Were they making fun of me behind my back?

In school, I felt like an outsider.

I saw how others connected and had a great time, while I struggled.

Take the other guys in my class for example. I often worried that they were making fun of me behind my back and it felt like it was them inside and then me outside. (We’ve written an article about how to spot a fake friend from a real friend.)

You also might like to read more about how to deal with someone making fun of you.

One day, a new guy came to class. After a week, he was closer with my classmates than I was after a year.

That “proved it” to me: There’s definitely something wrong with me!

Like I’ve said before, I don’t regret that time, because that’s what formed who I am today.

I just wish I knew this back then:

Just because something is in a certain way, doesn’t mean it will always be that way.

You see, back then everything felt pretty dark to me. I had low self-esteem, so I didn’t believe that I would be able to turn things around.

I had good times, too, and I did have some friends.

It was just that being off socially and seeing others hit it off when I didn’t make me think less of myself.

I had little hopes I would improve.

I could rationally see that practice makes perfect, but it FELT like there was something wrong with me and it FELT like this was how life would be.

Here’s what I’ve learned after all these years: It doesn’t matter what it FEELS like. Sometimes, you just have to do what you know is right even if feels like it won’t work out.

How did your childhood affect your social beliefs today? Did you worry about people making fun of you behind your back? Let me know in the comments!

David Morin is the founder of SocialSelf. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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  1. I relive so many moments when people made fun of me or told me I’m “so quiet.” It still gets to me. I’m 40 years old and I wish I could just get over it. But those memories still haunt me and shape how I view myself and how I think others perceive me.

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  2. My mother instilled in me that I needed to have someone take care of me because I couldn’t do it myself. I grew up with no self confidence. and very needy. I was in an addictive codependent relationship for 43 years. Even though there was verbal abuse, I thought I needed him to take care of me so I was afraid to leave thinking I would never meet someone again. I was forced to see that I could take care of myself as he’s been in a nursing home with dementia for 2 years. I don’t have anyone in my life now, except for a few friends and my daughter. I now take care of myself.

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  3. My father was abusive and he would make fun of me because I was the youngest of 2 girls. He’d say. … oh thats a Renee joke when I talked. I went to school very worried about how I talked to others. I wanted to be liked but I felt insecure to talk so I was very shy and quiet. It took me to go to college to come out and be the silly fun self I am today. Everyone says I’m positive and fun to talk to. I have many friends but my childhood was terrible. My older sister would even laugh at me.

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