As of 9:06 PM, I have 983 Facebook friends, 107 Facebook followers, and 2192 Instagram followers. That’s a lot of people who care, in some sense, about what I am doing or want to read what I’m thinking. I know there is some overlap, but this means that, if social media was a room and my accounts a podium, I would have roughly 3,282 individuals interested in what I was saying. That’s a lot.
Likewise, I was blessed to road trip with two of my best friends from high school this past week to visit one of my favorite family’s—a family that loves me very much—in Maine. In high school, Hannah, Liv, Abby and I were inseparable. The only reason Liv was not here is because she is married and now living in California, but we still talk on the phone weekly, if not more. These girls, my friends, they love me and want me, and years and trails have proven that.
However, when I went to post the photos on Facebook, I noticed something: I had 983 “friends” (I put the friends in quotes because, to be honest, if something serious had happened in my life, I know I could only turn to about 30 or fewer of those “friends”…and the vast, vast majority of these “friends” I have not had a conversation with in years, or decades). I had had 984 at the beginning of the day. That means someone deleted me. My heart sunk.
Many of you are probably reading this and thinking, “Krista, you’re ridiculous. You just admitted many of these individuals are NOT your friends, and yet, you’re upset?” Yup.
I’ve struggled my entire life feeling wanted. In the days before instagram and Facebook, I printed dozens of pictures and created picture murals on my bedroom walls. This was actually suggested after I went to therapy for the first time when I was 14. I told the therapist how I was struggling feeling wanted and loved, and the therapist suggested that I surround myself with proof that I am, so that I could look at these things and the lie that I am unwanted would be washed away. It worked. Oddly, I now realize that I have shaped my worth, and my value, around these pictures and the relationships they represent.
In a lot of ways, I could care less about the number of followers I have on instagram. Since my account is public, I have never met the majority of individuals that follow me. Therefore, when individuals unfollow me on instagram, I am not too bothered. However, on Facebook, I know everyone of my “friends.” When someone unfriends me, I take it personally. I take it too personally. My thoughts begin to race as I wonder, “Why doesn’t X want me in their life anymore?” When in reality, this individual may have just been a person I was in a group project with in 8th grade, have not talked to since, and they no longer cared to see my Kasich 2016 posts. Even though I *know* deep down, they were not rejecting me or my thoughts, it still feels that way.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot this weekend, and I realized, I care way more about getting individuals to like me who do not like me, than maintaining the relationships I have. So sad.
I can count on both my hands the number of individuals in high school and college that did not like me. Obviously, there are people we naturally don’t click with naturally, so these individuals that I’m talking about are the ones who really had it out for me. And, you know what I did? I went out of my way to try to be kind to them and buy their friendship. Not because Jesus tells us to “love our enemies” but because I could not handle the fact that someone did not like me. One Christmas, I spent more money buying an “enemy” a Christmas present than on my best friend.
I am sharing this all with you because I am certain I am not the only person that does this. Am I right? Have you done this, too? Perhaps you are one of those uber confident individuals that just walks to the beat of her own drum and literally does not care one bit what others think (I know you exist, and I envy you!), but many of you are probably similar to me, and fear rejection and being unwanted. I feel you, girl.
What I have had to remind myself this week, is to remember what my grandma told me: Krista, it is more important to focus on the relationships that you do have, then the ones that you don’t.
People will not always like me. I am loud, outgoing, spontaneous and a sinful, broken human being. There are people that I will not “mesh” with. There are individuals that do not care to read my Facbeook posts. And you know what?!? THIS IS OKAY. This does not lower my worth as an individual, nor does it make me unworthy of the love and relationships I currently have.
I am reminded of what Paul says: “If it is at all possible, as much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
This means I must do all I can to be peaceful with everyone. If I am doing this, and they do not like me, that’s okay.
Not everyone will like you, friend. And that’s okay. You’re still lovable, and you always will be.