online doesn't reply to my tweets.  Thank you for posting this (new favorite blogger, you).

    ReplyDelete
  36. Nope! It never will. I truly am very fortunate :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Still stings in those first minutes though, huh? Til we pull ourselves together and see it means nothing xx

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ooh welcome! Yeah sometimes I wonder what I did to not be replied to, as I try very hard to reply to everyone who takes the time to tweet me or talk to me. They wouldn't ignore you speaking to their face! But hey... not everyone sees Twitter like I do :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. The exact same thing happened to me! I met someone thinking we'd hit it off and have a great friendship but the more that person saw how much we had in common the more it put her off. I find it upsetting how sometimes women can be jealous and competitive instead of doing the sisterhood thing. Finally I was blessed with an unexpected friendship when I least expected and I love her to bits. Thanks for being so honest. I really love your blog:)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh thanks for stopping by! If it's one thing I hate in friendships, it's competitiveness. It's so unnecessary. Sorry you went through the same thing, but I'm so pleased you found a new buddy. I'm still looking!

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget