You may not even realize it, but you have power over me. Anything you ask me to do, I will bend over backwards to make sure you are happy. Any time you are not happy, I will drop everything to figure out why not. If it is me you are unhappy with, I will remove as much of myself from the equation as I need to so that you don’t need to be bothered.
Someone once demonstrated to me that conflict cannot coexist with companionship so I will do everything I can to make sure that you and I never disagree, because I want to be your friend. I will even go a step further and will like everything that you like, because I decided that common ground meant seeing things the exact same way. I will suppress any plan, idea, or opinion I may have that varies from yours because what I want doesn’t matter as much as you accepting me.
But that won’t be enough and you will eventually leave me behind out of either boredom or coincidence. The first time this happens, I will feel the heartbreak in every fiber of my being. Once you are gone and I’ve stopped crying, I’ll go find someone else who will approve of me. I will go through the same cycle with them. I will agree with what they say, like what they like, and they will eventually leave me behind. With each new person, I will have a whole new set of likes and dislikes, opinions, and goals. This will happen again and again until, finally, I have lost any part of myself that existed in the first place. I will no longer feel sorrow when I am left behind, I will just feel a sense of empty disappointment toward myself. I will think there must be something wrong with me that people keep leaving me behind even when I try so desperately to keep them.
What I never realized is that people are leaving me behind because I am sitting on the side of the road they are traveling on. They may sit down and talk to me for a moment, they may even invite me to travel with them. But when I hid my dreams, passions, and imperfections for the sake of acceptance, I began to believe that my legs are not able to carry me down that road.
So here I sit, with my cardboard sign scrawled with the sharpie words PLEASE LIKE ME and a tin cup held out for approval. I keep hoping that you will sit here with me instead of continuing on your journey. You encourage me to get up and walk with you. You say that we can talk on the road. But I choose to stay here with my cup, because I have long ago convinced myself that my legs were not good enough to walk on.
The Girl Who Wants Everyone To Like Her