Do you ever feel unwanted? What about the feeling of not being good enough? Have you ever felt like you are constantly last pick or last choice? Do you feel unheard or like your feelings or needs never matter to different ones around you? Have you ever been treated like you are less than your friends or the people around you? You probably answered “yes” to at least one of those questions, and let me just say that you are not alone.
In the past, especially growing up, I’ve always fought the feeling of not being good enough and unwanted. Many times I felt like I was always the last pick, the last person someone would share something with, or the last person that someone would want to hang out with. I always felt like the odd one out. And that’s because I was, but just didn’t know it yet.
You might feel like the odd one out in a group of people, and you might feel misplaced. You may feel like you’re always everyone’s last choice, or that you’re always the last one to find out an important piece of news. Whatever the case is, it doesn’t feel good.
I would cry and cry and cry some more whenever I experienced that regular rejection. And that’s exactly what it was: “regular.” See, it happened on a regular basis. Being excluded from sitting with different people at lunch happened on a regular basis. Being treated as if I’m “less than,” happened on a regular basis. My voice being ignored and unheard, happened on a regular basis.
Story time – I will never forget this moment
In the 8th grade I had the opportunity to apply to an early college high school in my county. Early college is basically where you will take high school classes like normal, but then when you reach 10th/11th grade, you will begin to take college courses on top of your high school courses in order to graduate with higher education (in the form of college credits or an associates degree if you take enough courses).
I had to get recommendation letters from my 8th grade teachers. Later, I found out that a friend of mine was also applying which was great because I hoped that she and I would both get in.
I got accepted into the school. My friend told me that she had received a rejection letter. I decided to email all of my teachers to send them my thanks and let them know that I had been accepted.
My math teacher pulled me aside after class and said “You mean to tell me that you got accepted and not her?” Her words still echo in my ears. I will never forget that moment.
I left that room feeling completely heartbroken, defeated, and ultimately, feeling less than.
Moral of the story? People will always find a way to disappoint you, or hurt you in some way, shape, or form. That includes the people you thought would always be there for you and encourage you to be your best.
Being treated as like I’m not good enough and being “unwanted” was for my own good.
Honestly? I realized much later that the treatment I’ve received over the years was for my own good. I’ve realized that people went out of their way to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough for a few reasons. It was usually because they were jealous or envious and attempting to mask their own insecurities. I also realized that it was because I was being called for much greater than the people in my circles could handle. I feel it was a natural way of the people who weren’t good for me, being weeded out of my life.
Lots of positive things came out of being “unwanted.” When I started removing toxic people from my life who had me feeling not good enough, I learned how to be alone and still thrive. I gained a strength that I never knew existed. I gained an even greater work ethic because it just made me want to work even harder. Most importantly, I learned not to put my trust and faith into people, but into God. I would not be the person I am today without the rejection and hurt I’ve experienced over the years.
I want to leave you with some tips for how to handle feeling not good enough and/or unwanted.
1. First, try to express yourself to whoever is making you feel this way.
I’ve always had a hard time speaking up for myself and expressing my wants and needs to people. I usually just settle for what I get, deal with it, and move on. This isn’t the healthy thing to do.
If someone has made you feel like you’re not good enough, or if they’ve made you feel unwanted and rejected, try to sit down with them and talk to them. Sometimes it could be as simple as a miscommunication or misunderstanding.
If expressing yourself has fallen on deaf ears, it’s time to move on.
2. Spend time loving yourself.
This is something I wish I had done more. I’m 23 years old and I’m just learning that I need to love myself and practice self-love and self-care. I’ve been making a conscious effort to do so, especially in these past few weeks.
Loving yourself isn’t always easy, especially when you have different insecurities.
You may have been made to feel less than or not good enough so much, that now even you believe it yourself. Someone may have called you ugly in the past, leaving you feeling unattractive and unwanted romantically. It may be that you feel like you have no skills, or like you always tend to make poor decisions leaving you and/or loved ones in bad situations.
Whatever it is that has you feeling incapable of loving yourself, I want to challenge you to let it go. Begin to learn and know yourself better. Start saying and doing things that make you feel good about yourself. Stop relying on other people to make you happy or to make you feel attractive. Don’t keep looking to people for validation or to help you build self-confidence. Happiness and true self-love comes from within and only after a positive change in mindset.
“You are the one person that you’ll always be with. So, it’s important that you enjoy your own company, can trust yourself, and recognize your good qualities.” -Sharon Martin
3. Spend time building yourself up
After you start to discover self love, it’s time to begin building yourself up. Here are some ways that you can work toward building up your self confidence.
-Set small goals and work toward achieving them
-Create a list of things that you have accomplished
-Create a list of things that you are good at
-Acknowledge that there is no one like you, and no one can “do you” like you can
-Take time to learn something new. Knowledge is empowerment
-Invest in yourself. Similarly to self love, you need to invest time (and money) into yourself whether that’s by getting a new hairdo or paying for art classes.
-Take your vitamins, eat healthy, and exercise. Make sure you always take care of your body
-Start and end the day with a smile
4. Surround yourself with people who DO want you
Don’t settle for less. Don’t stay anywhere you are feeling like you’re less than or feeling unwanted. Instead, try surrounding yourself with the people who make you feel good and DO want you in your life. Whether it’s a group of 5 people or just 1 person. Staying where you aren’t wanted is a sure way to hurt your mental and emotional health. You owe it to yourself to avoid (where possible) being around people/groups of people who make you feel unwanted or not good enough.
Don’t think you’ll be able to find that person or group of people who genuinely love and want to be around you? Well believe it or not, there is someone for everyone. Sometimes you just have to find them.
5. Remember that if no one else does, God loves and wants you.
I have found myself many times looking to God for love and comfort during times where I have felt broken and defeated. You’re probably thinking, “Well you can’t feel physical touch from God,” but it’s not true. I have had to ask God to wrap me in His arms so many times in the past when I’ve had a broken heart. Sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me from crying all night long. It’s the only thing that calms me enough to be able to fall asleep in peace.
There’s one thing we know for sure: Even if everyone else does, God will never leave us nor forsake us. I have found an infinite friend in Jesus, that no matter how far I stray from Him, He is always here waiting for me. Even if all other relationships fail, I have confidence that my relationship with God will never fail.
One more thing? You can pray that God will send genuine, loving people into your life. Whether that’s in the form of a husband/wife, a friend, or even a spiritual brother or sister. He may not grant your request immediately, but I promise He will grant it right on time.
Do you feel better? Do you still feel like you’re unwanted or not good enough?
I want you to know that as I was writing this, I was unpacking my own feelings of feeling less than, being discarded, and feeling unwanted. So, you are definitely not alone in this. But I do have to ask, if you’ve tried any of the things on this list, do you feel better? I sure do, and I hope you do too.
Have your own story to share? Share it in a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
If you liked this post, you may enjoy reading “5 Amazing Reasons You Should Learn to Say No.”