Short Stories for Teachers
Have you been trying hard to make friends with no good results to show for all of your efforts?
If it seems that you have been trying hard to make friends, but that other people still don’t want to be your friend, you may have come to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with you. That maybe you are basically unlikeable.
Many of us go through such torment of self doubt, especially during our teenage years, when teens are often the victims of vicious bullying from their peers for no reason at all.
If you feel as if the people you are trying to befriend don’t like you, the first thing you must do is to ask yourself: Do you have any real evidence that others don’t like you?
Or are you just imagining the worst because you are always very harsh with yourself?
People who have low self-esteem, or who are suffering from depression, are often convinced that others don’t like them, even when there is no evidence for their negative belief. People who have a poor self image can be surrounded by others who like them, care about them, and enjoy their company; yet because these people don’t believe they are worthy of being liked, they are convinced that no one else likes them either.
So, if you are feeling as if nobody likes you, try to find out if there is some real evidence that others don’t like you, or whether you are just being very negative in your opinion of yourself.
On the other hand, there are times when it’s not just your imagination that others don’t like you. It might be really true that most of the people you meet are consistently rejecting you, even when you make social overtures and try to be as friendly to them as possible.
There are many reasons this can happen.
You may have moved to a society where the people are very tight knit with each other, and they don’t open up to newcomers easily.
You might be surrounded by people who automatically dislike people of your particular religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, skin color, or bodily appearance.
You may be surrounded by people who reject you because the clothes you wear are not the latest and most expensive fashion.
In high school years in particular, many teens are strongly conformist, and can be very cruel to those who seem to be different from the norm. Sadly, some people never grow out of the stage of judging others for trivial and superficial reasons.
If you are really are being rejected by others, it is important that you don’t make the situation worse by attacking yourself.
This will only make you feel worse, and will make you lose confidence in approaching new people in the future.
Saying negative things to yourself could start you on a downward spiral of self-doubt and self-hatred. Or you might turn your anger outwards in a spirit of bitterness and revenge towards other people. This is not a solution that will win you friends or peace of mind.
It’s also important to take a good, hard look at yourself and the way that you interact with other people. There may be specific behaviors that are causing others to dislike you, and these are behaviors which you can change.
Ask yourself the questions on this checklist. If it looks as if any of these behaviors are a problem for you, it’s very likely that if you change this behavior, that other people will like you better.
1. Are you always very negative and complaining all the time? Most people find this habit very annoying.
2. Do you actively participate in conversations with others? Or do you hold back and let other people do all the work in making conversation. If so, learn to improve your conversational skills so that talking with you is an experience that others look forward to.
3. Do you endlessly talk about yourself and show little interest in the people you are talking with? Other people will become bored with you very quickly if you seem only interested in yourself.
4. Do you try too hard to please others, always agreeing with everything that they say, and never having any opinions of your own? People won’t respect you if you don’t respect yourself.
5. Do you often say things that hurt the feelings of others and then say it was just a joke? Do you say mean things behind other people’s backs? No one will trust you if they think that you are basically an unkind person.
If you want to make other people your friends, it’s very important that you don’t give up on trying. Keep approaching people, keep trying to make conversation. Get rid of your bad social habits if they are getting in the way of friendship.
If you are being given the cold shoulder by many of the people you encounter, particularly in your school or workplace, keep looking elsewhere for people you can confide in and befriend. You can try in your church, in your community, and in your own family.
Work on developing the talents and good qualities within yourself so that you can appeal in a new way to other people with whom you will have more in common. Continue to actively search out other people who will like you and accept you.