Life is Not a Popularity Contest

I know it is going to totally sound like I’m that bitter woman who had horrible teenage years where I had no friends. This is actually not true. I had friends. I still do see those people every so often. Some are still really good friends. Some, I’ve fallen away from. Some have ended badly. It happens. We grow up and things change.

Maybe it’s because I’m competitive and it’s possibly all in my head, but does it seem like we still compete to know the most people or have the most people at our events? Who likes us and who is just kind of there? I just want to know that if push came to shove, who would be on my side and who would ditch me? But really why do I feel that way?

There are people that will like us and there are people that won’t. It’s funny how much extra energy we spend on those that will never like us for whatever reasons they have (even if we think they are flawed reasons). Why not appreciate those who love us for who we are? And why isn’t it easy to accept that there’s no competition?

I have some friends that are the nicest people in the world. So nice that almost anyone we know likes them. I know I’m not that person. I just don’t have it in me to be that patient or that nice all the time. I have moments where I lose my temper and moments where I disappear and don’t want to be around anyone. I figure those that know me will accept me for who I am and allow me to explain those times. Those who don’t understand me won’t and the friendship will fall away.

Then, we end up spending time wondering about those who have fallen away. If they even remember if we exist.

Eventually, we have to come to terms with the fact that it’s a big world with a lot of people. And the more energy spent on those who we are internally competing with takes away from those who we have a real relationship with. In the end, that energy is definitely better spent being around people we love and doing things we love. I don’t know if it’s a survival instinct to compete with those that we feel threatened by but we need to learn to move past it and accept that whatever it is, it is. In my opinion, it’s more important to have one reliable good friend than 20 acquaintances.

I just hope I can get my instincts to agree.

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