Confidence Washed Away

If Katie came to me and told me that she had met someone who clearly didn’t like her, I would hold her close, reassure her that we love her, and tell her what any mother would tell her child–that not everybody she would meet in her life would like her.  I would also encourage her to surround herself with those people who appreciate her and not to worry about the rest. 

But when it happened to me yesterday? I found myself hurt, insecure, and confused.

As hard as I try, I’m just not the kind of person who can just shrug something like that off.  I want people to like me.  I wish I didn’t, but I do. 

So, as it grew more and more apparent that this woman didn’t like me, I did the only thing that I could think to do.  I kept talking, pushing myself on her, thinking that if she got to know me she would see that I’m a good person and would come to like me. 

And the harder I tried, the more I could see her physically bristle. She bristled, people!

I don’t know why she didn’t initially like me.  I’ve replayed our meeting and I can’t recall saying or doing anything offensive or rude. 

I’m not sure that I can blame her in the end, however.  By the time we parted ways, I didn’t like myself all that much either.  I went from confident, excited, and strong to insecure, needy, and pathetic.

I have to find a way to shake it off.  Odds are good that I’ll cross paths with her very rarely. 

Why does it bother me so much?  Why do I feel the need to make sense of this? 

And why can’t I be the kind of person who just doesn’t care?


  1. I'm the same way… I get really upset if I think I'm not "liked". One thing I have realized is that some people just clash. There may not be any rhyme or reason to it but not everyone is going to get that good feeling vibe from you (or me). Who knows… maybe she was just having a bad day… maybe she wasn't going to like anybody she met.

  2. Emmie Bee

    WHAT HAPPENED?! I understand wanting to be liked- but seriously if someone wasn't fond of you they are the ones who are losing! <3 you mama!

  3. Formerly Gracie

    It's not always about something you lack, but what the other person needs :-/ Maybe this person felt overwhelmed, or overtired, or just plain distracted… You never know.

    It was a pleasure meeting you at Bloggy Bootcamp this weekend. I know it's tough, but try to think about all the people who do like you… and aren't afraid to show it!

  4. Tonya Staab

    How could anybody not like YOU. I know I didn't get a change to really chat to you, but a quick smile and wave across the table, but you seem like such a sweet person. Hugs gal … and let me know who's ass I need to kick.

  5. Ugh…I hate that. I'm the same way. I have a pathological need to be liked. It. Is. IRRATIONAL.

    Not everyone can like me! I mean, I know we're shocked and all, but really it's just not statistically possible.

    But…I'm the same way. I fret, and force. Which is not ever better no matter how hard I try.

    But I wish you hadn't felt that pain. I'm so sorry.

  6. honey, I think we all care to varying degrees. even people who say they don't care? they care. they just do a better job of hiding it. we all want people to like us.

    and it's sucky and lame and crushing when someone doesn't hide their dislike (and why can't we just hide it? isn't that good manners?).

    I can't imagine why this woman might possibly not like you. I like you tremendously! you're adorable, kind, warm, and sweet. but hell, maybe that's just the kind of thing that rubs her the wrong way. to each her own I guess.

    but I'll say it again: why couldn't she just pretend? would it have killed her to just pretend to like you? who would it have hurt? I think it's just good manners.


  7. Adrienne

    What Alexandra said! I mean, when I realize that somebody who doesn't even know me already hates me, it really HAS to be about them, right?

    I remember this one time, we were at Yellowstone and I was sitting in the sun, nursing Carter, and this woman was kind of glaring at me. I was annoyed because I figured she was judging me, or my right to nurse wherever I want to, or whatever.

    So she kept glaring and finally I said, "If you don't like it, you can go somewhere else." And she burst into tears! So I felt all confused and like the world's worst person.

    Then she said, "I had to wean my baby. I'm sorry," and walked away!

    You never know. Plus? You're smokin' hot and maybe that made her feel insecure.

  8. Alli_n_Son

    Yup, I'm the same way. I want to be like by everyone. Except in my case, I'm super shy, so most of the time people don't even get the chance to know me.

