You could say I’m a people person. Not the kind who chit-chats with strangers in checkout lines, but the kind who’s fascinated by others on a deep level. As a kid, I rarely drew anything other than people. I’m deeply interested in psychology. It’s extraordinarily important to me that I be liked, and personal relationships create the lens through which I see the world.
That being said, the idea of being hated fills me with dread. I want to be on everyone’s good side; I want to likable. And I am. To my knowledge, I have no haters. I’m the nice girl, self-effacing almost to a fault. I try to keep negative feelings towards others to myself because I don’t want to cause disagreement or chaos.
I often find these people-pleasing inclinations to be in conflict with my deep need for individualism. I want to belong, but I want to stand out. I don’t want to cause trouble, but I want to speak my mind and let my personal convictions be heard. I want everyone to like me, but I won’t change for anyone. Neither side of me ever wants to compromise.
Striking a balance between these two sides is a continual learning process for me. There are some days where I feel very fluid and easily-influenced, and others where I’m stubborn and staunchly iconoclastic. It can be a pain at times, but generally, I’m thankful for the way these contradictory traits make up who I am. After all, our purpose can only be fulfilled, the world can only be changed, if we decide to embrace and cultivate who were made to be.