For a long time, I lost myself. I stopped doing the things I enjoyed because it wasn’t ‘cool’ or because other people mocked it or made fun of it. I changed the way I dressed, what I watched and read. I changed myself.
I’m sure at some point we’ve all done something like this. Pretending to like something because someone else did. I thought if I changed myself and changed the things I liked, to things that others liked, then I would be able to make friends with a bunch of people and life would be great.
Doing these things never made me happy and I ended up becoming lost. I struggled to find the real me and what I was interested in. I questioned everything I thought I liked because I wasn’t sure if it was actually something I liked or whether it was something someone else liked and I just followed suit. It made me doubt myself.
I continued to doubt myself and began questioning everything I did and everything I said. This had some very negative impacts on me, and on my mental health.
Trying to understand
I felt confused by my own actions, and I was frustrated that I had become so obsessed with trying to come off well and impress people that I wasn’t even friends with. I’m still confused by it now. Trying to change yourself to fit in with others will never work, at least not in the long run.
Making friends can be a challenging and frustrating thing, but you shouldn’t change yourself to make friends. Everyone is unique and has different likes and that is okay. You may not have many friends now, but it is important to remember that people should like you for you. One day you will find people who have similar likes to you and will support you in doing things you are passionate about.
Finding myself again
Slowly but surely, I have realised that no matter who you are, or what you like, there will always be people who don’t like you or the things that you are interested in and that is okay. Not everyone will like you or like the things you like. However, you will find people who love you and love what you are interested in too.
I began doing the things I liked and the things I was passionate about. I joined groups online full of other people with the same interests. I liked these things and I wasn’t alone. I have talked to many people in these groups who have felt the same way I did, and have done the same things I have. I began to realise, that in time, I could have a whole support system of people who are passionate about the same things as me.
It will take time, but it is essential to remember that you must stay true to yourself. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends with people who don’t like the same things that you do. It just means that the people you become friends with must support you and are understanding of the things you like.