People generally like me but i never feel liked

I got bullied as a kid and that sticks with me. I was mostly bullied for being a quiet girl and i'm still quiet. I've noticed one thing and that is I always have good experiences with people. People i've dated i'm on good terms with, at my new job my co-workers like me and thinks i'm a good addition to the group though they'd wish to know me a bit better which is what my boss told me after my internship period before she hired me. I've made a new friend this year and i've been a loner all my life. I've not had a woman friend since I was 6 years old and i'm late 20s now. She's new in the city so maybe that's why she really likes me so much, i'm her only friend here so far lol, but she seems to really like me. I have no idea why she likes me because i'm still sort of stuck in that place mentally where all the girls bullied me for being "quiet and boring" and everything was a contest all the time back in school. I was genuienly scared of being around other women for years after because I felt women thinks i'm boring so there is no point in even trying with them. I am a pretty boring person too I don't even swear because it's never come natural to me, at least I drink nowadays but not much because I suffer from chronic headache so it's a bad idea for me to drink honestly lol. Now i'm working at a small place that only has women working there and i'm making effort to make friends with women via a programme online that matches up people who are new to here with someone who's lived here a long time/all their life like me and that's how I met my new friend. I actually have photos to post on social media now of hanging out with a friend instead of selfies of just me. I've never posted photos with guy friends i've had because meh, don't wanna. I almost feel like a normal person but I still feel like such a loser just a very stiff and uncomfortable woman who ruins every moment. I have social anxiety and i've gone to therapy for that twice and i'm currently in it again, I can't seem to get over it. I still blank out in every social situation or feel that nothing I have to say matters because it's dumb.
Maybe i've always been afraid of people not liking me enough and abandoning me because as a child I had a friend i'd lock in a room at pre-school lol so she couldn't leave and play with other kids. That was odd... I'm still kind of like that because I always have a favorite person and i'm jealous of all their other contacts, but nowadays I just brush it off and tell myself to get over it because people have lives.

Is It Normal?
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  • I can relate. I was often bullied and made fun of in school as well, and became a very quiet and reserved person as a result. I never really felt I was liked even when I was, though a lot of that was due to my own low self confidence. The good news is that now school is in the past and we're dealing with other adults now who tend to be a lot nicer and more empathetic than kids who don't really understand the impact their words and actions have on others yet. Developing social skills just takes time and practice, but is something you'll eventually get the hang of after awhile, and it seems like you're already doing well!

    As for swearing and drinking, you don't need to feel pressured to do either of those things if you don't want to. They do not make a person any more interesting, and there's nothing wrong with not partaking in either if they aren't your thing. Just be yourself and do what you enjoy and feel comfortable with, and the right people for you will befriend you for the person you are.

    I think it's also pretty common for people to get a bit jealous of their best friends' other friends, as I dealt with this a lot growing up when my friends' other friends did not like me and didn't want me spending time with their friends (or my friends didn't like my other friends and didn't want me spending time with them). Just understand that people have multiple friends and that is okay, and it doesn't mean they value you any less or are going to abandon you. I also felt bad if my friends in school deserted me for other friends, but that seems to be more of a school age thing than an adult thing, and even if someone does that, that just means they weren't a good fit for you and that's okay, you'll find others who are.

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  • Truthfully I didn't read it all, but this comes from a deeply damaged self image that stems from a very critical and unloved upbringing. If you believe that you don't deserve to be liked you can't accept it when people do.

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  • I can also relate, but I'm not so jaded as to call this normal. If this was normal, the world would be a much darker place, and I would hate everyone else rather than myself.

    If you're looking for advice, I would just say simply to relax. Just relax. No one cares. All the small crap that gets to you or that you don't want to do because you're worried about what someone's going to think about it, no one really cares about it, you can just be yourself and do what you want to do.

    For me, it was like I didn't want a reputation for being _____, so I opted for the reputation of being "quiet", which is really misleading for everyone involved. Your reputation ends up being whatever people *can* perceive of you, but without them being able to tell you anything about it because you're unapproachable. So you don't know what anyone thinks of you, which makes you paranoid, which stops you from approaching them. It's an infinite loop.

    Anyway, try to just assume that the other person feels the same about you as you do about them. How you affect them is more important than how you're perceived by them.

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