how can i like me for me?

dear heather,
I have a problem. All I care is about being popular. I always try to please the “popular people.” I always wear what they do and try to hang out with them but I am not popular at all. I’m actually kind of dorky! How do I stop this and like myself for who I am?
Most people want to be well liked by their peers. Human beings are social creatures and tend to crave the satisfaction of gaining others’ love, affection, approval and acceptance, while giving these things back in return. Wanting to be popular, though, is often a different beast–it’s less about friendship than about cliques, clothes, money, dating, etc., and being that elusive “cooooool.”Half the work of making a change in your behavior is simply figuring out that you want to change it. So far, so good: If you don’t want to strive to look or be a certain way to get in with the popular crowd, then don’t.

The harder part of the process is trying to figure out who you are–and learning to like, or even LOVE, that person. There are a few things you might try to get yourself going in the right direction. For one, you might want to get involved either in or out of school with some activities that perhaps you were afraid to pursue for fear of alienating the “popular people.”

The more you do something you like, the better you will be at it, and the more confident you will become both in your abilities and your desire to express yourself. Trying different things on for size will also help you get a better understanding of yourself, and generally speaking, to know yourself is to love yourself!

When you get involved in something you really care about and become more comfortable with yourself, it shows. People are often most comfortable around people who seem happy to be themselves–it reminds them that they too are free to show their real personality! Meanwhile, you feel more positive about yourself and have created a true network of friends.

I know I make it sound easy, and it really isn’t. The unfortunate part of learning to be and to like yourself is thinking and doing for yourself; you’ll probably get some bumps and bruises on the road to improved self-worth. I say you’ve done a good job so far, though, and wish you good luck.

take care,

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