Thursday, August 13, 2009

The voices, the voices

There is a small, niggling feeling that accompanies me wherever I go. It is the tiny voice inside my head that questions and doubts my place in relationships. Not romantic relationships --that's an entirely other voice who wears black stilettos and sounds much like Kathleen Turner-- but in my friendships. In all my friendships, the ugly little voice of my childhood insecurities pokes her head into my mind and says, "They don't really like you."

When I was ten, I was particularly difficult. I had little social skills, little ability to read people, and a desperate need to fit it. These are not good in combination. I followed people, thrusting myself into their lives, attempting to be just like them, and -- by doing that -- made myself even more of an outcast. I copied their speech and movements, I gossiped and wheedled until other people were fighting. I pleaded and clung and made a general nuisance of myself. It was not until I was in my early teens (when I overheard a friend comment about how difficult it was to be around me) that I realized people did not like me.

As a teenager, I made it my mission to let people know I did not need them. I projected anger and violence and hatred. I was good at it. I had a few friends in high school -- ones I had grown up with or ones as angry as me. When I did try to reach out, I was often excluded or ignored. It was high school; that was life as we knew it.

Finally, one day, I grew up. Thankfully. I think it is likely that someone kicked me in the behind, but I am not sure what the catalyst was. Finally, I had friends and could read people and could interact without them hating me or feeling the need to set them against each other. I could show myself to people and have them accept me. I grew to like me better, and so did other people. However, even with all the acquaintances and a few really good friends, the niggling feeling has never left me completely.

As a grown up, it is not something I am proud of. There is no way to justify this feeling that I am not most liked so therefore am not really liked at all. One on one, I'm usually okay. I can keep the voice away. I can interact with friends and know for certain they enjoy being with me. But it is when I am in a group, I am still fairly convinced I am the least favourite. In a group, I feel out of place even when I know they are my friends.

It makes me wonder if I am not too far from that 10 year old girl.


  1. You are often my most favorite. For real. I think because we are so alike. It wasn't until after high school before I stopped thinking I was the most unattractive person in the room. Sometimes I revert back to that sad girl. But I know people like me now regardless of what I look like and people also like you. Lots of people. I wouldn't be flying to Saskatchewan in September if it wasn't for how awesome you are!

  2. I heart you too.

    And that is one of the reasons why I hate crowds so much- I'm certain that no one in the crowd wants to hang out with me and I revert back to my teenaged wallflower self. I really think most people feel that way- it isn't just you. :)

  3. Maybe if you didn't like hose away people's birthday cakes you wouldn't have had these problems.

    Wait - is it too soon? Sorry.

  4. I can so relate. I just wanted to let you know that I think you are awesome. I have been very choosy in the last couple of years about my new friends and you totally made the cut!

    I heart you too!

  5. I like you!

    My inner teenager's voice tells me that I am roundly disliked, as well. She sucks.

  6. Roger's right.

  7. Funny how that "inner voice" haunts so many of us. Your teenage years sound very much like my 20's (remember, I'm a late bloomer!). Took me until my late 30's and 40's to really like ME. However, even now I still hear her occassionally ... now I just stomp on HER instead of everyone else around me!


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