It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s one of the truths of life. No matter what you do, there is always going to be someone who just doesn’t like you. Or a lot of someones. And you know what? That’s totally fine. It took me a long time, and a lot of stress and worrying and second-guessing myself, but eventually it’s something I’ve come to accept. And you know what? It’s been oddly freeing.
I remember high school was really tough for me. I know that so many people claim they were bullied, and it was hard, blah, blah, blah… but looking back it was a really tough time for me. I started high school at 13, I was a late bloomer, and just super awkward. I was definitely my own person, and high school isn’t exactly the best environment for that. So, I tried to change. I remember trying to dress preppy like everyone else, and be a lesser version of myself to try and fit in, but that didn’t work at all. I remember one day in Algebra- I was so proud of my “cool” outfit, and a couple of the guys started laughing at me and saying “Oh, look at Megan trying be like us! Ha. Loser” And it hit me that changing wasn’t exactly the way to go. It didn’t work, I was still me, and people still didn’t like me. Lesson learned. So I kept being my weird self, and eventually it got better. Not great, but at least I was being myself. If people aren’t going to like you, it might as well be for the real you.
Fast-forward to college, relationships, and just still trying to fit in… I never could. I continued to try and be what other people would find more palatable, but that never worked either. I wasn’t happy, and I would only find happiness on the back of a horse, with my immediate family, or lost in a book. (Those are still my happy places! Thank GOD for them) I was (and still am) tragically unhip before being unhip was cool. I was lucky in the fact that I knew at least what I wanted to be – a radio personality- and really threw myself into my career, and was so lucky to be able to get my first full-time radio gig at twenty. Radio is the land of the outcasts, and I actually fit in that world more than any other. I am so grateful that I found my career calling early and was able to continue in that world. But still… not everyone liked me. It’s even more apparent in a public job, when people like to call you at work, or send you e-mails just to tell you how much you suck. But you know what? In a weird way, it was good for me, number one because I kind of did suck at first, and it made me try harder to get better at what I do, and it also made me realize that some people suck, and their opinion doesn’t really matter.
This would continue to be the case as an Army wife, having to start over every one to two years- new place, new people, new jobs… some people accepted me, and I made great friends, but then again, some people just didn’t like me no matter how hard I tried to make them. I’ve never been mean or rude (at least not knowingly) to others, and my natural personality is a people pleaser. I always want to make others happy and like me, and it does hurt, even today sometimes, when I can’t make that happen. It honestly took until my early thirties to really get comfortable with that cold hard fact that no matter what I did- hell, I could have saved kittens from a burning building, and some co-workers, fellow Army wives, listeners, etc. would say I would have saved those kittens in the wrong way- some people just won’t be a fan, and that’s totally fine. As long as I like me, and my family and husband, and I know I’m being a good human, that’s all that I can really do. I wish I could have come to peace with that earlier, but I guess better late than never!
Oddly enough, the best exercise in truly getting over it was going viral. I had a few videos (Wine Workouts) that went viral, and holy macaroni… the comments! Hundreds upon hundreds of people saying how terrible I am, how dumb, ugly, alcoholic, and how they hope I die. No exaggeration. Go look one up. It’s morbidly entertaining. I’ve even gotten death threats! Seriously, For squatting a wine bottle. But seeing so many people that I have never met, and never will, who don’t know a damn thing about me say these things made me realize how preposterous they are. And after the initial hurt, it became freeing. I don’t know why, but it just hit me finally that there are many people in the world who just aren’t nice. And that’s totally not my problem.
I only write this because I know that a lot of people struggle with this issue. If you don’t, high-five to you! But for those like me who want everyone to like you and to not be able to accomplish that, it does hurt. But there are worse things in life. No matter what you do, there is always going to be someone rolling their eyes, saying something snarky, and talking smack about you. Rise above it. Usually people who feel the need to do that are seriously lacking something within themselves to feel the need to do that. If you have people in your life that you know are like that, cut them out. You don’t need them. My friend Michele once said that your true friends will always clap for you, and that is so damn true. And if you don’t want to clap for someone, that’s fine, too. Just don’t be an ass about it. Also, there are some people who don’t like red wine, peanut butter, and horses. Does that make them any less awesome? Does that make me love them less? Nope. I’m just going to continue to enjoy myself and do what I love and find happiness within myself.
I hope you can, too.