When pairing up for a class activity and your entire barkada teams up by twos, you’re left all alone to befriend a complete stranger so you wouldn’t have to work alone. It’s always been the pattern for you that you start to get used to the fact that no one ever seems to choose you. Or when writing mushy Instagram captions, it’s sad to think that no one in your barkada ever refers to you as their “college best friend,” or tells you you’re the first person they’d run to for help, because knowing that someone thinks of you as a worthy presence in their lives makes you feel validated. You’re never anyone’s first choice, and here’s why it shouldn’t matter:
You won’t please everyone.
Some of us are naturally predisposed to search for validation from other people. Knowing that we make others feel positively gives us a certain feeling of satisfaction. But when we notice that people aren’t giving us the reaction we were hoping—and low-key expecting—from them, it feels as though it’s the end of the world.
But it’s not. We can’t impress everyone, no matter how hard we try. And it’s not our primary responsibility to do so. Some people just won’t find your quirks as endearing as others, and certain friends might make a stronger bond with someone else, and that’s fine.
Your worth as a person does not reflect on other people’s choices.
Sure, it feels nice to know that other people appreciate you as a person. Who doesn’t like being showered with love? But ultimately, other people’s perception of you is not the sole basis for measuring your character. We should stop living off of flowery words and compliments from others to boost our perception of our own worth and focus more on how we perceive ourselves.
Make yourself your first choice.
Before worrying about other people choosing you, ask yourself first if you are your own first choice. In the end, it’s really you who needs to pay attention to the good qualities you’ve developed over the years and the quirks you are trying to understand and love. Are you happy with yourself right now? Is there something you personally want to improve about you or your personality? Work on impressing yourself first because once you feel happy with your own journey to growth, it’ll manifest externally for other people to notice.