Growing up, I always cared about how others saw me. Were those whispers about me? Why don’t they not talk to me? Do they not like me because of how I’m acting? Sometimes I do wonder to myself, “If I saw myself in the eyes of an outsider, how would I see myself?” But of course, I’ll never get the answer to that (nor do I expect to). But then again, as the years passed throughout my University years, did that answer really matter to me anymore? Why was I always in such dire need to understand or fathom such a thought? Did it matter that much to me to know that I was ‘accepted’ by society?
I remember every new change in a school environment brought the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. The anticipation of meeting people always scared me, because of not knowing who I would encounter, but at the same time, it was exciting- it was a fresh start. Entering the program was nothing short of that experience. But it’s amazing how social we human beings are- it only took a matter of hours and days within the first week for people to form cliques. I’m sure after a week of orientation, everyone had already formed their initial cliques and you could, from instantly looking at who sat with whom, who they were associated with.
She’s always hanging around that one girl and all they do is just talk amongst themselves. They don’t seem very friendly at all; they just always do their own thing- Those were probably the thoughts running throughout the group of students in the program, pertaining about my friend and I…the girl who I sat beside on the very first day of orientation. It just goes to show how easy (and how fast) we can judge one another without even truly getting to know that person. From word of mouth, we may suddenly dismiss that person as rude and inconsiderate. By observation or by indirect contact, some people are already labelled as something they truly aren’t. They are painted by colors and labels by people who have not even taken the time and effort to reach out to know them. Nor have they even been given the chance.
I always took what others thought about me into consideration. I always thought to myself, I need to smile more and change myself to make others like me. But I think as I got to know myself more throughout the years, priorities changed. I no longer felt the need to seek acceptance and to obtain confidence through the eyes of society. And eventually, the need to ‘pretend‘ to be who I am not started to fade. Which perhaps is the reason why me only hanging out with one or two people in my program may have come across as ‘cold and rude’. I value friendship- I have always leaned towards having one or two close friends rather than be a social butterfly and have 100 acquaintances. And I definitely don’t appreciate back talk (because we all know how much drama comes along with it). It also does not mean that I try not to be friendly towards others- I am still like any other human being who knows how to smile and comment on day to day things. Yes, I can carry on a friendly conversation.
I was having lunch one day with my boyfriend’s family and cousin. His cousin is someone who’s really shy and quiet and doesn’t like to initiate in any conversation really. When she went off for a while to the bathroom, her grandma commented on the fact that she’s just quiet in nature rather than acting spoiled or that she’s not interested in being friends with me… which really brought things back to reality because one may look at someone in a certain light, when really, they aren’t even close to being that. Why automatically judge someone in a negative light and from here-say?
Yes. I must admit, it does hurt to hear that negative things have been said about you. But are those people even worth the time and effort? Probably not. People come and go in your life, and those that matter most will always remain beside you. So instead of investing in so much time in those people who aren’t constant, why not focus on yourself and your true friends? Do and be whatever you feel most comfortable with. Not who society wants you to be or expects you to be. Don’t be afraid to live outside the box and be different because heck, that’s what makes everyone special. What’s the point of being one of many who simply just fade into the crowd and go with the flow?