Now maybe I have taken a long time last several years I have reached some important conclusions.
I always thought the people around me must have been born with some special knowledge that I lacked. Some inner ability to put on make up, flirt, socialize, study, know about the world, skating parties, boys, TV and all the secular areas of life. The only areas I felt confident in were those less valued by the world. Now, I am not suggesting that I valued them less, but this discrepancy made me feel like an outsider.
I blamed it on lots of things. My parents were weird. I was a Christian, I was the oldest child, I wasn't allowed to watch some stuff on TV, my mom didn't wear a lot of makeup, my mom didn't work so I didn't get to be a latchkey kid. Those were the things I blamed my lack of coolness factor on.
As I got older I stopped caring if I had a coolness factor. I had friends, family, a life I liked. It didn't really matter anymore.
Because it stopped mattering, I started to realize that I wasn't alone.
Insecurities kept me from feeling like I could be cool. It is easy for people to ignore you if you don't make the first move to be friends. I'm a sweet person, funny, attractive, interesting, and interested. If people get to know me, they usually like me, so my lack of popularity, wasn't because of some unlikable-ness, but because I was too insecure to let them see me and get to like me. This was a problem in places where I perceived I wasn't cool enough to fit in. Church and family gatherings excluded. Now at big church camp gatherings maybe.
This has been a slow awakening over the last decade. In the last several years, I assume I will get along with people and make friends so I usually do.
This is only relevant because, I think most people are walking around with insecurities that the try to hid from the people around them . I think we interpret those as standoffish-ness, rudeness, or other negatives rather than look beyond the behavior to the motivation. Of course I am an eternal optimist. The glass is always half full. Everything has a bright side and the cloud always has a silver lining.
I am sure there are those people out there who are confident through and through and never experience a moments doubt. I am not sure I want to meet them because the intimidate me.
Maybe we should worry less about how we stack up, look for opportunities to bring new people into our groups, and be thankful for our insecurities because they keep us humble and people worth knowing because of them.