I am not a likable person. People don't naturally gravitate towards me in a crowd. I am not one of those girls that people often look at and think, "I bet she's just the nicest person." In fact, it's much more likely that when people first see me they think, "I'm going to have to work to figure this girl out."
I have the world's worst RBF, and more than once I've had close friends tell me they thought I hated them when we first met. I have a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor and a lot of unpopular or bold opinions, and I'm not afraid to be who I am and live my life out loud. Unfortunately for me (and probably for a lot of others just like me) this tends to drive people away.
From a young age, I was really concerned with what people thought of me. I wanted to be liked. More than anything, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to have a group where I felt like I belonged, and I wanted everyone to know me. As I got older, I realized that trying to become who everyone else wanted me to be was robbing me of my own happiness.
I eventually stopped focusing so hard on being a well-liked person by others, and started focusing on being well-liked by myself, and more importantly, by God. My faith as I entered my late teens became a big part of finding myself, and it's still the most important thing about me today.
The fact that I am a Christian but I also have some pretty liberal-minded political views tends to cause people to dislike me. But, as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks as long as I know my heart is in line with God's plan for me.
Of course, I still sometimes struggle with wanting people to like me, but I work hard every day to make sure that my desire to be liked doesn't rule my life and my decisions, and in fact these days my biggest internal struggle is wanting to be seen as successful.
I am not perfect, I know that, but I also remember that no one else is either. So, if you find yourself relating to the old me, I encourage you to stop trying so hard to make everyone else like you because there will always be people waiting in the shadows to point out your flaws.
Stop silencing your opinions for the sake of someone else. Stop wearing clothes you don't like so you can fit in with your friends. Stop listening to music and watching movies you're not into just so people will think you're cool.
Start focusing on becoming the best version of you for you, and you will see your life transform. If you're worried about losing friends, I can promise you that the ones who are really your friends will love you for who you choose to be, and not for who they want you to be.
If you want to post a million pictures of your Starbucks on social media every single time you get it, do it. If you want to listen to Christmas music in July, do it (and invite me so we can jam out together.) If you want to color your hair neon green or get your nose pierced or get a "basic" tattoo, do it.
If there are things in your life that you know deep down you don't want, get rid of them. Figure out what your priorities are, and don't let anyone force you to compromise who you are. As cliché as it sounds be true to yourself, because, in the end, it's not about whether or not other people like you, but whether or not you like yourself!