Or do you just want to be liked?
By Cinse Bonino
It feels so good when someone thinks I'm cool. How can I tell that they think I'm cool? Easy. You know; it's that look that they give you. When they smile and their eyes light up. No, I am NOT talking about boys. My good friend Sharon absolutely beams when she see me. We are always so happy to see each other. We have tons of stuff to say to each other. Why? I think that it is mostly because we don't judge one another. Sure we like a lot of the same things, and that does make it easy to get along. But we don't put each other down or act like the other person is stupid or anything. We know that we care about each other, and that it is safe to tell each other anything. ANYTHING!
It's easy to try new things around each other. If one of us has a hard time, the other one encourages her or makes her laugh. Even if Sharon wants to try something that I can't stand, I go with her to help her feel good about trying something new.
This is the way that it is supposed to be. It wasn't always like this for me though. When I first moved here, I was desperate to make friends.
I wanted girls to like me so badly that I forgot about the me part.
I just wanted to be liked. I wasn't even thinking about whether or not I was acting like my regular self. I just wanted friends.
I like to write, and I write ALL the time. The first week of school, my new English teacher, Mrs. Davies, discovered my love of writing. She encouraged me to submit some of my work to some magazines. One actually printed my article! I was so psyched. She was the first person who reached out to me and helped me to feel good about myself in my new school.
Enter Debbie and Donna. The cool girls. The ones everyone wants to be friends with. They started talking to me and acting like they really wanted to be my friend. I tried. I really did. I sat and talked to them about clothes, and make-up, and nail polish and all that stuff until I was blue. Don't get me wrong; I love talking about all that stuff, but not JUST that stuff. I was hanging out, I was chatting, I was going crazy. This was NOT what being liked was supposed to be about, but there was no one else jumping up to be my friend so I stuck it out with Debbie and Donna.
They weren't interested in my writing or in anything else that I would start to tell them about. They only wanted to talk about what THEY wanted to talk about. It started to feel like I wasn't even there when the three of us got together. Then they did it. They started bad mouthing Mrs. Davies. It started out with them talking about how stupid they thought her class was. They didn't like the assignments or the class discussions. And they REALLY didn't like Mrs. Davies. They made fun of her voice, of her hair, of her mannerisms.
At first I was just silent. I didn't agree, but I didn't say anything either. Finally, I had to speak up. I told them that Mrs. Davies was the first person in the school that was kind to me. That she really understood that I wanted to be a writer, and that she was helping me. They told me that I should go and hang out with Mrs. Davies then, since I obviously thought that she was so cool. I said maybe I would do just that.
Sharon overheard. She came over to me and said, Good for you. We started to talk. She didn't much like English class either, but she liked Mrs. Davies. Sharon had a lot of trouble getting good grades in English, and Mrs. Davies was always willing to explain things again and again to Sharon during class and after class until it finally sunk through her thick head. (I can say that cause she's my friend!) But it wasn't our mutual gratitude to Mrs. Davies that made Sharon think that I was cool. It was my willingness to stand up for Mrs. Davies when Debbie and Donna were putting her down.
From that moment on we were fast friends. That means that you are held together fast and nothing can tear you apart. It's the only way to be. So check out who you hang with. Do they like you because of who you are, or do you like them simply because they like you. Hold out for friends that like you to be the way you really are. Hold out for friends that make you feel good about yourself. Hold out for friends that might be different that you, but who have the same definition of cool. It's worth it!