If I may be absolutely honest right now, I was that socially awkward girl. I was that girl who was so deathly afraid that no one would like, let alone love me. I was Miss Plainer-Than-Vanilla, never the flavour of the month.
I grew up always worrying I was not enough of anything to be appreciated or liked. I always fussed about what I had to do, how I had to behave, what I needed to fulfil in order to be “one of them”. I wasn’t only anxious, I was extremely hesitant and I couldn’t allow myself to be seen. I even constantly second guessed myself.
Those feelings of inadequacy and fear of rejection were ridiculously immobilising. What if I did it all wrong? Maybe I would hide into the walls? Maybe I could sink into the chair? Maybe I could just become so quiet no one would notice me? I’d nervously try to stay as still as possible or slink away from the centre of any room. My motto could easily be “Make as little impact as possible”.
Little wonder then that I was always thinking no one liked me or bothered much about my presence because I wasn’t anything special.
And here’s the deal, I still am that girl.
But I am also a courageous, strong and open woman and I believe you are too. If you’re feeling small, unimportant and afraid that no one likes you for being you, I want you to know about this one thing that changed the way I managed my anxiety of having to co-exist with other human beings forever.
BEING LIKEABLE IS NOT THE OUTCOME OF A SERIES OF ACTIONS
Being likeable has nothing to do with what I can do. It isn’t a criteria that I can check off. I will never suddenly be this wonderful person that people just like because I manage to tick every single to-do.
It’s definitely not focused on me and what actions I must take so that people will perceive me differently, but focused on how I make the people I interact with feel about themselves. Being likeable is not a self-serving goal, but rather the outcome of my way of being towards others and putting them before myself.
I don’t have to worry about what exactly to do, but instead just simply ask myself how I can add value to the people around me. How can I raise them up? How can I make them feel worthy and loved? Instead of thinking incessantly of how I can make them love me.
Whenever I find the socially awkward girl within me whimpering for me to hide away from the centre of the room when surrounded by people or when that girl starts whispering that no one likes me because I am not doing enough or interesting enough, I remind myself of this one important thing and, you know what, it made all the difference.