  9. Ugh, I know the feeling. Lately, I'm trying something new. I'm believing in my own likeability, in the hopes that my confidence will show. I walk around believing that people like me. And then when I meet someone who doesn't, it's their fault! Who wouldn't like ME?

    This new approach can be exhausting. But I think it's working out.

  10. Nobody likes to be rejected. I always keep trying too. Like there is some kind of magic that will suddenly happen and you’ll be best friends.

  11. susie

    I have an issue with a doctor who doesn't like me. He has made comments both direct and indirect to that effect. I asked him after a few times what his problem is with me. He made some points which I saw "what he was talking about". Things like I am too loud and things like that. I made a more mindful attempt to fix it. For a while it seemed like things were "okay" and he was even friendly and then without warning his old behavior was back.

    I have come to the conclusion that not everyone is going to like you. I have also learned that I need to understand why someone's approval is important to me. Once I have those two things "under my belt" I can move on and say too bad, it's their loss.

    Sorry this happened to you as well.

  12. mecarol

    I have some issues, but I always go into a situation assuming I won't be liked. On the other hand, I genuinely don't care whether I am or not (sorry, but I really don't). I have to agree with everyone who said it's the other person's loss.

    The only advice I can give you is to stop trying so hard; I have found that to be a turn-off when meeting new people. If you're a good person, I'll like you, I don't need an infomercial.

    But really, screw her if she doesn't like you. Some people just stink.

  13. Nichole

    I was actually more bothered by how it made me feel than the fact that it happened in the first place.
    Does that make sense?

  14. Nichole

    It was late Saturday night when we were out. It was just the strangest thing. I keep replaying it in my brain, looking for the moment when I said or did something, but I'm still stumped.
    It was so great to spend some time with you–one of the highlights of my day! :) Love you!

  15. Nichole

    Thank you!
    It was so great meeting you, too. I just wish that we'd have had more time to chat. What a whirlwind of a day it was.
    Perhaps someone needs to organize a meet up. :)

  16. Nichole

    You are so sweet with your offers of ass kicking! I knew I liked you. :)
    Can't wait until our paths cross again…I'd love to have a chance to sit and chat.

  17. Nichole

    Want to know one of the many reasons why I love you?
    Because you make me believe that someone not liking me is perhaps a statistical issue. Genius.

    Yes! Forcing…that's a great way to put it. I was mad at myself for doing that.

    I may not love everyone, but I do try to find something, even if it's just a tiny thing, to like about everyone I meet.

  18. Nichole

    Thank you for your comment…
    Looking back, I wonder if I was just too much for her, in the sense that I am pretty outgoing and chatty. I always assume that I'm going to be friends with everyone and I can be a bit overenthusiastic.
    Perhaps that rubbed her wrong.
    But, you are right, just because I'm so open, that doesn't mean she was.
    I'm so happy that you stopped by… :)

  19. Nichole

    It would have been lovely if she HAD hidden it. How hard is that, really?
    If I stumble across someone I don't particularly connect with, I try to bow out gracefully, even if it means making up an excuse to escape.

    And thank you for your kind words–they were like a huge hug when I needed it! You're a lovely friend.

  20. Fadra

    It doesn't matter who the other person is or all of the faults they have. It still feels like a reflection of YOU. I agonize over the same types of things. If someone doesn't like me, I feel hurt and want to know why, even if I already know they aren't a person I should really care about being friends with in the first place.

    Everyone says to have thick skin. I'm pretty good at acting like I have thick skin. But the reality is, to quote a Jewel song, I'm sensitive and I'd like to stay that way.

  21. Alexandra174

     IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>I thinkyou're dead on.</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

  22. The Sweetest

    I get bent out of shape, now, when people don't like me- I'm all offended, like, "Hello? can you not see how awesomely genuine I am? What do you mean, you don;t like my quirks?" Especially when it;s my mother in law who does not like me. WTF.

  23. ksluiter

    I used to have MAJOR problems when people didn't like me, but being a teacher changed that. Like some other wise women before me here said, "it's not about you". So, you are wonderful. That chick? Not so much.

