I used to be guilty of changing who I was just to get someone to like me, especially when it came to boys. If he was really into hockey so was I, if he loved motocross suddenly I’d become an avid fan. I’d tailor myself to whomever it was just to be liked or to simply fit in.
Their hate for things became my hate, their adoration to certain bands or celebrities became mine as well, even their slang became a part of my vocabulary. I figured it would just be easier to make friends and have people like me by emulating them, crazy right? Well it’s not so crazy, wanting to be liked is normal and it makes life is so much easier when everyone likes you.
The problem with this is that more often than not you end up not liking you. Constantly having to chameleon yourself for others is exhausting, silencing an opposing [informed] opinion sucks, challenging others to think differently is scary, sharing your love for an obscure hobby can be embarrassing. But being who you are is a heck of a lot more easier than being who you aren’t, a concept that didn’t hit me until I was 22.
If you pause and think about your friends you’ll notice they’re all different; Kari is this new age-y music blasting free spirit, Chloe is a crunchy Dr. Who loving soft hearted girl, Anna is an active protestor and dirty mouthed joke teller…all our friends are different and you like them genuinely because they are who they are. Wouldn’t you want someone to like you for you too?
I know the fear of not being liked by someone can cause quite the anxiety but if you think about it even your friends or people you admire have people that don’t like them, yet they continue being who they are. You too have the ability to move on when you find out someone doesn’t like you, trust me this fear is quite silly.
As a mother of a growing young lady I am on a mission to teach her to feel comfortable with who she is and to not change for anyone. The only changes you should make to yourself are to become a better person, that if you met yourself you would like you! If I can teach my daughter this before those awkward teen years hit she’s going to save herself a lot of heck and develop genuine positive friendships.
So stop changing yourself for others and start embracing who you are, I assure you you’ll develop much more meaningful friendships this way.