Teaspoon of Happy Popular Sarah May Bates

What does it mean to be popular? That everyone loves you or wants to know you. You’re gregarious, cool, a very important person. A lot of us aspire to be popular in one way or another – at least at some point in life – because it feels pretty good. On the other hand, when we try our hardest to make others like us, it can feel soul-crushing when they just don’t. Sometimes we even change ourselves to be more likable. We buy the newest this or that and study that which has been negatively received about us. Well, no matter how awesome you are or what you change, you can’t make everyone like you. Everyone is unique and that includes a whole lot of opinions. Respect that everyone has a right to have them, and you can’t change them. What you can change, however, is your own.

Part of me feels like that touchy-feely teacher from elementary school that gave out solutions that do nothing to solve a problem. “She said she was sorry.” But did she mean it? When people are mean to us or don’t like us, it sucks. What’s wrong with us and why can’t they see how great we are? The truth is there’s nothing wrong and there’s also no way to know what they think and why. If someone doesn’t get you, respect it, and appreciate that you are big enough to let it go. Your happiness does not rely on the adoration of others: it relies on the love of your self.

You are the best version of yourself when you stay true to your sensibilities and who you are. Your personality is your treasure. If you like music no one else likes, that’s awesome! If other people tell you your jeans are ugly but you love them, wear the crap out of those suckers!

I don’t mean we should be intentionally anti-social for the sake of testing people’s tolerance; it’s never good to be isolated. Also, communication requires a shared language. We relate to others based on our own experiences, so when we interpret others, it’s through our own filter. One person might see a girl wearing safety pins and think, “Oh, cool, she likes the Sex Pistols.” Another person might look at her and think, “That girl looks mean.” Think of yourself as a walking logo that references a diverse array of concepts and experiences. Sometimes who you really are just gets lost in translation.

If you can be yourself despite what’s popular, it shows you love and respect yourself, and that is a person worth respecting. When you begin to change yourself to please another person, it shows that you don’t treat yourself with high regard. Who wants to be friends with someone that wouldn’t be friends with their self?

It’s tough when you really like someone. You can see their beauty and you want to be around it. You can still appreciate that you have the ability to see such things in others. It doesn’t mean that that they will have that same capacity. If they don’t, remind yourself that it’s their loss. It truly is. It’s sad that they are missing out on someone that has kindness and love to give them like you. As long as you like you, and you are always a friend to yourself, you will allow others to see what a truly loveable person you are.

Happy Sunday friends, hope you have a good one today. xox Sarah

Featured image LicenseCopyright All rights reserved by …whenwewereyoung on Flickr, a still from “ABBA: The Movie” (Lasse Hallström, 1977)

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  1. I think once you stop wanting to be “popular”, you become popular. Being unique, crazy, stoopid, —doing what you want (within reason) causes notice in other people. In school, my friends and I could care less about being popular. It just happened because we decided to have fun and not care what others thought. It wasnt even a Zen approach. The Zen approach cares more about other concerns than being “popular” With that written, I am going to say i did not read the above article. Ty

  2. ditto to Charlotte! :)

  3. Thanks for this, it’s exactly what I needed :) x

  4. And now I have the song “Popular” from Wicked in my head;)

  5. It was weird, but when I hit 30, I just kind of said “screw this, I’m just going to do me.” I find that I make more friends and end up in more relationships when I’m just being myself as opposed to trying. It’s still hard not to take it personally, but when I’m being myself, I’m at my most confident (and most comfortable). Have a great week, Sarah!

    • LOL that’s rad. I hear you – me too. It’s still always surprising to me when people react the way they do – to me “doing me”. Thanks for sharing Elisabeth. :) xo

  6. It’s so simple,it’s a common truth: love yourself, accept yourself, but even though we all know that’s what we need to do, it’s so damn difficult! Insecurities are had to deal with, they always creep up on you! I have the habit of ‘adjusting’ myself to what others want from me. And I know it’s stupid and wrong, but it comes instinctively. Like Monica said it in ‘Friends’, I have a compulsive need to please people (I have an awful bit of Monica Geller in me, and a bit of Ross, too! :D ). Let me share my experience with you: it got me nowhere. I always ended up overlooked and disappointed. A quote I read somewhere and try to keep in mind is this: “The people whom you cannot blame for anything have, in any case, a serious flaw: they are not at all interesting.” Be true to yourself, it is. And least try to.
    Wow, that was long, wasn’t it! Sorry :) Thanks, Sarah x

    • LOL you are hilarious. I love that quote. Very cool. I know, it’s definitely tough to overcome a trait like that when it’s kinda what makes you who you are. One thing i read (that made me happy) is that when you take good care of yourself and love yourself, as you grow older and mature, you will still retain all those qualities that make you an ultimate-appreciator/care-giver of others – BUT you will learn to take care of yourself and never betray who that is. So it’s more about finding the right ways to be good to others, and you. xo

  7. Really needed this reminder – not so much about the popularity, but some ‘friends’ who actually aren’t worth the huge love I have for them because they don’t reciprocate it – so thanks =)! Jessi xx

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