One of the hardest things about high school is getting the kind of attention that you don’t like. It’s so easy for others to open their mouth and say something inappropriate or uncalled for, and it only takes a few seconds before the damage is done.
In high school, I felt that others were constantly making snarky remarks and negative comments towards me that were just plain put-downs. I haven’t always been insecure, in fact, before that time in my life I felt quite confident about myself and the way I was. But it only takes a few negative comments to bring your confidence right now and leave you feeling doubtful and insecure.
Although many of these comments came from people in my class who I knew but wasn’t directly friends with, the odd ones actually came from my close friends. My best friend, even (at the time). The words stung a lot more when it was coming from someone so close to me, someone who I thought understood me much more than anyone else at the school.
I have always been petite, and because of that I’ve always been underweight. Skinny, thin, twig-like, whatever you want to call it. It all means the same thing. I’m called those words on a regular basis and I have been ever since I started high school. Some people may think those words should be taken as a compliment, and that I would be crazy for being offended instead of flattered. I admit, if I feel hurt I will try not to let it show but probably burst into tears as soon as I’m in the privacy of my bedroom at home. So although I may not have started crying or yelled at them, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t hurt and offended on the inside because I absolutely was.
I think more than anything I want others to accept me as I am. I mean, isn’t that what we all want deep down? Sometimes it feels as though others were trying to pick me apart with their harsh words and I don’t understand why they choose to do than rather than simply accept me as I am. Maybe it’s easier to pick people apart than make the effort to get to know them. But what happens when this is how a friend treats you? A best friend, at that. You may not expect others to make the time to get to know you properly (although they should) but you certainly expect your best friend to know better and treat you significantly better than everyone else you come across.
Friends are supposed to be the ones that we can rely on when push comes to shove, knowing they always have our back and have our best interests at heart. They want us to be happy because we’re important to them and they want the friendship to thrive because that’s important to them as well. Well, at least that’s what a friend is supposed to be. So if your friend did the opposite of this and acted like everyone else in terms of treating you poorly and unfairly, you would start to feel insecure as well.
Many people would simply say ‘well, don’t surround yourself with negative people like that’ and although there’s a fair amount of truth to that suggestion, what happens when you’re at school with those people every single day for years and years to come? What hope is there then? What happens when everyone has their own clique or close group of friends that are permanently glued to their side and look down on new-comers wanting to change groups and join theirs instead? And if that didn’t work out for you, would you be happy to feel exposed and judged as you begin to go everywhere by yourself and you become mostly alone? Would you feel confident that you could ignore all of those stares, comments and whispers from the very people we can’t get away from?
When this happens school doesn’t feel safe anymore. In fact, it becomes the very place which reminds you that you don’t have true, genuine friends and emphasises the strong, overwhelming feeling that you’re alone. It becomes a place that you want to avoid, and soon you’ll do everything you can to stay clear of that place. You begin to dread each morning when your alarm drags you out of your beautiful, vibrant dreams and slams you back into the harsh, dreary reality that is your life and current situation. You want to protect yourself and stay somewhere where you feel much happier and safe. You feel that you’re the only one who’s really looking out for you and that the only person you can trust is yourself.
Lucy Rebecca x