  24. kris


    Need to get a grip, young lady.

    If I were to be sad every time someone told me or expressed in some way that they didn't like me?

    I would not be able to get out of bed in the morning.

    Everyone is not supposed to like you. How boring would that be? How would you know who in the world to trust with your heart?

    This person has done you a favor.

    Scratch her off your list of people you ever have to worry about again.


  25. Nichole

    Yes, Alexandra is a wise woman.

    I had a similar thing happen to me when nursing.
    We were at dinner and an older woman was just staring at me. Her glare made me incredibly uncomfortable. Then, when I was done feeding Katie, I uncovered her and was kissing her when the woman began cooing and smiling at Katie.
    She said that she was lost in memory of having nursed her babies and that it had been most wonderful thing that she had ever done.

    Smokin' hot? ::blushing and trying not to laugh::

  26. Nichole

    It was truly the strangest thing–the way she responded to me.

    Now that I've been home for a couple of days and have finally caught up on my sleep, I'm less bothered by her behavior.

    After all, I met some amazing new friends! :)

  27. Nichole

    Well, thank goodness for Twitter, because I have LOVED getting to know you! :)

  28. Nichole

    Your new approach, while exhausting, is the best approach.
    I'm going to try that.

    And, honestly, who wouldn't like you? You're awesome!

  29. Nichole

    The worst part about this kind of situation, and you did it too, is trying to change myself to make someone like me. In your case, you tried to be more quiet. In hindsight, I hate that I did that.

    As corny as it sounds, I just need to be the best me that I can be. Then, if someone doesn't like me, at least I know that I was being my authentic self.

  30. Nichole

    I know…when I meet someone who is trying too hard, it totally turns me off.
    Yet, I can't seem to realize it when I'm the one doing it! Geesh!

    And yeah, screw her! ;)

  31. Nichole

    That's exactly it, Fadra–I wanted to know WHY she didn't like me.
    If I was able to handle confrontation, I would have just come right out and asked her what her problem was.

    And that quote is just perfect….

  32. Nichole

    For what it's worth, I love your quirks! :)

  33. Nichole

    The funny thing is that when I was a professor, I wasn't at all bothered when a student didn't care for me. In that kind of situation, I am not intimidated whatsoever.

    But when I'm with my peers, I can be reduced to a place of insecurity pretty quickly.

    I can stand in front of a classroom of students and speak with no hesitation, but if you asked me to speak at a conference of my peers, I would probably die of anxiety.

    Yes, die. I'm not dramatic!

    And thank you, my friend. I think you're pretty wonderful too.

  34. susie

    The thing is that if it hadn't been something that I didn't want to work on anyways, I wouldn't have done it.

    I truly believe when you have a lesson to learn a person or event comes into your life to serve as a reflection to you of something you need to work on. For me this guy was two issues. First he pointed out to me traits that I myself wanted to work on and hadn't AND he helped me to realize that my own self worth should come from within not from someone else.

    I had written a blog post about this a while back and I am in middle of writing a post. I will link this post up I think if you are okay with it.

  35. Nichole

    The funniest part about the interaction with her was that when she was scowling at me, I actually thought of you and asked myself how you would handle it. In my imagination, you were able to reduce her to silence and make her run away with one quick turn of phrase.

    You? Have my heart.

  36. Nichole

    Yes, I would love that!
    Thanks so much. :)

    The beauty of your interaction with him is that you walked away knowing what it was about you that he didn't like and you could then decide if it was something that needed attention.

    This girl? Not so much.

  37. susie

    When someone bothers you or upsets you it is one of two things.

    Either they are a reflection to you about something you do not like in yourself or are insecure about in yourself or there is something about them that you are jealous of. (It may be a real backwards warped kind of jealous, like I have a friend who was once she was honest with herself realized she was jealous of this abrasive mother of her daughter's friend because that woman always put herself first and didn't care what anyone thought. My friend who has a hard time putting herself first realized she was jealous of the fact that this woman didn't agonize over any of this)

    This is a good article:

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