I wanted to be liked
I wanted to be celebrated
My ideas were
I’d call them little
But I think that
Little does not coincide with my voice
Little is not Tori in the slightest
Every thing I am
So why would my thoughts be
Throughout my high school and college career, I was told every-so-often that I was “too much”.
In high school, for some reason, and maybe it’s still this way today- people would tell you flat out that a person/acquaintance/or even a friend of yours “Doesn’t like you”. Why? I have no idea. High school was a weird time for a lot of us, and I was (and still tend to be sometimes) the kind of person who wanted to know why someone didn’t like me. I wanted to know the core reason behind them deciding that I wasn’t their cup of tea.
My reason for this?
Because, I genuinely believed that I had the power to alter myself in such a way that I could make them like me- and also the fact that it is pretty hard for me to take “No.” for an answer. I mean, this is the same girl who post-grad showed up at the same flower shop for 5 days until they finally agreed to hire me.
With this innate desire that I had to be liked, it bled over into my relationships in high school with any guy I dated. The typical layout for how I started dating someone was normally like so:
- I was utterly myself but on steroids. Bouncy, bubbly, loud, silly, and friendly.
- This would normally attract a ~dude~ at some point or another. Them high school boys loooove a happy girl.
- I would continue to be myself. Which, if you can’t tell, was/is a girl who loved the limelight (see: My extensive theatre experience throughout 2009-2013 & my album Courage released 2013)
- They would like it for about 2 weeks (which is like 2 months in real life) until they would be annoyed with my off-the-walls joy, goofiness, and therefore declared me as “attention seeking”, and I should know by this point the ONLY attention my sweet, little heart should desire is this 16-year-old boy’s attention, right?
- I would LOVE to go on a tangent about “attention seeking” comment. But I’d talk for days. So, to shorten my distaste for the attitude that comes with this phrase, I’ll say this. Why in the world do people care so much about how one person is acting to the point where they feel that it is there moral duty to take these two words and extinguish someone’s light? In a world of empowering one another, we sure are good at putting a limitation on how much and who we empower. Which I truly believe comes from the root of insecurity in ourselves, blah, blah, blah- y’all get the gist.
- (Also, sidebar, I totally know there are a million versions of attention seeking, and some are so self-destructive and can hurt people on both ends of the relationship, but in my personal case, it was about my personality at the core- I was an entertainer, and being told not to entertain because it made them feel like they were in my shadow.)
- They would threaten to leave.
- I would make myself small, quiet, and dote on them- because I saw that this was what they wanted from me, and all I wanted in return was to be liked and not abandoned.
- Eventually the relationship would implode because I couldn’t just be someone I’m not. I was always going to be Tori.
This process was a cycle I would go through over and over again, and it managed to bleed into college. I’d invest my all into relationships and friendships I’d get into by being myself, then would be told as soon as my heart was invested that who I am needed to change because it “bothered people” that I was too loud, that I was outgoing and trying to make friends and meet new people, that I was trying to improve myself physically by working out (I remember this conversation so clearly: “Why are you working out? I like you how you are.” and I would say “Oh, I want to feel better and look better!” and he would say “But, why? Do you want people to look at you more?” I WOULD BE SHAMED!! WHAT EVEN?) And EVEN that I would post pictures of myself on social media (Yes, I literally dated someone for half my college career who would get annoyed about me feeling pretty and posting it on Instagram- LIKE WHAT????).
Something that took me a long time to realize, and something that I still am training my brain to think differently on is the idea that I should change how I am to make someone feel better about themselves. One of my favorite gals on this side of the Mississippi, Rachel Hollis said it best “I won’t make myself small, so others feel more comfortable.”
I look back on the literal past 10 years of my life and my heart kind of breaks for that girl. I had this innate desire to please anyone and everyone just so they would like me and stay with me- and be doing that I was neglecting myself and my desires. I decided subconsciously that having a ton of okay friends and keeping around an (I’ll say it) awful boyfriend was more important than having a few deep, meaningful, and encouraging friendships and being brave enough to set standards for myself when dating and not putting up with bullsh*t with guys that are bothered by, annoyed by, or MAKE FUN OF MY FREAKIN’ DREAMS.
Having only a few quality friendships with people who love me for me has shown to be a million times more life-giving than being the popular girl I wanted to be for years, and it’s only recently that I’ve figured out the whole “not caring” about what others think of you thing that a bunch of people older than me have already mastered.
You decide who has power over your life. Only you. Anytime I was brought down by something or someone, my mom would almost always quote Glinda, the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz when speaking to the Wicked Witch of the West:
“You have no power here, now begone!” (I’d like to add that the line after ‘begone’ is “before somebody drops a house on you.” Just sayin’.)
So, now, someone can think I’m “too much” but genuinely, all I really hear them say is “I’m sorry, I’m only so limited and don’t have the capacity to handle you.” It has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with them. If someone is bothered with me, that’s their problem.
So, with all of this… I want to encourage YOU guys to think hard about who you are and how you act around all the different people in your life. Whether you change yourself to be liked/wanted/desirable, and/or judge certain people around you for how they act/live.
Do you mold yourself to fit a room that you enter? How? Why or Why not?
Who had influences the way you act? In what ways?
What fear (if any) do you have about being wholly yourself? Is there a specific someone you’re afraid of bothering, disappointing, or surprising?
Then on the OTHER hand:
Do certain people rub you the wrong way with how they live their life? Is it for a morally rooted reason or something skin-deep that’s a part of their personality? Why do you care? Does it actually matter? Does having an opinion about them do anything positive for you?
Let me know in the comments down below! You can post anonymously if you don’t want to be all show-y, but I want to know. Be vulnerable with yourself, I think it could be pretty cleansing.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, you guys are so loved.
I decided that I’m going to be posting on this blog two times a month, so wish me luck people! I got a new coat yesterday in the mail and it was $34 dollars and I feel business-fabulous in it at h*ck, and also, full disclosure, anytime I said something kind of sassy in this post I would do a very real and physical lil sassy head wiggle while I typed it.