Now Everybody Hates Me
“I used to have friends at school, lots of friends, or at least I thought they were my friends. But now no one wants to talk to me. They make snide comments, say ugly things—totally untrue things. And it’s not just one person with a problem, it seems like everybody hates me now. And for what?”
Sound familiar? Well, you are not alone, and your problem is not unique. Fact is, it is very common and totally predictable. One day everybody at your school is happy, you have a lot of friends who like you, like being around you, want to do things with you and you with them . . life is good.
And all of a sudden things change, and change fast, and in a bad way. I hate to say it, but it is human nature, it is people wanting something you have that they don’t have. It rarely happens when you’re a “tween-ager”, but by the time you get to be thirteen, look out! And it’s most severe with girls.
What changed in your life? Good things came your way, and that is all it takes. It may be that you’ve grown taller and prettier and the guys are taking notice. It may be that you won a beauty pageant title. Could it be that you got to be in a T.V. commercial or a print ad? How about a bit part in a movie and you didn’t even get to say a line? Heaven forbid let someone pick you for an all star team or be part of a singing group!
Pay close attention to what I am about to tell you. If you never hear or remember anything I ever say again, listen to this. I Don’t know who said it first, but it is so so true:
The Number 2s and 3s in life are NEVER satisfied until they bring the Number 1s down to their level.
Read that again, and again. Think about it and let it soak in. Then see how it applies to your situation.
No matter if you’re starting to grow up, and look good, and gain notice . . . others are simply jealous. They will say ugly things about you in an attempt to make you look less good in the eyes of the people around them. Those people feel like they can’t be as pretty, popular, talented . . or whatever as you. If they can’t reach your level, which THEY think of as a Number 1, they simply try to cut you down to their level.
If you show up in a print ad for a clothing line, don’t you know down deep in your heart that everybody around you wishes “they” could be you? Of course they do. We all have those feelings. The problem is, “they” didn’t have that same opportunity you had. And if they can’t be Number 1, what do they do? You got it, say that quote again!
But, you say, “I didn’t act conceited, stuck up, better-than-you . . none of that! So, why do they treat me that way?”
Human nature—happens all the time, common as day and night, nothing new . . pure jealousy.
Now, before you get the idea that EVERYBODY is this way, they certainly are not. It is just a small percentage who are, but they make such a big stink and work so hard at trying to bring you down that it sometimes seems like EVERYBODY hates you. They don’t.
There’s often a funny thing that happens along this vein of thought. People who treat you poorly as you aspire to do something significant like: acting and being in a commercial, or print ad, or getting with a singing group, or winning a beauty title at school—all change their tune completely if you actually make it to the big time. If you do become a high paid fashion model, Miss America, or get a record deal and go on tour, those people who treated you so shabbily, now claim to be your best friend! My, how things change. It’s human nature.
“Well”, you say, “it’s nice to know it happens all the time to anyone who tries to do anything someone else wishes they could do, but it still hurts and it is getting worse and what can I do about it right now?”
Just “be yourself”. Hear that all the time don’t you? What does that mean? Being yourself simply is not trying to be something or someone YOU ARE NOT. You are not trying to be a diva. You are not acting like you are better than someone else. You are not looking down on someone less fortunate than you.
The biggest and best thing you can do right now is to EMPATHIZE? Know what that word means? It means to try to put yourself into that person’s shoes for a moment and try to understand “where she’s coming from”. That person is hurting. She wants to be like you, look like you, have the things you have, the talents and opportunity you have, and she can’t—and they are frustrated and feel like life has cheated them . . . and they take it out on you. They feel like if they can’t be like you, then they want you to come down to their level to even the playing field. It is a sad way to have to live and feel, but most often that is what is happening. These people really don’t hate you, they have no reason to. YOU didn’t do anything to them, THEY are doing it to themselves, torturing their own feelings and wants and needs, and taking it out on you.
If you understand that YOU didn’t do anything to deserve poor treatment, just ignore the bad behavior. You know why they are doing it. It is poor self-control on their part, it is envy, and it is pitiful.
Here’s the hard part. BE KIND. If you try to understand what they are feeling (empathize) and don’t give them the defensive reaction they expect, you can deal with the problem. You just keep on being friendly, kind and understanding of how desperately others wish they could be you. Don’t be rude or flippant. Don’t say ugly things back at them, just understand and be kind.
If you’re lucky, those people who hate you and want to be you will see the way you keep your cool, try to understand others, and don’t lower themselves to their level.
And if they really want to be like you, those are things that EVERYBODY can have, not just a privileged few—share it!