I thought about it last night because I realized while I was talking to my roommate about it how much I care what people think. I try to “fix” myself depending on what people think of me. I try to be funnier, I dress nicer, I change all these parts of me that I sorta like because I want others to like me.
When I was in middle school, I honestly did not care what people thought. I did to an extent – if I was directly insulted to my face (it happened), it would hurt my feelings. But people in general not liking me – no big, I was used to it, didn’t care. When I got to high school, things changed. Perhaps I was never popular, but within my large group of friends, I was well liked. In fact, I was well liked with most people who got to know me. Everyone, with one exception (well, there could have very well been more that I did not know about). The point is that I wanted to keep that. I really liked being well liked. Enough to let it control me, at least.
So now that I’m in college, I still have my high school desire to be liked. It explains to me why I am so shy when I meet people. By playing shy and sweet, people don’t dislike you. You may not stand out, but you aren’t ever disliked. And I am stuck in that trap.
Are there people who don’t like me? I’m sure of it. People here? Probably not. Well, yes, perhaps one or two of the girls from my hall last semester. But overall, I keep who I am at bay. And after the disaster last semester… I only try it more. And I’m sick of it. I’m not one of those super fake girls…. but I’m not me!
Overall, my new motto is trying to teach me that I’m good enough for God and that’s good enough for me. I may change, but for God’s doing, not for my own. And it will be God who changes me, not me. We ended up talking about this at my Salt Team Rep’s meeting, after I have already written most of this blog. And the thing is, you can make yourself perfect and still be hated – just look at Jesus! I have a long way to go. We talked about how easy it is to hold onto the good or bad someone else says and not notice God’s compliments and adoration. My weakness here is when someone tells me I’m a hard worker or that I am smart. It fills me with happiness, which is not the bad part. The bad part may be that it becomes *more* important than what God says about me to me.
The reason I used that picture (photo provided by Delaine :]), by the way, is because it was at prom. I have always disliked how I looked at prom mostly because my date never once said I looked nice. In fact, he ignored me about half the time and a) gave a rose to my friend b) threatened to dance with a different girl and c) DID dance with a different girl. I didn’t even take what he said – I took what he DIDN’T say to heart and let it affect me.
Finally, I think it’s a lot harder to let go of what people say when you are well liked. When you are generally disliked, it hurts but it can be overcome because you know that it isn’t the truth, somewhere in you. Especially as a Christian, you can focus on God’s love. However, it’s really difficult to give up the kind words and give those to God as well. It’s difficult to go from being liked to people perhaps not liking you as you start to do weird things. But God wants us to do weird things. He CALLS us to do weird things.
My question for you to comment is: Are you called to be strange? Have you ever ignored that desire? Or… do you struggle with people accepting you? Do you know any good Biblical verses that you focus on to either keep yourself feeling loved OR humbled?