I've had the same heavy thoughts weighing on me over the last few weeks. It's one of those demons I haven't had to deal with in a long time—maybe since college or even high school. I'm pretty sure we all struggle with this one from time to time, even though I thought I'd have grown out of it by now.
I'm struggling with wanting to know that everyone likes me. It's that age-old temptation to base your worth on what others think of you or what you think they think of you. I've been a little too self-consumed with my own thoughts and somewhat second-guessing myself. I worry that I've offended someone or that I haven't talked to them recently enough. Or maybe my resting B face has been returning a little too often so that maybe every time I'm in public, I hurt feelings without even knowing it. Does everyone in such-and-such group think I don't like them? Should I be worried about this friend or that friend thinking I don't like them anymore? Am I chatty enough in nice and fun ways when I'm interacting with people, especially at work or at the store?
My personal preference is to be a homebody and an introvert. I like people, but I prefer fewer people to more people, and I have to work at being social in social situations. Being very busy helps me to avoid interacting with a lot of people because I'm busy doing my work. But the honest truth is that between the workload of N&S, blogging, and taking care of things at home, I am even less social than I would like to be. I rarely see anyone outside of work or even talk to people that don't work for us. It's frustrating to be spread so thin and want to be more social, but then time constraints prevent it.
I've always been envious of those people with magnetic personalities. The ones who can make everyone feel like their best friend and brighten the world around them. I think, "Why can't I just do that tomorrow? Why can't I just make everyone feel important and wonderful like so-and-so does?" I'm positive that I can, and then I wake up and I'm still me, the one who hates to answer the phone, runs from people I recognize at the grocery store, and only feels like my chipper self after a shot of caffeine. That's the real me, but I try to rise above those things; I think I've made progress over the years.
I've felt betrayed several times recently, and part of me blames myself for it. If I had been more fun and friendly and gone to that girls' night and socialized with the right people, then maybe those hurtful things wouldn't have happened. Maybe I unknowingly offended someone or people have the wrong idea about who I am because I didn't answer their email or their phone call. (I lost the email, and I hate phone calls!)
Emails are always slipping through the cracks around here. So are phone calls. I'm running to keep up with all of the big balls I have in the air, so I miss little ones. I lose party invitations and don't always call the school when I keep my kids home from school, and those things let people down. I don't go to girls' nights or workout group because I can't squeeze one more thing into my week, but I miss out on those friendships and that feeling of belonging. I'm busting my brains to put together the next really great campaign for Nickel & Suede, and meanwhile people are discounting what we do or spreading rumors about our business.
And in my head I know that 1.) That's life. You can't do it all, and things get lost and are messy. 2.) People will come and go from your life; you and they won't always be perfect. I know my imperfections hurt people (which sucks), but I also get sucked into thinking that if I could somehow be the perfect friend and boss and business owner and person, then everyone would like me.
This is a lie.
Now to work on getting those "Everyone thinks you are A, B, and C" thoughts out of my head. I do need to keep working on my people skills and my bravery in "people situations." I am trying to get better about responding to emails and phone calls. But even if those things change, that won't make me feel universally liked. That shouldn't be the goal.
So new goals: Keep liking myself. Know that God loves me and approves of how I'm trying to progress. Only worry about what He thinks.
I know that if I try to follow God's word and feel out where he wants me to improve that I will love others more and that social situations will change for me. I'll also be more concerned with how others are doing rather than what others are thinking about me.
(In reality, most people are also thinking about themselves—not me. I know this. I just forget it.)
I hope you all have grown out of this by now and that it isn't a recent struggle for you. But maybe you are like me and you struggle with this too. Also sometimes the pressure that can come with being a blogger does "get to me," and then you all get blog posts like this. Sorry not sorry. Thanks for bearing with me on this one. Now I'll push publish and go hide while you all read my inner workings and think who knows what of me! ;)