I thought if the RIGHT people liked me, it would make up for all the pain I carried dealing with racism & rejection as a kid. I always felt like an outsider, either for the way I looked, or for the way I thought, so gaining validation from the ‘mainstream’ became something I chased, without being aware of it.

We adjust & adapt to others so subtly, we may not even realize we do it. Sometimes it’s putting on the “white accent” to sound more professional, other times it’s laughing at jokes that shouldn’t have been said. The After School Specials promised us real friends if we just stayed true to ourselves, but the real world rewarded us for blending in; what we didn’t realize at the time, was that blending in was slowly making us invisible. ⠀

As time went on, the rewards for being myself started to sprout, but none of it matters if I didn’t like me, so I kept searching for my “right” people to validate me. ⠀

People thought I was cool because @therock would send me love on IG, or because I got on a big Podcast, or because I was hanging with that pretty girl, but those dopamine ego strokes were temporary, and did nothing to address any lack of peace I had within. ⠀
It is important for the “right” person to like you, but we have to remember that “right” person is YOU. If we don’t feel good about who we are, it doesn’t matter what others think, we’ll just fall into the endless trap of people-pleasing. Maybe that people-pleasing is a bright lamborghini, or a photo with alot of skin, or a faux-woke black square. ⠀

Caring what other people think is engrained into our DNA as a survival method, but we have to see the damage it’ll cause if we make that more important than how we feel about ourselves. ⠀

Let’s focus on what really matters to us, and feel better doing that. It feels good to be validated by others, but it feels better to build self respect by sticking to my word, doing hard shit, & giving more help than I ask for. ⠀

There is no “in-crowd”, there’s only people happy in their own skin, and people trying desperately to find their worth from everyone else around them. ⠀
Choose wisely. ⠀

Written by

Shake Your Ass | Shake Your Mind | 416 | Son of a Cabbie | Rhyme Slanger | Author | Bushy Bearded Bandit| Your Future Ex-Boyfriend | http://humblethepoet.com |

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