I’ve always had trouble with what my reputation is and what people think of me. Sometimes I worry about it too much. Unfortunately, there’s a method to my madness.
Growing up, I had trouble distinguishing between my good friends and my acquaintances. This is because I’m handicapped – I use a walker and a wheelchair – so it’s hard to tell if people are only being nice to me because they feel bad for me. It’s always disappointing when someone whom I want to be my friend is flaky.
I still have trouble with this now. For example, when someone compliments me, sometimes I find myself wondering if they are just saying that and they don’t really mean it. Even my friends from college. I know that they value me for who I am, and that’s nice. But it still doesn’t match the way that I view myself. People are so critical of me – and they have been for awhile – that I end up internalizing it. Their view of myself becomes my own. I can’t just let things roll off my back.
Hopefully, as I transition in the real world and start working, I will be able to reset myself and gain self-confidence that I can draw from in the future.