Let’s just go ahead and rip the bandaid off, k? This is gonna hurt, but only for a second. Ready? Here’s the suck: no matter how hard you try to make people like you, you might not end up liked.
Face that possibility, and it can’t get any worse. So all it can do is get better. See how that works? Either way now, you’re gonna be fine.
The first lesson of Buddhism is this: life is hard. Don’t expect easy. Accept that idea, and boom! Life’s a lot easier. If you stop expecting good, you’re fine when it doesn’t come.
But then, guess what happens? When you stop expecting good, good starts coming. It’s magic.
So let’s apply this concept to high school popularity. You’ve faced the fact that people might never like you (harsh). So you stop trying to make people like you (sad). Now you’re putting out that, “Meh, whatever to y’all” vibe (cool). And since you don’t care if they like you, they start…liking you (sweet).
This is boring and philosophical. We need some color. So here ya go. Meet Jack.
Jack had flat black hair and a Cabbage Patch Kid body. He wasn’t an athlete. He wasn’t a Popular Kid. He wasn’t an anything, officially.
And yet…Jack’s girlfriend was Whitney, the human Barbie doll. Jack was on auto-invite for every kegger. Jack had the teachers laughing at the shit that got everyone else detention. Because Jack had popularity Zen. He didn’t give a fuck what we thought of him.
Here’s what Jack did, instead of giving a fuck: he left the party to dance, alone, in the middle of the street. He wore a hazmat suit to school one random Thursday. He pinched my boob through my old lady costume on Halloween and said, “Nice falsies.” Then he cutely blushed when I said, “They’re not false.”
Jack didn’t drink, but he was neither righteous nor ashamed about it. Actually, he wasn’t righteous or ashamed about anything. He just…was, and we could take it or leave it. And because of that, we loved him. A lot.
So here’s a review of today’s lesson.
A) They might never like you. Face it.
B) Find other stuff to think about. Anything but Them, and whether They like you.
C) Watch as They fall at your feet.
Do you know a Jack? Tell us about him or her in the comments! Do you want to read more about Jack? Find him in my young adult memoir, We Can’t Be Friends!