This perspective was submitted by Shelby Britt.
“Haha, so would it be too weird if I snapchatted you without a shirt on?”
I stare down at my phone for a few seconds as my friends laugh around me. We were all in what I like to call my “inner sanctum,” working on homework when I received this strange message. Since I like to consider myself a cool person, I went ahead and told him that was okay.
Seconds later, I get a snapchat with the guy asking me if I think he’s cute, of course without a shirt on.
To be totally honest, I was disgusted. Not because the guy was necessarily ugly, but I had clearly given him signs that I wasn’t interested in him, yet he still tried to pursue me.
Naturally, I turn to the oldest trick in my book: the fake boyfriend.
If I’m with a guy friend, I make him pretend to be my boyfriend, but since it was midnight and we were in my extremely messy bedroom, that wasn’t an option.
I have a detailed description of my fake boyfriend down to his name, hair color, eye color and even quirky hobbies.
This isn’t just a guy thing though, girls do this too.
Girls are the masters of trying to gain approval, especially from the opposite gender. We do our hair and makeup, dress up and will even go so far as to change our personalities just so a guy will like us.
Our need of acceptance not only deals with romantic relations, but also it deals with friendships. If we think a friend likes someone else more than us, we try and bend over backwards to make our friend notice us more.
Why is acceptance so important?
Why do we crave acceptance from people who reject us?
I think it’s because trying to be accepted entertains us.
The thought of someone not liking you upsets you at first, but think about it; we start to obsess over ways that we can make that person like us.
My sophomore year of high school my friends brother found out I didn’t like him. He had never talked to me in the past, but once he found out how I felt, he legitimately tried everything to gain my acceptance and respect.
We like to solve the puzzling mystery as to why someone couldn’t like a person as cool as us. We have such a strong desire to have other people think we’re cool that we lose sight of ourselves. It becomes a game that we must win. We must be the best at being liked.
The problem with pursuing this ever-growing need of being the most popular or most accepted is that you’ll never truly be happy.
Because if everything you do is to look the best, know the coolest people and have the nicest things, you’ll never have anything meaningful or real in life. If you surround yourself with people who are your friends just because you’re cool or you think they’re cool, then you won’t ever have any deep and meaningful conversations.
True happiness and acceptance doesn’t come from being cool, it comes from being a genuine and kind person.
Stop playing the game and just be yourself.