You’re walking down the hallway and you hear two guys calling a girl “easy.” You were a desperate romantic in the seventh grade, and they went to your middle school, so they must be talking about you. How could you have been so horrible?
You texted somebody a while ago, and they’ve read your message, but they haven’t replied. You know they don’t care about you, right? You’re boring. You’re irrelevant. You must have pissed them off. They’re probably talking to better people.
A buddy of yours puts a selfie on Instagram of them with another friend. Why aren’t they with you? You’ve been replaced. It’s probably because you aren’t a very good person. You’re not very special anymore.
Some girls are laughing in the gym locker room. They’re pretty close to you, and you aren’t wearing the cute bra today. Surely they’re laughing at you. You’re disgusting. Put your shirt on as quickly as possible so they can’t laugh even more.
Nobody’s laughing at your jokes today. They all seem sort of grumpy and out-of-it. It’s because you’re lame. You have an awful sense of humor. Why do you even try, anyway? Just lock yourself in a room so nobody has to hear your boring crap.
Somebody else is being shown love and affection. Why aren’t you being paid attention to? Have you ever been shown love like this? When and where did it happen last? Keep track of this. You don’t want that other person to be loved more. If you were upset, maybe people would care. But they don’t, because you’re horrible. They hate you. They like that other person better.
You’re walking down the hallway and you hear two guys calling a girl “easy.” There are a lot of girls in this school. You don’t really fit the bill. Besides, it wouldn’t matter even if you did. They’re obviously assholes.
You texted somebody a while ago, and they’ve read your message, but they haven’t replied. Life gets busy sometimes. People forget. People don’t want to talk constantly. Maybe they felt your comment didn’t need a reply. You know, you don’t always reply to things, either. It’s nothing personal.
A buddy of yours puts a selfie on Instagram of them with another friend. It’s cool that they seem to be having a good time! You’re happy for your buddy. And you know, people have other friends. That doesn’t make you any less of one. Everything is okay.
Some girls are laughing in the gym locker room. They’re pretty close to you, and you aren’t wearing the cute bra today. Who knows what they’re laughing about? People laugh at random things–including you. Besides, who would even care what your bra looks like today? Would you care about someone else’s? Don’t worry about it.
Nobody’s laughing at your jokes today. They all seem sort of grumpy and out-of-it. People aren’t always in a good mood. Sometimes people don’t feel like laughing. How could you know how the rest of their day has gone? Do you know the circumstances? When you’re upset, do you laugh at things you’d normally find hilarious? Take a deep breath. Everything’s alright.
Somebody else is being shown affection and love. It’s nice that someone is being paid attention to. You aren’t the only one who needs love–everyone does. Keeping track of when people express fondness for you is only going to cause you upset and drive you into a tailspin. Comparisons will only destroy your confidence. Be secure in what you’ve been given and how appreciated you are. Remember, if you were the only person who was ever loved in this world, it would sure be a dark place. It’s fine. You’re not horrible, and nobody hates you.
Sometimes, you’ve got to catch yourself in the middle of irrational conclusions. Take hold of your thoughts and turn them towards reality. Eventually, you’ll start doing it more automatically. It’s difficult. Of course you’ll still be caught sometimes. Of course you’ll get nervous. You’re human. But you will feel freer once your mind has been trained to see the world without a negative, stormy lens. I promise your life will feel fuller and more stable.
You can’t control other people, nor can you assume their motives. But this I can assure you: it’s not all about you.