“I have anxiety and depression. I always feel like people are talking about me. The worst part is I’m right most of the time. How do you become more likeable? Because I’ve tried being myself and being nice. It doesn’t work.”
Dear Anxious and Depressed,
I know first hand what you are going through, but I couldn’t begin to say that we have been through the exact same thing. Everyones situation is different in so many ways but I can definitely give you some advice.
Firstly, no matter what, you have to know that it is not always going to be this hard. You need to have hope in the fact that if you want to change it, you can change it. There are so many resources and places you can go, or people you can talk to that are trained to help you if you need it. When you are ready to get better and to take care of the anxiety and depression, that will always be there for you, you just need to do it when you are ready.
Next, you need to try really hard to not think about what other people think about you. If you don’t have actual proof that people are talking about you, 99% of the time they actually aren’t. People are always going to talk unfortunately, but that is completely normal. This generation (assuming we are somewhat close in age) is obsessed with talking and expressing opinions, and knowing other’s opinions and just always having something to report, and it is unfortunate, but sometimes people just don’t have anything better to do. You just need to know that no matter what they say, the only thing that matters is your opinion of yourself as well as all the people who love and care about you.
Most of the time people with anxiety and depression get a slight case of paranoia about what other people might be saying because of all the negative things that they think about themselves. This can be rationalized as: “Well if all of these things are wrong with me, then all of those people must be talking about it too.” However, you will always always be your worst critic and 9 times out of 10 people don’t see all the negative things that you might.
In the case that people are talking about you, and that you have proof of this, then I advise you to either ignore them and move on because their opinions don’t actually matter or you can confront them and let them know they are not being very cool, you don’t appreciate it at all, and that they wouldn’t like it if you said those things about them behind their backs.
As for the being more likeable part, I’m not 100% sure what the definition of likeable might be, because everyone’s definition is different. Thats a big indicator that you just need to find the right people, and that you might not have found them yet. Just always remember that you never ever need to change you but just simply change your surroundings. If your anxiety will allow it, try meeting some new people that have some similar interests to you, or maybe some mutual friends. There are all kinds of online communities for people that also suffer from anxiety, that will connect you with people that know what you might be going through.
Most importantly just know that you are never alone, and that no matter how dark it gets, the sun always comes up eventually!
Hope this helps!
– Sincerely, Mazie