I'm a person who cares a lot about what other people think. From my boyfriend's parents to my new coworkers, I'm constantly on my toes, yet never on my best behavior: I want people to like me for me, as I am. Often times, this doesn't work out.
In some environments, I am mum. I've got little to say and lots to see. Other times, I'm a complete romp. It's almost slapstick how silly I get sometimes. But one undeniable factor no matter what is that someone almost always has an opinion about it: quiet, so your boyfriend's brother calls you "awkward"; silly, so your coworker calls you a "dumb blonde".
"You really should let it roll off of you," people tell me. "It means nothing."
Everyone gets judged, and there's more to life than being a likable person. I get that. But what I don't get is how I am supposed to healthily function in an environment where I'm aware that people with authority are unfairly judging me on the parts of Heather I saw socially fit to show them once or twice. Or maybe, in the case of coworkers, many times. Why does me being upset about pedestrian judgments make me feeble? Why do I need "a thicker skin"? When it's some lady in a coffee shop scoffing at your pajama outfit, that shouldn't be observed. But family? Coworkers? Who doesn't want to be liked? We as human beings are social animals and if society demands that I mingle with others to determine my fitness to make money, friends, status, etc., then you and I reserve our rights to be guarded and see fit to polish our social exteriors.
There's a level of self-preservation involved with being a member of society. It is important not to be a pretender - to never be a robot who metamorphosizes into a servant of others for simply the sake of being liked. That's no way to lead an existence. But to become, as I'd say, "butthurt" over someone you have to see every day or a member of your family casting judgment is rational. You want to lead an existence where your true self is valued. You want people to acknowledge that there's more parts to you than you might be showing them - everyone has a "self" for a different audience as appropriate.
No matter what happens in life, I and many others will always feel this, this gripping longing towards wanting to reach people and never getting the chance because we're scared and don't know how to perfectly tailor ourselves. I only hope for a world where people become more accepting and less judgmental, and where kindness prevails over all.